The Boston Celtics are the Green Bay Packers and New York Yankees of basketball, a storied team whose roster has boasted some of the greatest coaches and players in the game, including the incomparable Larry Bird. Founded in 1946, its first great leader was Red Auerbach, who coached players like Bob Cousy and Tommy Heinsohn in the late 1950s.
But it was the combination of Auerbach and Bill Russell, who joined the team at the tail end of 1956, that made Boston a basketball powerhouse. Russell played center on 11 championship Celtics teams, several of them as a player-coach. The Celtics also won a pair of championships in the mid-1970s thanks to players such as Dave Cowens and John “Hondo” Havlicek, who was the series MVP in 1974.
The parquet floor at the Boston Garden was dominated in the 1980s by small forward Larry Bird and teammates Robert Parrish at center and Kevin McHale in the power forward position. The team got superstar support off the bench in 1986, when Bill Walton helped out at center, but the major attraction of the late 1980s and early 1990s was the rivalry between Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers.