The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, 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 Boston Blazers (NLL), and the Boston Bruins of the NHL. The Celtics' 17 NBA Championships are the most for any NBA franchise, with their Western Conference rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, following closely behind with 16. From 1957 to 1969, the Celtics dominated the league winning 11 championships in 13 years, and eight in a row (19591966), the longest consecutive championship streak of any North American pro sports team.
The Celtics have dominated the league during the late 50s and through the mid 80s, with the help of many Hall of Famers which include Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird and legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach, combined for a 795397 record that helped the Celtics win 16 Championships. During that span the Celtics met the Lakers 12 times in the Finals during the mid 1950's and 80's with the Celtics winning nine and Lakers winning three. Before the retirement of the Big 3 (Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale), and thanks to some creative maneuvering by Auerbach, the Celtics had drafted second overall pick Len Bias but the team fell into decline as the college star died the day after he was drafted. Later, the team suffered another tragedy when their star player Reggie Lewis died of a heart attack in his prime.