October 2014, Reader Submission, sports


the truth and the big ticket* (jfceltics)

the truth and the big ticket* (jfceltics)

Today's photo comes from Jenny from the North End. Jenny is an HR professional and an avid Celtics fan. She has this to say about Boston:

"I love how much heart and pride our residents have. From our amazing sports, to community/neighborhood pride, to top universities, top hospitals, musicians/bands, and even movie filming locations - Bostonians are incredibly proud of what we have and come together to show our love and strength of our city. Bostonians think the most of Boston and believe that they can't be broken."

Today is the first game of the 2014-2015 regular season for the Boston Celtics as they play the Brooklyn Nets. This may be a rebuilding year but the Celtics have a long history of winning. Having formed in 1946, they've won more championships (17) than any other team in NBA history. In the 1960's they won the championship every year except 1967.

The two most celebrate players in Celtics history are Bill Russell and Larry Bird. Bill Russell was a 6 feet 10 inch center who played from 1956-1969. He was best known for his defensive abilities especially rebounding, and for leading the team to 11 championships in his 13 year career. Russell was also the first black NBA coach when he was both player and coach from 1966-1969. Larry Bird, a forward, was best known for his court vision, drive, leadership, and clutch performances. He played from 1979-1992 and won 3 championships. Both players had notable NBA rivalries. Bill Russell's was with Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird's was with Magic Johnson.

Another Celtics legend was coach Red Aurbach, who managed the Celtics from 1950-1966. He won 9 championships as a coach and then won another 7 championships as general manager and team president. He helped modernize basketball with emphasis on team play and defense and was said to have invented the fast break. He drafted Chuck Cooper, the first black basketball player in 1950, and had the NBA's first all black starting five in 1964. His brother Zang was also involved with the Celtics - he designed the Celtics Logo in the 1950's. The logo is a drawing of a leprechaun with a bowler hat, smoking a pipe, and holding a shillelagh (a wooden club). 

*Number 34, Paul Pierce (The Truth), played 15 seasons for the Celtics and now plays for the Washington Wizards. Number 5, Kevin Garnett (The Big Ticket/KG), played 6 seasons for the Celtics and now plays for the Brooklyn Nets. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen were part of the "Big 3" that helped Boston win a championship in 2008 - the first championship since 1986.

Watch a 1956 video of Bill Russell jumping over a guy before making a layup.