Boston Celtics
How many NBA Championship Ring has the Boston Celtics won?

Boston Celtics has won 17 NBA Championship Ring. Ranking to be the NBA franchise to have the most NBA Championship Ring. Same number to the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

Boston Celtics Rivalry

The Boston Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, which was heavily highlighted throughout the 1960s and 1980s.

During the two teams’ many match-ups in the 1980s, the Celtics’ star, Larry Bird, and the Lakers’ star, Magic Johnson, had an ongoing feud.

Furthermore, the franchise has played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (including recent appearances in 2008 and 2010), of which the Celtics have won nine.

Four Celtics players (Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards.

Both the nickname “Celtics” and their mascot “Lucky the Leprechaun” are a nod to Boston’s historically large Irish population, and also to the Original Celtics, a marquee team prior to the NBA.

Rising Dominance

The Celtics’ rise to dominance began in the late 1950s, after coach Red Auerbach acquired center Bill Russell, who would become the cornerstone of the Celtics dynasty, in a draft-day trade in 1956.

Led by Russell and point guard Bob Cousy, the Celtics won their first NBA championship in 1957. Russell, along with a talented supporting cast of future Hall of Famers including John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Satch Sanders, and Bill Sharman, would usher the Celtics into the greatest period in franchise history.

Furthermore, winning eight consecutive NBA championships from 1959 to 1966.

After Russell retired in 1969, the team entered a period of rebuilding. In the mid-1970s, the Celtics became contenders once again, winning two championships in 1974 and 1976 under the leadership of center Dave Cowens and point guard JoJo White.

In the 1980s, the Celtics returned to dominance, as well as renewed competition with the “Showtime” Lakers, who were led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Anchored by the “Big Three” of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, the Celtics won championships in 1981, 1984, and 1986. The team defeated the Lakers in the 1984 Finals, but lost to Los Angeles in 1985 and 1987.

The Struggle

After the departure of Parish as a free agent and the retirement of both Bird and McHale, the team struggled through the 1990s and much of the early 2000s.

It was not until the Celtics assembled a new “Big Three” of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen that they found success once again. Under the leadership of head coach Doc Rivers, the team beat the Lakers to win a championship in 2008, but lost to Los Angeles in a seven-game series in 2010, the latest Finals matchup between the two ancient rivals.

By the start of the 2013–14 season, none of the new “Big Three” were still with the team. Garnett and Pierce were traded away to the Brooklyn Nets, while Allen left as a free agent.

However, a period of rebuilding, the Celtics became a force again under head coach Brad Stevens.

During the 2016–17 season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals. Led by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Above all, the team returned to the Conference Finals in 2018 and 2020, and broke through to the NBA Finals in 2022 in head coach Ime Udoka’s first season at the helm but losing to the Golden State Warriors led by Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr.

1957 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1957 boston celtics nba championship ring
1957 boston celtics nba championship ring

This was the first trip to the Finals for each team, the first Finals in which both teams competing were making their first appearances since 1951.

Red Auerbach became the first head coach to have taken two separate teams to the NBA Finals, having done so with Washington in 1949.

Furthermore, the Celtics won the series over the Hawks, 4–3. It remains the only Game 7 in NBA history to be decided in double-overtime.

This was the 1st NBA Championship Ring won by the Boston Celtics.

1959 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1959 boston celtics nba championship ring
1959 boston celtics nba championship ring

The Boston Celtics swept the Lakers 4–0. That was the start of the skein of the Celtics’ eight consecutive championships, from 1959–1966. To date, this is the most recent time that an NBA team from Minnesota appeared in an NBA Finals, as well as the first of two times in NBA history that a team with a losing record made the NBA Finals.

Claiming the franchise 2nd NBA Championship Ring.

1960 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1960 boston celtics nba championship ring
1960 boston celtics nba championship ring

Boston Celtics beat the Hawks 4–3. The Finals featured Hall of Famers Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Coach Red Auerbach, Bob Pettit, Cliff Hagan, Slater Martin, Clyde Lovellette, and Coach Alex Hannum.

Claiming the franchise 3rd NBA Championship Ring.

1961 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1961 boston celtics nba championship ring
1961 boston celtics nba championship ring

Again, the Boston Celtics won the series against the St. Louis Hawk 4-1 and bring home their 4th NBA Championship Ring.

1962 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1962 boston celtics nba championship ring
1962 boston celtics nba championship ring

This was the Boston Celtics’ sixth straight trip to the Finals, and they won the best-of-seven series in Game 7, 110–107 in overtime. It was the second time in NBA history and the most recent Finals in which the series was decided by overtime in Game 7.

The only other Finals series decided in overtime in the seventh game was the 1957 Finals.

Claiming their 5th NBA Championship Ring.

1963 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1963 boston celtics nba championship ring
1963 boston celtics nba championship ring

The Boston Celtics won the series by 4-2 against the rivalry Los Angeles Lakers and brought home their 6th NBA Championship Ring.

1964 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1964 boston celtics nba championship ring
1964 boston celtics nba championship ring

This was the Celtics’ eighth straight trip to the championship series, as they won the series over the Warriors, 4–1.

Furthermore, this was the first time Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain faced off in the NBA Finals; they would do so once again in 1969.

In addition, this was also the first meeting between the Celtics and Warriors in the NBA Finals; they would meet each other again in 2022 and the Warriors won the series in 6 games.

Claiming their 7th NBA Championship Ring.

1965 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1965 boston celtics nba championship ring
1965 boston celtics nba championship ring

The Celtics made their ninth-straight trip to the championship finals after beating the Philadelphia 76ers in a highly contested Eastern Division Finals that ended on John Havlicek’s steal of the ball.

Furthermore, Lakers made it to their third Finals in four seasons after beating Baltimore in six games, though it came at a cost as Elgin Baylor suffered a knee injury that would sideline him for the rest of the playoffs. The Celtics won the series over the Lakers, 4–1.

Claiming their 8th NBA Championship Ring.

1966 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1966 boston celtics nba championship ring
1966 boston celtics nba championship ring

Thus Boston won its eighth consecutive league title, which no other team has achieved in North American professional sports competition.

Before Game 2, after the Los Angeles Lakers’ comeback overtime win in Game 1, Red Auerbach, who had challenged the entire league to topple the Celtics from their reign by announcing he would retire after 1965–1966 before the season had started (thus giving his detractors “one last shot” at him).

Announced Bill Russell as the Celtics’ coach for 1966–1967 and beyond. He would be the first African-American to coach in the NBA. Laker coach Fred Schaus privately fumed that Auerbach’s hiring had taken away all of the accolades his Lakers should have received following their tremendous Game 1 win.

However, the Celtics won the next three games and looked ready to close out L.A. in Game 5. However, the Lakers won the next two games, setting the stage for another classic Game 7 in the Boston Garden.

Furthermore, the Celtics raced out to a huge lead, and held off a late Los Angeles rally to capture the NBA title and send Red Auerbach out a champion.

This was the last NBA championship series until 2016 in which the Cleveland Cavaliers trailing 3 games to 1 rallied to force a Game 7.

1968 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1968 boston celtics nba championship ring
1968 boston celtics nba championship ring

The Boston Celtics won their tenth NBA Championship Ring in twelve seasons, by defeating the Lakers in six games. Significantly, Game 6 of the 1968 NBA

Finals marked the first time that any NBA competition had taken place during the month of May. This was the last NBA Finals without a Finals MVP named as the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award was introduced the following year.

1969 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1969 boston celtics nba championship ring
1969 boston celtics nba championship ring

Los Angeles Lakers being heavily favored due to the presence of three formidable stars: Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jerry West. In addition, Boston Celtics was an aging team/

Furthermore, they made the playoffs as the fourth place team in the Eastern Division, and were not favored to make it to the finals.

However, the Celtics’ finals victory – the last championship of the Bill Russell dynasty – is considered one of the great upsets in NBA history.

This series is also notable in that West, with an average of nearly 38 points a game, won the Finals Most Valuable Player award, despite being on the losing team.

Also, this was the first year a Finals MVP award was given, and it remains the only time in NBA Finals history that the MVP was awarded to a player on the losing team.

It also marked the first time in NBA Finals history that a Game 7 was won by the road team.

1974 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1974 boston celtics nba championship ring
1974 boston celtics nba championship ring

The Boston Celtics won their 12th NBA Championship Ring by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks with 4-3 in the NBA Final.

Furthermore, John Havlicek was named the finals MVP.

1976 Boston Celtics NBA Championship RingDwade

1976 boston celtics nba championship ring
1976 boston celtics nba championship ring

Boston Celtics led by Jo Jo White Claimed their 13th NBA Championship Ring by defeating the Pheonix Suns led by John Macloed.

1981 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1981 boston celtics nba championship ring
1981 boston celtics nba championship ring

The Boston Celtics won their 14th NBA Championship Ring by winning 4-2 over the Houston Rockets.

1984 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1984 boston celtics nba championship ring
1984 boston celtics nba championship ring

This series was the long-awaited rematch of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics after their rivalry was revived in 1979 with the Magic Johnson–Larry Bird pair entering the league.

After the Lakers won Game 1, a crucial steal in Game 2 led to a tie game and the Celtics were able to win in overtime to tie the series.

However, the Los Angeles Lakers won Game 3 easily and almost won Game 4, but were again thwarted. Now tied 2-2, the Lakers and Celtics each held serve at their home court to send the series to Boston for Game 7.

Lastly, winning the series by 4-3 claiming the franchise 15th NBA Championship Ring.

1986 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

1986 boston celtics nba championship ring
1986 boston celtics nba championship ring

The heavily favored Boston Celtics defeated the Rockets four games to two to win their 16th  NBA Championship Ring. The championship would be the Celtics’ last until 2008. Larry Bird was named the Finals MVP.

2008 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring

2008 boston celtics nba championship ring
2008 boston celtics nba championship ring

2008 marked the first time since 2000 (and last prior to 2016) that the top seeds from both conferences met in the Finals and the first time since 2003 that any top seeded team played in the NBA finals.

The Lakers appeared in the Finals for the first time since 2004 and a record 29th time overall. The Celtics appeared in the Finals for the first time since 1987 and second-best 20th time overall.

Furthermore, the 2008 Boston Celtics championship team was famously led by the organization’s “Big 3” in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, and was the first season the triumvirate played together.

Prior to acquiring Allen from the Seattle SuperSonics and Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster 7-to-1 player trade, Boston had won just 24 of its 82 games in the 2006–07 NBA regular season.

This formation of the All-Star trifecta in the summer of 2007 positioned the new-look Celtics as a popular favorite to win the 2008 NBA Finals.

Above all, this was the 17th NBA Championship Ring and the last NBA Championship Ring won by the franchise.

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