Boston Celtics

Out of the 17 teams the NBA originally consisted of upon its official creation in 1949, only eight are still active today and only two have never relocated or change their names. One of these are the Boston Celtics.
Founded in 1946 by Boston Garden-Arena Corporation President Walter A. Brown, as part of the BAA (Basketball Association of America), the Boston Celtics currently play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Division. With a record 17 NBA championship rings, they are the most successful NBA franchise ever as well as one of the most dominant team in all of sports. Their longevity, success and hard-work ethic have contributed to making them one of the most iconic teams in American sports.

boston celtics present logo

Present logo of Boston Celtics

Irish spirit

It was owner Walter A. Brown who came up with the name “Boston Celtics”. The “Original Celtics” a New York-based basketball team had been incredibly dominant in the 1920s and Brown felt the name would carry the appropriate weight while appealing to the large Massachusetts Irish community. He also decided to adopt the traditional Irish colors of green and white, that they still wear today. A legend was born.

The uniforms

Since the birth of the franchise, the Boston players have been donning green jerseys and shorts with white accents for away games and white outfits with green trims at home. The name “Boston” was displayed on the front of the jerseys for the first two NBA seasons before it was replaced by “Celtics” in 1951.

bob cousy boston

Bob Cousy in the original green “Boston” uniform.

larry bird boston

Larry Bird in the traditionally road-game Celtic uniform in the 1980s.

More recently, with the increasing influence of marketing and licensed products sales, “alternate” jerseys and uniforms have been worn on occasions. Some include black trims instead of the traditional white ones with the word “Boston” replacing the name of the club. Since 2007, the players occasionally wear gold-trimmed uniforms that were first used as part of St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

big three boston

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the current alternate green and black uniforms.

rajon rondo boston

Rajon rondo in green and gold

The logos

The logo showing a Leprechaun spinning a basketball was first designed by Zang, Red Auerbach’s brother, in the late 1960s. Even if it has undergone a few changes and tweaks, it still remains the Celtics’ main logo today. The previous one, used throughout the 1950s, featured a crowned Leprechaun cheering.
A green shamrock was the original 1949 logo and is still used today as an alternate.

boston celtics 1946 logo

Original 1946-1950 logo

boston celtics 1950 logo

From 1950s to 1960s logo

boston celtics 1968 logo

From 1968s to 1978s logo

boston celtics 1978 logo

From 1978s to 1995s logo

boston celtics todays logo

Since 1995

The venues

Even if the team’s first home game was actually played at the Boston Arena, it is the Boston Madison Square Garden (known as the Boston Garden), a 15,000-seat arena inaugurated in 1928, which is widely regarded as the original Celtics’ home court. The venue, which featured the signature parquet floor, was destroyed in 1997.
Since 1995, the Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden (formally known as the FleetCenter and TD Banknorth Garden). The arena that sits almost 19,000 is located at 100 Legends Way in downtown, Boston and has a parquet floor reminiscent of the original Garden’s. The venue is also home to the hockey team Boston Bruins.

A legend in the making – Difficult beginnings (1949-1956)

The rich history of the Boston Celtics is closely linked to that of one man in particular, legendary coach, General Manager and club president Arnold “Red” Auerbach.
After a somewhat disastrous 1949-50 season, owner Walter A. Brown was looking for a coach to help build a truly competitive team in what were the early days of the NBA. At the time, the coach was responsible for all aspects of basketball operations, from team practices to the recruitment of players. Brown hired Auerbach, who had coached the US Navy team during WWII, on April 27th, 1950, just days before the draft. The new coach immediately set out to build a fast-pace offense and fast-break-oriented team around center Ed Macauley, forward Bones McKinney and point guard and local star Bob Cousy. As a result, the Celtics made the playoffs for the first time ever but lost in the Division semi-finals to the New York Knicks.
The following year, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey and Jim Loscutoff were added to the roster. Unfortunately, and despite another good season, the Celtics fell again to the Knicks in the playoffs. The same scenario would happen again for the five next years, with the team making the playoffs every year but failing to reach the finals.
After another heartbreaking loss in the 1956 playoffs, Auerbach felt that they needed a player to reinforce their defense, a center who would get more rebounds and help initiate fast-breaks. That’s when he stunned the League by trading bona fide star center Macaulay for a draft pick with which he selected University of San Francisco rebounding and defensive big man Bill Russell.

The domination (1956-1969) of Celtics

The acquisition of Russell, 1957 Rookie of the Year forward Tommy Heinsohn and guard K.C. Jones, both future Hall-of-Famers, immediately paid off and worked wonders with Auerbach’s new defense-first philosophy. For the first time in their history, the Celtics made the Finals and went on to defeat the St Louis Hawks to claim their first ever NBA Championship. After barely missing on back to back titles, when falling to the Hawks in the 1958 Finals, the Celtics came back roaring, winning the next eight NBA titles in a row, a record that still holds today.
Coach Auerbach retired at the end of 1965-66 season, and Bill Russell took over as head coach while still playing with the team. The Celtics uncharacteristically lost in the Eastern Division Finals on his first season but managed to add two more NBA titles, in 1968 and 1969, gathering 11 titles in 13 seasons, an unparalleled record in any American professional sports. Today, the 1960s Celtics are widely viewed as one of the most dominant teams of all time.

The 1970s

Bill Russell retired in 1969, both as a player and a coach, and for the first time in over a decade, the 1969-70 season was a losing one for the Celtics who failed to make the playoffs. The time had come to rebuild. The acquisition of center Dave Cowens (drafted in 1970), forward Paul Silas (traded in 1972) and guard Jo Jo White (drafted in 1969) allowed them to quickly become dominant again. Auerbach, now general manager, hired former player Tom Heinsohn as the new head coach and after losing in the Conference Finals in 1972 and 1973, the C’s captured their 12th and 13th championships in 1974 and 1976.
In 1978, the Celtics’ all-time leading scorer John Havlicek, retired and new owner John Y. Brown worked out a trade to have Bob McAdoo replace him with the team. This caused a dispute with Auerbach, who was firmly opposed to the move, and almost resigned over it. Rather than incur the anger of Bostonians, who massively supported the former head coach, Brown chose to step down and sold the team.

The Big Three (1979-1992)

With a new owner in place, Auerbach had the opportunity to make a series of decisive moves. He traded McAdoo away, built a solid backcourt consisting of M.L Carr, Tiny Archibald and Gerald Henderson, and drafted college star Larry Bird. The next year, he acquired center Robert Parish from Golden State and drafted University of Minnesota power forward Kevin McHale. What would go on to be known as the Big 3 was born. Everything was set for the Celtics to dominate the league once again and under head coach Bill Fitch, they captured their 14th title in 1981 by defeating the Houston Rockets. But success was short-lived. They lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Conference Finals in ‘82 and were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round in ’83. This caused Fitch to resign and the team to be sold to new owners led by Dan Gaston.
Under new coach and former player K.C Jones, the C’s immediately got back to the Finals in 1984 in which they defeated Magic Johnson’s Lakers for their 15th championship. Auerbach retired as General Manager but remained Team President and appointed Jan Volk as his replacement. In 1985, the men in green met again with the Lakers in the Finals, but this time L.A prevailed, for the first time ever against Boston.
The following season, the Celtics were back with a vengeance. They had acquired Bill Walton, an excellent passing center, in the offseason and posted an impressive 67-15 record on the season. They won their 16th championship against the Houston Rockets, while Bird was named NBA MVP for the third time in a row and Walton earned the 6th Man of the Year honors. This 1985-85 roster has been voted in as one of the ten best teams in NBA history.
But in spite of all their talent, success was about to elude the Celtics for the next 22 years. The Big 3 were getting old and Bird starting being pestered by injuries. In the 1986 Draft, the Celtics selected University of Maryland star Len Bias, hoping the young man who fans viewed as the next superstar would ensure the future of the franchise. Unfortunately, Bias passed away just two days after the draft of cocaine overdose. In 1987, the Celtics still managed to make the NBA Finals but lost to the Lakers for the second time. They wouldn’t return to the Finals for 21 years. They made it to the Eastern Conference for the last time in 1988, losing to the Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys. The rest of Larry Bird’s career was plagued by injuries and back pains and he eventually retired in 1992, after winning the gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics with the “Dream Team”. The Big 3 era ended for good in 1994, when Kevin McHale retired and Robert Parish went to play with the Charlotte Hornets.

The drought (1993-2007)

After Reggie Lewis’ untimely death in 1993, a promising small forward that many viewed as Bird’s successor as the face of the franchise, the Celtics entered the gloomiest period of their history. In 1994, a starting line-up consisting of 35-year-old Dominique Wilkins, Dee Brown, Croatian Dino Radja, Sherman Douglas and rookie Eric Montross barely made the playoffs and was swept in the first round by Shaq O’Neal’s Orlando Magic. Things kept going downhill, the team losing a record 67 games in the 1996-97 season. The hiring of star college coach Rick Pitino as club president, director of basketball operations and head coach in 1997 did little to better the situation. The team failed to make the playoffs six seasons in a row. Paul Pierce, drafted in 1998, had developed into a star but was lacking support. Pitino resigned in 2001 and Jim O’Brien got the head coaching job, leading the team to their first playoff appearance since 1995. They lost to the New Jersey Nets in the Conference Finals.
In 2003, Paul Gaston sold the team to Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C. who hired Danny Ainge as General Manager, who in turn hired Doc Rivers as the new head coach. In spite of all the positive changes, Boston would still have to wait until 2007 to find their way back to success.

The second Big 3 and Big 4 (2007-today)

In 2007, Danny Ainge made a series of moves that would finally bring success back to Beantown. He had already drafted point guard Rajon Rondo in 2006, and traded several of his role players to acquire All-star Ray Allen and rookie PF Glen Davis from Seattle and former MVP Kevin Garnett from Minnesota. The association of Paul Pierce, Allen and Garnett instantly developed into a new Big Three, especially with Garnett bringing new defensive, hard-work ethic to the team. After the best single-season turnaround in NBA history (they improved by 24 wins), the Celtics reached the NBA Finals and defeated their nemesis Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games. The following season, they posted an impressive 62-20 record but lost Garnett to injury for the playoffs and had to give in to the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals.
In 2009, Garnett was back, center Kendrick Perkins had blossomed into a real presence in the paint and Boston went straight back to the NBA Finals, meeting once again with the Los Angeles Lakers. Rajon Rondo really emerged as an All-Star during post-season but the purple and gold ultimately prevailed after coming back from 13 points down in Game 7.
The addition of former All-stars Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal in 2010 had little impact as the two accumulated injuries and poor performances throughout the season. Doc Rivers’ men were eliminated from the playoffs by the Miami Heat in the second round with Shaq playing very little and retiring at the end of the season.
They entered the 2011-12 season with a starting line-up of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal.

Players and personalities

The roster of the first championship team was actually built over the years. Walter A. Brown and Red Auerbach first recruited Bob Cousy in 1950. Bill Sharman, Jim Loscutoff and Frank Ramsey arrived in 1952 and 53, and Auerbach drafted both Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn in 1956. The 1956-57 season stands out as an exceptional one for the Celtics, bringing about their first NBA title, the MVP trophy to Cousy and the Rookie of the Year award to Heinsohn.

boston celtics 1956-1957 team

Standing, players from left to right: Dick Hemric (F), Jack Nichols (C/F), Bill Russell (C), Arnie Risen (C/F), Tom Heinsohn (F/C) Seated, left to right: Lou Tsioropoulos (F), Andy Phillip (G/F), Frank Ramsey (F/G), Bob Cousy (G), Bill Sharman (G), Jim Loscutoff (F).

Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey, Tom Heinsohn and veterans Andy Phillip and Arnie Risen have all been inducted in the basketball Hall of Fame. Ed Macauley, who had been the starting center for the Celtics until he was traded for draft picks used to acquire Bill Russell is also an Hall of Fame inductee.
If the 1956-57 team is the first to ever win the NBA trophy, it is not the best one. Two other rosters have been voted by as part of the ten best teams in NBA history. One of them is the 1964-65 squad.

Cousy and Sharman had retired, leaving a backcourt tandem of K.C Jones and Sam Jones at the helm. Tom Sanders was playing alongside Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn in the frontcourt and the Celtics dominated with their iron-clad defense. Sam Jones who led the team in scoring with 25.9 ppg, was fourth in the league while Bill Russell dominated the glass with a 24.1 rebounding average over the season. With perennial Sixth Man John Havlicek coming from the bench, the C’s finished with a 62-20 record, 13 games ahead of their Western Conference rivals Los Angeles Lakers.
After a hard-fought 7 game series against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Conference Finals, Beantown beat the Lakers to wrap up their 7th consecutive championship.
K.C Jones, Sam Jones, John Havlicek all have their names in the Hall of Fame.

boston celtics 1964-1965 team

Standing, left to right: Ron Bonham (F), Larry Siegfried (C/F), Willy Naulls (F/C), Mel Counts (C/F), John Thompson (F), Tom Sanders (F), John Havlicek (F/G) Seated, left to right: K.C Jones (G), Tom Heinsohn (F/C), Bill Russell (C), Sam Jones (G)

But the best and most legendary Celtic team to ever run the courts was the 1985-86 one. Larry Bird’s pals finished 67-15 that year, posting what was then the third best single-season record of all-time. The most decisive move had been the acquisition of Bill Walton, considered by many as the best passing center in the league, but whose career was plagued by injuries, to team up with reigning League MVP Bird and an all-star cast of Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Scott Wedman. Larry Legend played one of the best seasons of his stellar career, ranking in the top 10 players of the league in five categories: 4th in scoring, 7th in rebounding, 9th in steals, 1st in free throw percentage and 4th in 3-point percentage, while also leading the team in assists. He was crowned MVP for the third time in a row, an honor only Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain had been granted. Boston won the title by defeating the Houston Rockets in 6 games, Larry Bird posting a triple-double in the Game 6 114-97 victory.
Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish are all in the Hall of Fame.

boston celtics 1986 team

Standing: Sam Vincent (G), Sly Williams (F/G), Greg Kite (C), Robert Parish (C), Bill Walton (C/F), Kevin McHale (F/C), David Thirdkill (F/G), Jerry Sichting (G) Seated: Danny Ainge (G/F), Scott Wedman (F/G), Larry Bird (F), Dennis Johnson (G)

Among players, other Hall of Famers include: Tiny Archibald (with the team from 1978 to ’83), Dave Cowens (1970-80), Bailey Howell (’66-’70) and Dennis Johnson (’83-’90). The front office and coaching staffs have also been recognized with Hall of Fame honors: legendary coach, GM and club President Red Auerbach was inducted as well as Walter A. Brown, founder of the franchise, head coach Bill Fitch and William G. Mokray, who was the club’s vice-president throughout the 1960s.

Personal stats

All of the statistical categories are dominated by just a handful of players.
To this day, power forward John Havlicek is the franchise’s best all-time scorer with 26 395 points and was the first player to score 1,000+ points in 16 consecutive seasons. He also holds the record for most games played in a Celtic uniform with 1,270. He is second in assists behind Bob Cousy but in front of Larry Bird.
Bird is the third best scorer in the history of the franchise, but has the best average of the three with 24.3 ppg. He is also first in steals and fourth in rebounds. Bill Russell is the all-time rebounding leader with 21,620 rebounds, while Robert Parish leads the block department.
Paul Pierce has recently become the second best scorer of the franchise but is also number one in attempted and made free throws, in attempted and made 3-point shots, in front of Antoine Walker and Ray Allen, and second in steals just behind Larry Bird.

Best scorers
1 – John Havliček
2 – Paul Pierce
3 – Larry Bird
Best PPG
1 – Larry Bird
2 – Paul Pierce
3 – John Havliček
Most assists
1 – Bob Cousy
6,945 (also best APG)
2 – John Havliček
3 – Larry Bird
Most rebounds
1 – Bill Russell
21,620 (also best RPG)
2 – Robert Parish
3 – Dave Cowens
Most blocks
1 – Robert Parish
2 – Kevin McHale
1,690 (also best BPG)
3 – Larry Bird
Most steals
1 – Larry Bird
2 – Paul Pierce
3 – Robert Parish
Most games played
1 – John Havliček
2 – Robert Parish
3 – Paul Pierce

*Paul Pierce is still active and likely to improve on these stats.
**Rajon Rondo has the best all-time SPG ratio, currently just under 2.

Beside Hall of Fame honors, Celtics players have also been awarded numerous individual awards. Four of them have been League MVP: Bob Cousy (1956-57), Bill Russell (’57-‘58, ‘60-’61, ’61-’62, ’62-’63, ’64-’65), Dave Cowens (’72-’73) and Larry Bird (three times in a row from ’83-’84 to ’85-’86). Three were named Rookie of the Year, Tom Heinsohn, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird. Kevin Garnett was voted best Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and both Kevin McHale and Bill Walton were honored as Sixth Men of the Year.
Three Boston Celtics coaches were named Coach of the Year: Red Auerbach in 1965, Tim Heinsohn in 1972 and Bill Fitch in 1980.

The Celtics currently have 22 retired numbers hanging from the rafters of the TD Garden:

00: Robert Parish, C
1: Walter A. Brown, Founder
2: Red Auerbach, Head coach and executive
3: Dennis Johnson, G
6: Bill Russell, C, Head Coach
10, Jo Jo White, G
14, Bob Cousy, G
15, Tom Heinsohn, F, Head Coach
16: Sam Sanders, F
17: John Havlicek, F
18; Dave Cowens, C, Head Coach
LOSCY: Jim Loscutoff, F. (Loscutoff was playing with number 18 but his wish was that other players could play with his number. #18 has since been retired for Dave Cowens).
19: Don Nelson, F
21: Bill Sharman, G
22: Ed Macaulay, C
23: Frank Ramsey, F
24: Sam Jones, G
25: K.C Jones, G, Head Coach
31: Cedric Maxwell, F
32: Kevin McHale, F
33: Larry Bird, F
35: Reggie Lewis, G

The 2011-2012 season

After a lock-out shortened the season to 66 games, the Boston Celtics have started on Christmas Day with a loss to the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden. After a rough start, they are currently 27-22, tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Atlantic Division (but lost the tie-breaker) and 7th in the Eastern Division, 12 games back of the leader Chicago Bulls. As of March 27th, they have 17 games left on the season, including 9 on the road. 9 of these meetings will be against teams that currently rank higher in the Eastern Conference standings, including three games against the Miami Heat and two against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Roster 2012.

The starting line-up at the beginning of the season included C Jermaine O’Neal, PF Kevin Garnett, SF Paul Pierce, SG Ray Allen and PG Rajon Rondo. O’Neal aggravated a wrist injured on February 20th that turned out to be season-ending and Brandon Bass has taken his place in the starting 5. The rest of the roster is as follows:

rajon rondo

9 - Rajon Rondo (G)

avery bradley

0 - Avery Bradley (G)

keyon dooling

51 - Keyon Dooling (G)

ray allen

20 - Ray Allen (G)

marquis daniels

4 - Marquis Daniels (G)

etwaun moore

55 - E'Twaun Moore (G)(R)

paul pierce

34 - Paul Pierce (F)

mickael pietrus

28 - Mickael Pietrus (F)

sasha pavlovic

11 - Sasha Pavlovic (F)

kevin garnett

5 - Kevin Garnett (F)

jajuan johnson

12 - JaJuan Johnson (F)(R)

brandon bass

30 - Brandon Bass (C)

greg stiemsma

54 - Greg Stiemsma (C)

jermaine oneal

7 - Jermaine O'Neal (IR)

On March, 22nd, center Chris Wilcox, who couldn’t play due to a heart condition, was cut and the Celtics signed Cleveland Cavaliers center Ryan Hollins who now plays with #50.
Paul Pierce is currently the team’s best scorer with a 18.9 ppg average (13th in the NBA), followed by Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Kevin Garnett is the leading rebounder (25th in the NBA) with a little over 8 boards per game. Rajon Rondo leads the team in assists (10.7) (2nd in the NBA) and steals (1.77) (6th in the NBA) but also in turnovers (3.69). Rondo has registered 4 triple-doubles this year and he’s the only NBA player to have more than one on the season.

The front office

The club currently belongs to multiple partners. The Boston Basketball Partners L.LC. a group that consists of Wycliffe Grousbeck, Stephen Pagliuca, H. Irvin Grousbeck and the Abbey Group have been the main partners since 2002. The Apollon Family have joined them as partial owners in 2006.
Rich Gotham has succeeded Red Auerbach as club president after Auerbach passed away in 2006. The director of Basketball Operations is former player Danny Ainge, who since 2007, also operates as General Manager.

The coaching staff

Doc Rivers is the current head coach assisted by Armond Hill, Kevin Eastman and Mike Longabardi. Bryan Doo is the conditioning coach and Ed Lacerte, the chief athletic trainer.

The legacy

Having won 17 championships, the Boston Celtics are one of the better-known and most supported sport franchises in the world. They’re also among the most hated ones, the players having often been criticized in the 1960s and again the 1980s for being arrogant trash-talkers. Today, they are widely viewed as a hard-working, albeit aging team.
The Celtics were the first franchise to draft an African-American, Chuck Cooper, and also the first to line up an all-black starting five consisting of Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Tom Sanders and Willie Naulls in the mid-60s.

The attendance, despite being very low in the early beginnings (around 2,000 per game in the first year of Red Auerbach’s tenure as head coach) broke the 10,000 average mark twice, during the 1956-57 and 1966-67 seasons. From the 1972-73 season on, the average attendance regularly hovered above 10,000 until reaching full capacity (15,000) in Larry Bird’s rookie season.
Since the Celtics have been playing in the TD Garden (1995), the average attendance has fluctuated between 17,000 and 18,000. For the first time in decades, all the home games of the 2007-08 season were sold out.

The Boston Celtics are a legendary organization and their recent success has put them firmly back on the NBA map, where fans hope they will remain for a long time.

Celtics Trivia

Red Auerbach was voted one of the 10 best coaches in NBA history. The Coach of the Year Trophy is named after him.

The Celtics have never be beaten by Chicago Bulls in a playoff game.

The Boston Garden parquet floor was put in in 1946 by DiNatale Flooring, a company owned by Anthony DiNatale in the neighboring town of Brookline. It was built with Red Oak wood from Tennessee due to a lumber shortage after WWII.

US President Calvin Coolidge was the first person to officially turn on the lights of the Boston Garden in 1928.

Red Auerbach used a rule that no longer exist to draft Larry Bird as a junior in the 1978 draft. Even though Bird elected to stay with the University of Indiana for his senior year, the Celtics still held exclusive rights to him until the 1979 draft. Bird eventually signed at the end of the NCAA tournament, just before the deadline. The NBA later changed the rule to prevent teams from drafting players “in advance”. This is called the Bird Collegiate Rule.

Another rule bears Larry’s name, the Larry Bird exception rule, which allows a team to exceed its salary cap to resign a free agent currently on its roster, even if Larry Legend was never directly in such a situation.

The Celtics longest winning streak is 19 games back in Nov-Dec 2008 (5th T-best all-time). The longest winning streak at home is 31 games from Dec ’85 to April ’86 (2nd best all-time) and includes a 4-game streak of winning by 20+ points.

Bill Russell had 51 Rebounds against Syracuse on Feb, 5, 1960 which is the 2nd best performance of all-time on an entire game, but holds the record on a half, with 32 boards against the Philadelphia Warriors on Nov, 16 1967.

Bob Cousy holds the record for most assists in a game with 19 in a game against the Minneapolis Lakers on Feb, 27 1959.

The Celtics hold the record (tied with the Phoenix Suns) for most points scored in regulation. They put in 173 points against the Lakers on Feb 27, 1959.

The 85-86 Boston Celtics hold the record for best home court performance of all-time. They lost just one game at home that season.

Bill Russell and Larry Bird are two of the three NBA players who were named League MVP three years in a row.

When he became head coach, Auerbach asked his players to wear black sneakers (Chuck Taylor All-Star to be exact) when the rest of the NBA was wearing white, simply because black sneakers were getting dirty less easily. It has been a trademark of the team ever since.
They shifted to dark green in the 1980s but went back to black in the 90s.
In 2003, when the whole league had come to wearing black sneakers, Paul Pierce had the idea of wearing white sneakers with their home uniforms.

Red Auerbach was well-known for smoking a cigar when he thought a victory was assured. It has turned into a Celtic tradition to celebrate important victories.

The Celtics have met the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, making this one of the best rivalries in sports. Boston has won 8 of the confrontations while the Lakers have claimed 3 including the most recent one in 2010.