A Franchise's History Begins

When the Boston Celtics joined the NBA in 1949, they were looking everywhere for a sense of direction. In the early days of the league, no one had paved the path to long term success for teams, but the Celts were about to. The first big star that the Celtics claimed was Bob Cousy, who they took from the Chicago Stags after the team went bankrupt. In the 1956 NBA draft, Coach and Manager looked to draft a young star out of San Francisco University with the second pick. Little did he know that this young star would be the key to cementing his legacy as an all time great head coach. This young star was Bill Russell, and for the next two decades he would pulverize the NBA in an unprecedented and unmatched way.

The Bill Russell Era began with the 1957 NBA Season. Paired with newly acquired star Tommy Heinsohn, Russell would lead the Celtics to an NBA Championship after defeating the St. Louis Hawks in a best of seven Finals series that went the full seven games. The Hawks would get revenge on the Celtics the following year, but the C's would return to the top after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers in the Finals a year later, after adding another impact player, K.C. Jones. Their win in this series started a championship streak that would last for eight years, longer than any other streak in any sport in American history. After the streak was broken with a loss in a Conference Finals series to the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967, Bill Russell, now working as a player and head coach for the Boston Celtics, and the first African American head coach in any sport in American History, revitalized the team. As a result, the Celtics were able to win two more NBA Championships in the following two seasons. Bill Russell retired from playing basketball after the 1969 season, having led the Celtics to 11 championships over his 13 year career.

The 1970s

To follow up the Bill Russell era, the Celtics, still under management from Red Auerbach, paired Dave Cowens and Tommy Heinsohn, two of the unsung stars from the dominant teams of old, together to maintain their place among the top ranks of the league. Under this lineup, the team was capable of winning two more NBA Championships in 1974 and 1976. But after that, the team looked that it was losing its grip atop the NBA pedestal. The Celtics even missed the playoffs in 1978 and 1979. They were in luck though, as another Celtic superstar was about to begin his reign as a legend in Boston.

YEAR
WINS
LOSSES
RESULT
1956-57
44
28
Win NBA Championship
1957-58
49
23
Loss in NBA Finals
1958-59
52
20
Win NBA Championship
1959-60
59
16
Win NBA Championship
1960-61
57
22
Win NBA Championship
1961-62
60
20
Win NBA Championship
1962-63
58
22
Win NBA Championship
1963-64
59
21
Win NBA Championship
1964-65
62
18
Win NBA Championship
1965-66
54
26
Win NBA Championship
1966-67
60
21
Lose in 2nd Round of Playoffs
1967-68
54
28
Win NBA Championship
1968-69
48
34
Win NBA Championship