Top 50 Boston Celtics

There are successful NBA Teams, and there are the Boston Celtics.

Seriously, this is no hyperbole.  The Celtics have been that much more successful than any other franchise in the National Basketball Association with 17 titles, one more than the Los Angeles Lakers, their longtime rival.

Formed in 1946, The Boston Celtics were part of the Basketball Association of America and would become part of the NBA in 1949 when the league absorbed them.  The first years in the NBA were not pretty for the Celtics, but they would become a league powerhouse built by Red Auerbach and based around the superstar Center, Bill Russell.  Russell and the perfect cast around him (that would include at times Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Willie Naulls, K.C. Jones and Sam Jones) would put forth the greatest dynasty in North American team sports. 

From 1957 to 1969 Boston won 11 Titles. Think about that for a minute.  11 NBA Championships in 13 NBA Seasons.  This is a dynasty that may never happen again.

This wasn’t it for the Celtics.

Boston would win the championship twice in the 1970s (1974 and 1976) with the acquisition of Dave Cowens and Heinsohn as their big two, but the decade after would be more dynamic.  The Celtics drafted Larry Bird, and along with Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, the Celtics had a trio that would win the title in 1981, 1984 & 1986.

It would take another "big three" in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen to win it again in 2008, the Celtics' 17th overall.


This list is up to the end of the 2018-19 regular season.

Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

Despite the high amount of Hall of Famers that the Boston Celtics had and how many championships that they won; you would think that there would be a glut of top considerations for the spot of the best of Celtic of all-time.
While we said that anointing Bill Russell was a lock as our top Boston Celtic of all-time, Larry Bird gave us pause. Before Bird's arrival to Boston, the franchise was in disarray after being without question the most dominant franchise in the league.  The city craved basketball greatness, and Bird gave them just that.  Bird was the 6th overall pick in 1978 but joined a year later after staying at Indiana State for his senior…
Before we begin, just being nicknamed “Hondo” is enough for us to put John Havlicek in our top five! Havlicek was the 7th Overall Pick from the 1962 Draft, and he would go on to be the most tenured player in Celtics history with 16 seasons and 1,270 games under his belt.  He rarely missed games, led by example and was a lethal weapon on both ends of the court.  "Hondo" would develop into the…
There aren’t too many times where a player becomes a Hall of Famer in a career with a team who never wanted him in the first place. Serious.  The Celtics had the number 1 pick in the 1950 Draft, and they passed on Cousy, who was a local kid and a star at Holy Cross.  The Tri-Cities Blackhawks chose the Point Guard at number 3, but Cousy refused to report, and the NBA brokered him…
Paul Pierce had a good rookie season (1998-99) where he averaged a little over 16 Points per Game, but it is unlikely that even the biggest diehard Celtic fan knew how good he would be.  Pierce would explode two years later with a 25 PPG year, which was followed by five straight All-Star seasons that included a pair of Third Team All-NBA Selections.  Nicknamed "The Truth", Pierce was an elite shooter and a more than…
Think about this for a minute.  Robert Parish logged 1,102 regular season games for the Boston Celtics, which is well more than most players do in their entire lifetime.  That was only 1,102 of 1,611 that the Chief would play in the NBA!
An occasional visitor at Cheers, Kevin McHale, would play his entire NBA career with the Boston Celtics where he was as selfless as he was popular.  McHale was drafted in third overall in 1980, and he would become part of Boston's "Big 3" of the 1980s with Larry Bird and Robert Parish.  McHale was excellent in the paint both on offense and defense, showing off excellent shooting skills and blocking ability.  The quintessential Power Forward,…
Sam Jones played at North Carolina Central, no not the University of North Carolina, so he was not highly recruited on the NBA level, but Red Auerbach took a chance on him after being told by his scouts that this was, in fact, the best player in the state.  The gamble proved fruitful as the versatile Jones would prove to be one of the best clutch shooters of his era, so much so, that he…
Bill Sharman's path to the Boston Celtics arrived when he was traded from the Fort Wayne Pistons' who acquired him in the dispersal draft of the Washington Cougars.  It worked out well for Boston as Sharman entered his second year as a pro and in his third season, he would begin an eight-year streak as an All-Star, which included three First Team and four Second Team All-NBA Selections.  Sharman, who would help the Celtics win…
Dave Cowens stood at 6' 9", which while it is undoubtedly a tall frame, he played at Center, making him a little undersized for that position in the 1970s.  Cowens made up for that with sheer determination, savvy and every inch of his body to be one of the most complete players in the game and this was showcased immediately, as he was the Rookie of the Year in 1970-71.  Cowens would become a two-time…
While this ranking might seem high considering that Ed Macauley did not win the NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics, this was a man who would become a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee primarily from what he did in Boston before they would become the franchise that we all know and (maybe) love.)
Tom Heinsohn would play his entire playing career with the Boston Celtics (1956 to 1965), but that was just the beginning of what he would do with the team.  As a player, he would help Boston win eight titles while being named a Second Team All-NBA Selection at Power Forward for four straight years (1961-64).  He was not the primary star for the team, but he didn't have to be, as he provided Bill Russell,…
Kevin Garnett was one of the best players in the NBA, and he carried the Minnesota Timberwolves for years. But there was only so far he could take them without having any real star power around him.  Garnett grew frustrated, and he was traded to the Boston Celtics who gave up five players and two number one picks for the former MVP.  The Celtics had also acquired Ray Allen, and along with incumbent, Paul Pierce,…
Don Nelson without question achieved more considerable notoriety as a coach than as a player, but it should never be discounted what he accomplished when he donned the shorts.
Considered one of the most colorful characters in Celtics history, Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell came into his own in his second season in Boston after being drafted 12th overall from UNC Charlotte in 1977.  That year he would lead the NBA in Field Goal Percentage, an achievement he repeated the season after.  Maxwell would now be joined by Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish and while those three would become the core trio of the…
From Kentucky, and a former star at the University of Kentucky, the appropriately nicknamed "Kentucky Colonel," Frank Ramsey, was a champion in the NCAA and helped lay the groundwork for the Celtics dynasty that would begin in the last half of the 1950s.   Ramsey was not the star of the team for Boston like he was as a Wildcat, but he was an efficient player with excellent court vision who was selfless, an essential attribute…
Initially, it seemed that Jo Jo White arrived a year too late as after he was drafted, both Bill Russell and Sam Jones retired.   That was not the case as they would rebuild with White running the Point.  He wasn't alone as he had other stars with him such as Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, and Paul Silas.  White was an incredible ball-handler who would become the team's ironman competing in 488 straight games.  In his…
Ray Allen had already proven himself as a star with the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle SuperSonics, but it was with the Boston Celtics where he would win his first NBA Championship.  The superstar shooter was traded from the Sonics before the 2007-08 season where he joined Paul Pierce and an incoming Kevin Garnett to form a "Big Three" and Allen, who no longer had to carry the workload (and also was getting a little older)…
K.C. Jones played with the great Bill Russell at the University of San Francisco where he would win two NCAA Championships.  The duo would later join the Celtics where Jones was not the same contributor that he was in college, but his role was to be a role player and distributor, which he did perfectly.  Jones played all nine of seasons in the NBA with Boston wherein eight of them he would be an NBA…
Tom “Satch” Sanders is one of only three players to appear in eight NBA Finals and win them all.  To no surprise, the other two are also Celtics.