On a cold Thursday night in February 1993, the Boston Celtics raised No. 33 to the rafters of the Boston Garden, as the team retired Larry Bird's number. Drafted by Boston out of Indiana State in 1979, Larry Bird played his entire 13-year pro career for the Celtics.
While many people at first thought Bird was not fast enough to play in the NBA, he soon emerged as a superb all-around player with an uncanny instinct for the game. He was a singular player capable of thrilling performances – impossible reverse lay-ups, miraculous 35-footers over multiple defenders.
He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1980 and was the league's Most Valuable Player three seasons in a row, matching a record held only by the legendary Bill Russell and Walt Chamberlain.
Bird also entered the record books with his scoring, passing, and rebounding. His competitive finesse, behind-the-back passes, and shooting prowess made him one of the dominant players in the game. He sparked a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the struggling Boston Celtics.
With a winking leprechaun as its logo, "The Team in Green," has a storied history that goes back to the founding of the National Basketball Association in 1946. The first owner was Walter Brown, who already owned the Boston Garden and was President of the Boston Bruins hockey team.
The era of Celtics greatness began in the late 1950s, when Coach Red Auerbach began assembling a championship caliber roster, including Bob Cousy, a flashy point guard from Holy Cross College in Worcester, the nearly unbeatable defensive center Bill Russell, and later the versatile All-Star, John Havlicek.
Auerbach guided the team to an unprecedented nine NBA championships, including a record eight straight from 1959-1966. The Celtics have won the championships 16 times, more than any other team.
Auerbach retired in 1966, and Bill Russell assumed the role of player-coach. The Celtics won two more World Championships during his three years in ...