Team Spotlight: Boston Celtics

Posted on February 04 2020

Formed in June 1946, the Boston Celtics were put together by Walter A. Brown, Boston Garden-Arena Corporation President. In the fall of 1949, they became part of the National Basketball Association, when it was absorbed by the BAA into the National Basketball League. The very next year, taking on the first black player ever drafted into the NBA franchise, the Celtics signed Chuck Cooper.

But, there is much more the Boston Celtics than that. Let's take a look.

Team Spotlight: Boston Celtics

The Celtics

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, American professional basketball team the Boston Celtics compete in the NBA (National Basketball Association) as an Eastern Conference Atlantic Division member. Currently, the Celtics play their home games at TD Garden, and are owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Boston Bruins (an NHL team) share TD Garden with the Celtics. Since the league's 1946 founding, and accounting for 24.3% of all NBA championships, the franchise has acquired the most championships of any NBA franchise at 17. Of the four traditional North American professional sports leagues, the Celtics are the most successful franchise to date.

A Little Bit of History About the Celtics

Here are some dates, championships, and other little factoids about the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics nickname – according to team owner Walter Brown, “Boston is full of Irishmen!” – ergo the name, the Celtics. Other nicknames considered were Unicorns, Olympians, and Whirlwinds.

Fittingly, Lucky the Leprechaun is their mascot.


  • 1946 to 1949 – Basketball Association of America
  • 1949 to present – National Basketball Association

17 NBA championships:

  • 1957
  • 1959
  • 1960
  • 1961
  • 1962
  • 1963
  • 1964
  • 1966
  • 1965
  • 1968
  • 1969
  • 1974
  • 1976
  • 1981
  • 1984
  • 1986
  • 2008


  • The Celtics have gone through 16 owner changes, including their original owner the Boston Garden Arena Corporation from 1946 to 1950, and their current owner, Boston Basketball Partners LLC.


  • Boston Garden from 1946 to 1995
  • Shawmut Center from 1993 to 1995 (while construction was ongoing)
  • FleetCenter from 1995 to 2005
  • TD Banknorth Garden from 2005 to 2009
  • TD Garden from 2010 to present

Greatest of All Time

In total, 24 numbers have been retired by the Celtics. According to some sources, the 10 best Boston Celtics ever to play the game are as follows:

  • Bill Russell – five MVP awards, 11 NBA titles, incredible rebounder and defender. (His number 6 was retired.)
  • Larry Bird – three MVP awards, three NBA Championships, and in the 1980s, the face of the franchise! (Number 33 retired.)
  • John Havlicek – 13 All-Star Games, eight NBA Championships. (Number 17 retired.)
  • Dave Cowens – MVP, two NBA Championships, known for his hustle and grit. (Number 18 retired.)
  • Kevin McHale – dominant defensive player and interior scorer with three NBA titles. (Number 32 retired.)
  • Bob Cousy – with six NBA Championships, Cousy played from 1953 to 1960. (Number 14 retired.)
  • Paul Pierce – NBA Finals MVP in 2008, this player spent 15 seasons with the Celtics. (Number 34 retired.)
  • Sam Jones – played in five All-Star Games and, in Boston's early years, was Bill Russell's wing man. (Number 24 retired.)
  • Robert Parrish – three titles with the Celtics over 14 seasons. (Number 00 retired.)
  • Jo Jo White – 2015 Hall of Fame inductee and seven-time All-Star. (Number 10 retired.)

Hat Heaven carries numerous NBA caps, including a handful for Boston Celtics fans. Check out our selection today before shopping anywhere else!


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