One of the most dynamic and beloved Boston Celtics teams was the 1986 Boston Celtics led by NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird.
The game of basketball especially professional level basketball such as what is found in the National Basketball Association requires a skill level beyond basic comprehension.
This is what the 1986 Boston Celtics team embodied and even today is talked about as one of the greatest teams ever to assemble in any professional level sports.
Built for slugging out 15 rounds like a natural heavyweight prize-fighting champion, this 86 Celtic team could spot you a 20-point lead than 47 minutes later have beaten you by 20. This team was that good.
Indiana State University
After arriving in Boston as a collegiate basketball player and phenom, Larry Bird refused to give into any of the negative hyperbole that is so constantly apparent in transitioning college to professional basketball players.
The prediction had Bird becoming a journeyman, traveling from team to team as they needed a good and experienced man off the bench to fill a role only.
Larry Bird Retired as One of the Greatest Players ever to Play the Game of Basketball
The naysayers did not even qualify Bird as a great sixth man but a true journeyman. 13 years later Larry Bird retired as one of the greatest players ever to play the game of basketball.
Although he will not take credit for carrying the 86 Boston Celtics to the 1986 NBA Championship Finals, if not for Larry Bird and his heroics, this would still have been a great Celtics team just not the greatest. Larry Bird made a difference on this team with both his athletic skill and his feel for the game of basketball.
NBA Championship Crown
Red Auerbach was the owner of the Celtics at the time of the 85-86 season opener for the Boston Celtics. The coach of the team was KC Jones who led the team to an impressive (67 and 15) record and also the NBA Championship Crown.
Coaching this Celtics team was probably like riding Secretariat yet Coach Jones is still regarded as one of the finest and most- disciplined coaches of the NBA.
The difficulties that he must have met head-on and conquered would have sent normal men and average coaches to the middle of the pack at best. Coach Jones led the 1986 Boston Celtics to yet another world championship and another banner hanging in the Boston Garden.
Those days are over and although there is sadness in the heart the way the Boston Garden has been transformed into the TD Garden, yet some things never change.
Big Three Originals
The 1986 Celtic roster highlighted with Larry Bird also had plenty of skill and All-Star basketball players at every position and it was a very-deep bench. Larry Bird and Kevin McHale lined the front lines while Robert Parish roamed the middle and Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge along with Scott Weidman and later Sam Vincent patrolled the guard positions with lightning quickness.
This team was stacked from top to bottom side to side and at every skill level in the game of basketball. This team covered all the bases. If you ever got a chance to see the 1986 Boston Celtics do battle on TV playing a game against the Detroit Pistons or the Knicks or especially the Lakers and Magic Johnson then consider yourself having witnessed some the best of what the National Basketball Association has ever offered.
86 Boston Celtics Team Personifies Everything That’s Great with the NBA
To sum up what the 1986 Celtics did for the organization that was already steeped in greatness and tradition was to usher in a new era of pride and skill level with Bird, Parish and McHale, the original Big Three.
Many teams have come and gone in the National Basketball Association yet there are some that leave an indelible impression on even the most cynical of NBA prognosticators. This 86 Boston Celtics team personifies everything that’s great with the NBA and the game of basketball.