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The Celtics are one of the most known teams in sports history because of players like Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Hall of fame coaches like Arnold 'Red' Auerbach who helped Celtics Win 16 World Championships.The Celtics were formed in 1946 as a team in the Basketball Association of America, and became part of the National Basketball Association after the merger of the BAA and the National Basketball League to form the NBA in the fall of 1949. In 1950, the Celtics became the first franchise to draft an African American player, signing Chuck Cooper. From 1957 to 1969, the Celtics dominated the league, winning eleven championships in thirteen years and eight in a row (1959-1966), the longest consecutive streak of any North American professional sports team. The Celtics dominated the league during the late 1950s and through the mid-1980s, 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 795-397 record that helped the Celtics win sixteen Championships. Before the retirement of the "Big Three" who included Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, 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 two days after he was drafted. Later, the team suffered another tragedy when their star player Reggie Lewis died of a heart attack in his prime.
Page modified by Jose Caldera, June 4, 2014