Part 1: Summer of ‘05
The Boston Celtics entered the 2005-‘06 season with the winds of a misguided optimism at their backs. The previous season – the team’s second under the executive direction of former Toronto Blue Jays infielder Danny Ainge and first with head coach Glenn Rivers, Ph.D on the sidelines – had been a surprisingly successful one. Though they had muddled along at a sub-.500 clip for the better part of their first 50 games, the Celtics had taken first place in the Atlantic Division, finishing with a record of 45-37. It had been their best regular season campaign since 2002 (49-33), and second-best since 1993 (48-34).
Introduction: Nearly Seven Decades of Celtics’ Basketball in a Few Short Paragraphs
Through the first 47 years of their existence, the Boston Celtics were the NBA’s gold standard, the most accomplished, storied franchise that the league had ever known. Between 1946 and 1993, the 2,322 regular season wins that they had compiled and 16 championship banners that they had hung were the most in league history, their .638 team winning percentage the best. As of today, an incredible 26 of the 99 NBA players inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame – players named Russell, Cousy, Heinsohn, Jones, Havlicek, Cowens, Bird, McHale, and Parish – have worn the green and white at some point in their career.