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The Boston Celtics are one of the most iconic franchises in the NBA. They put a dynasty together in the 1960s with Bill Russell leading the way. In the 1980s, with Larry Bird leading the way, they claimed three more championships and reached the NBA Finals five times.

The Boston Celtics haven’t won a championship since 2010. They’ve been close in recent years, including 2022, when they fell to the Golden State Warriors in the championship round in six games. How many championships do the Boston Celtics have?

The Boston Celtics have a rich tradition

The Celtics were put on the map just after the 1956 NBA Draft after swinging a trade that netted them Russell, a rookie out of San Francisco. As a rookie, Russell came late to the Celtics because he captained the 1956 U.S. Olympic team. In that ’56 draft, the Celtics selected Tom Heinsohn and K.C. Jones, securing three future Hall of Famers. In their first year together, the Celtics won the NBA title, defeating the St. Louis Hawks in seven games.

After losing to the Hawks in the NBA Finals the next season, the Celtics rattled off eight straight NBA championships. Boston also added championships in 1968 and 1969, giving Russell 11 for his career.

When Bird came to the Celtics as a rookie in the 1979-80 season, he turned the Celtics from a 29-win team to one with 61 victories. He was named Rookie of the Year. Then the Celtics got serious.

The Celtics held the top pick in the 1980 NBA Draft. They packaged it with the No. 13 pick to the Golden State Warriors and received veteran center Robert Parish and the third overall pick. With that third pick, they selected Kevin McHale. It was a franchise-altering trade that led to three championships in the 1980s, including one in their first year together.

How many NBA championships have the Celtics won?

The Boston Celtics have one of the richest traditions in the NBA. So, how many NBA championships have the Celtics won?
Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce before the Boston Celtics’ championship parade. | Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

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In the 1980s, Boston won championships in 1981, 1984, and 1986. They also went to the NBA Finals in 1985 and 1987, losing to the LA Lakers both times. Since their 1986 championship, they went without a title until 2008.

The Celtics were awful during the 2006-07 season, winning 24 games. In the offseason, Danny Ainge swung a pair of trades to bring in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to pair with Paul Pierce. In their first season together, they helped the Celtics win 66 games and an NBA title. The trio got back to the championship round two years later but fell to the Lakers in seven games.

Since then, the Celtics have been to the NBA Finals once, that coming last season against the Warriors. Despite the long gap, the Celtics are tied with the Lakers for the most NBA championships with 17.