- NBA Championships: 17
- Last NBA Championship: 2008
- Claim to Fame: Only the Yankees and the Canadiens have won more championships than the Celtics.
- Claim to Shame: It took years for the Celtics to fully recover from the loss of Len Bias, who suffered a cocaine overdose less than 48 hours after being chosen with the 2nd overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.
Look up the word “dynasty” in the dictionary and you’re apt to see a picture of the Boston Celtics, who won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons from 1957 to 1969. Coached by the legendary Red Auerbach and led by the indomitable Bill Russell, those early Celtics squads out-witted, out-hustled, and out-played their opponents night after night. They never won fewer than 44 games during their celebrated run and became the first team in the history of US professional sports to win eight straight titles.
Most franchises are lucky to have a single dynasty, but Boston actually had three. The Celtics won two more championships and reached five consecutive Eastern Conference Finals from 1972-76 thanks to big-time contributions from Dave Cowens and John Havlicek.
Their string of good fortune continued in the 80’s as Boston reached the NBA Finals five more times and won three titles. Their 1986 squad led by Hall of Famers Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, and Bill Walton is still widely considered one of the best teams ever assembled.
The Celtics won their 17th championship in 2008 and had expectations of competing for another one as the preseason favorite in East last season before untimely injuries and a toxic locker room left them with an underwhelming second round playoff exit. With Kyrie Irving’s short-lived tenure now over as he’s a member of the Nets, Boston brought in the league beloved Kemba Walker to take his place in free agency, while also adding Turkish big man Enes Kanter along with their deep draft haul that netted them Romeo Langford and Grant Williams in the first round.
Hoping for another leap in development from young wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and a return to pre-injury form for Gordon Hayward, perhaps 2019-20 will be the year they expected inside TD Garden last season.