The Boston Celtics (/ˈsɛltɪks/) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 and one of eight NBA teams (out of 23 total teams) to survive the league's first decade, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Boston Bruins. The franchise's 17 championships are the most for any NBA franchise, and account for 24.6% of all NBA championships since the league's founding in 1946. As a percentage of championships won, the Celtics are the most successful franchise to date in the major four traditional North American professional sports leagues.
The Celtics have played the Lakers a record 12 times in the Finals, including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010, where the Celtics have won nine meetings (but only two since 1980). Four Celtics (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. Their mascot 'Lucky the Leprechaun' is a nod to the team's Irish heritage and to Boston's historically large Irish population.
The Celtics rose again after struggling through the 1990s to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo in what was known as the new "Big 3" era, following the original "Big 3" era of the 1980s that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish.
After the end of the Big 3, general manager Danny Ainge began a rebuilding process with the help of new head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs in 2015.(Wikipedia)