The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete at the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league’s first eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they discuss with the National Hockey League (NHL)’s Boston Bruins. The Celtics are among the most prosperous teams in NBA history; the franchise has won the most championships in the NBA with 17, accounting for 23.9 percent of all NBA championships since the league’s founding. 
The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won 16 NBA championships, second behind the Celtics. The rivalry was emphasized throughout the 1960s and 1980s. The franchise has played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010), where the Celtics have won nine.  Four Celtics gamers (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.  The nickname »Celtics » and their mascot »Lucky the Leprechaun » are a nod to Boston’s historically large Irish people. 
The Celtics’ rise to dominance began in the late 1950s, after obtaining center Bill Russell in a draft day trade in 1956, who’d become the cornerstone of their Celtics dynasty. Led by Russell and celebrity 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 such as John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Satch Sanders, and Bill Sharman, could usher the Celtics to the Best stage in franchise history, winning eight consecutive NBA championships throughout the 1960s. Following the retirement of Russell in 1969, the Celtics entered a period of rebuilding. Led by center Dave Cowens and point guard JoJo White, the Celtics returned to championship caliber, winning two NBA titles in 1974 and 1976. The Celtics returned in the 1980s into dominance. Led by the »Big Three » that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, the Celtics won the 1981, 1984, and 1986 championships. After winning 16 championships during the 20th century, the Celtics, after fighting through the 1990s, climbed to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen in what was called the new »Big Three » era.
After the triumph in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge commenced a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the season, the Celtics clinched the top seed but had been removed in the Conference Finals. This prompted a competitive reconstruct in 2017, in which the team obtained All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.  However, the group struggled with injuries through the 2017–18 season, along with the team was again defeated at the Eastern Conference Finals.
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