The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team located in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete at the National Basketball Association (NBA) as part of this league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league’s original eight teams, the group play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League (NHL)’s Boston Bruins. The Celtics are among the most successful 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 because the league’s heritage. 
The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won 16 NBA championships, next behind the Celtics. The competition was heavily emphasized through the 1960s and 1980s. The franchise has played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (such as their latest appearances in 2008 and 2010), where the Celtics have won eight.  Four Celtics players (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.  Both the nickname”Celtics” and their mascot”Lucky the Leprechaun” are a nod to Boston’s historically large Irish population. 
The Celtics’ rise to dominance began in the late 1950s, after obtaining center Bill Russell in a draft day trade in 1956, who would become the cornerstone of the Celtics dynasty. Led by Russell and superstar point guard Bob Cousy, the Celtics won their first NBA championship. Russell, Together 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, would usher the Celtics into the Best stage in franchise history, winning eight consecutive NBA championships during the 1960s. Following the retirement of Russell in 1969, the Celtics entered a period of rebuilding. Directed 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 again returned in the 1980s to dominance. Directed by the”Big Three” that showcased 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 struggling 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 brand new”Big Three” era.
After the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge started a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics into a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the next season, the top seed was clinched by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference, but were removed in the Conference Finals. This prompted a competitive reconstruct in 2017, where the group acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.  However, the group struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, and the team was again defeated at the Eastern Conference Finals.
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