Boston Celtics: 25 Best Players To Play For The Celtics – Hoops Habit
The first Boston Celtics championship team is shown from the 1956-57 season, including, standing from left, president Walter Brown, Dick Hemric, Jack Nichols, Bill Russell, Arnie Risen, Tom Heinsohn, trainer Harvey Cohn, vice president Lou Pieri. Sitting from left, Lou Tsioropoulos, Andy Phillip, Frank Ramsey, coach Red Auerbach, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Jim Loscutoff. (Photographer unknown via Wikimedia Commons/This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.)
No franchise in NBA history has more championships than the 17 won by the Boston Celtics and just about everything positive in the franchise history began April 27, 1950.
That was the day Red Auerbach was hired as the team’s head coach and general manager.
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Auerbach had resigned as head coach of the Tri-Cities Blackhawks just weeks before, after owner Ben Kerner had traded John Mahnken without Auerbach’s knowledge or consent.
But Auerbach came to Boston and got the green light from owner Walter Brown to build it his way.
The Celtics hadn’t had a winning season in their first four years, were struggling financially and had made the postseason just once.
Auerbach led the Celtics to a 39-30 record in his first season, to the team’s first playoff series victory in 1952-53 and to three straight Eastern Division Finals from 1953-55, where they fell to the New York Knicks once and the Syracuse Nationals twice.
A first-round loss in the 1956 playoffs sent Auerbach to the trading block, where he landed the most important component in the franchise’s early history, trading All-Star Ed Macauley and third-round pick Cliff Hagan to the St. Louis Hawks for the rights to the Hawks’ second overall pick in the draft, University of San Francisco center Bill Russell.
Russell missed the early part of the season in order to captain the U.S. entry in the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, but when he came back in December, it all fell into place, with the Celtics winning the first of their NBA titles in the spring of 1957.
The Hawks toppled the Celtics in the 1958 NBA Finals.
That would be the last time anyone would do that for nearly a decade. Boston put together an unprecedented run of eight consecutive championships—by far the …Read More