The history of the Boston Celtics reads like a modern romance novel with the never-ending currently being perpetually written with hopes of yet another banner hanging from the fabled Boston Garden.
That would have to be a total work of fiction since the Boston Garden no longer is home to the Boston Celtics as the new stadium, TD Garden, took over a few years back and is doing just fine.
No history of the Boston Celtics could be complete without starting from the very beginning way back when in the year of 1946.
Basketball Association of America
June 6, 1946 the Boston Celtics were born. There was no National Basketball Association back then it was the Basketball Association of America otherwise known as the BAA that had a few inaugural franchises, some like Boston, to this day are still part of the NBA.
The first owner of the Boston Celtics was Walter Brown and he in turn hired the first Boston Celtics team’s coach, John ‘Honey’ Russell a few months after the Celtics were born in June 6, 1946.
BAA Merged with National Basketball League
The first game of the Celtics played was a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Stags on November 5, 1946 with a score of 57 to 55 and was the very first broken backboard in the professional history of the game courtesy of the Celtics own Chuck Connors. After a few tumultuous losing seasons in 1949 the BAA merged with a new rival league, the National Basketball League.
The Boston Celtics were one of the first of 17 teams in the newly created National Basketball Association from the merging of the NBA and BAA and have consistently been either world champions or near the top of the NBA’s Eastern Division for decades.
Red Auerbach Celtic Master-Coach
The first six seasons of the newly-created National Basketball Association saw the mighty Boston Celtics under the mentorship of Red Auerbach consistently in the playoffs but falling short of the title each and every year.
This bothered owner Walter Brown so some very important moves were made and some most legendary players of the game were then enlisted to play on the Boston Celtics and bring home an NBA Championship to the City of Boston. Bob Cousy was acquired as well as Tommy Heinsohn and legendary Bill Russell.
In 1957 the Boston Celtics won their first title by beating the St. Louis Hawks in an exciting seven-game series. The very next year 1958 would find the St. Louis Hawks and the Boston Celtics battling once again for the championship except the outcome this time went to the Hawks in seven games.
What’s important about the 1958 season was that it would be the last season the Celtics would not be crowned champions, eight years straight!
1959 to 1967 Boston Celtics NBA World ChampionsEight straight years from 1959 to 1967 the Boston Celtics were crowned NBA World Champions with many of those games being played against their newly created rivals, the Minneapolis Lakers.
This rivalry would only intensify when the Minneapolis Lakers moved down south of the wintery-conditions of Minnesota to the warm and more tropical climate of Los Angeles and became the Los Angeles Lakers.
The legendary Bill Russell not only created world championships with the Boston Celtics as a dominating force in the middle, he also coached two teams to NBA titles in 1968 and 69 before retiring after the 1969 NBA world championship crowning.
That signaled an end to one of the NBA’s most dominant dynasty’s and would see a five-year hiatus from NBA world championship finals and play until the 1974 NBA Finals where the NBA Boston Celtics beat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Milwaukee Bucks for their 12 world title.
From 1974 to 1978 the Boston Celtics were able to win two more world championships under the efficient leadership of Tommy Heinsohn and the all-star ball control playing of John Havlicek.
Bird Man Cometh
The 1978 season saw the retirement of John Havlicek and the demise of the second dynasty of the Boston Celtics was then complete. It would not be until the 1980’s season when the Boston Celtics would start to rebound from the Havlicek departure and welcome the addition of a new owner John Brown and a new rookie Larry Bird to the Celtics organization and history books.