Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics started to compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division in 1949. The team was in the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Founded in 1946.
As said, the league was formed by the merger of the BAA and the National Basketball League. Its first owner was Boston Garden-Arena Corporation President Walter A. Brown. This corporation is considered the official founder of the club.
In its career, franchise used to belong to several legal organizations: Knickerbocker Brewing Company (1965-1968), Trans-National Communications (1969-1971), and Leisure Technology (1972-1975). Its current owner is Boston Basketball Partners LLC.
There are many physical persons in team history too. They include entrepreneurs, businessmen, public figures: Lou Pieri, Marjorie Brown, Ballantine Brewery, Irv Levin, Harold Lipton, Robert Schmertz, John Brown Jr., and Harry Mangurian Jr., Don Gaston, Paul Gaston. After the latter representative, the club was owned by Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C.
The nickname of the franchise was invented by the first owner Walter Brown. The argument in Celtics’ favor was his exclamation «Boston is full of Irishmen». And they are descendants of Celts, ancient druids. This name was chosen among many others, which included Whirlwinds, Olympians, and Unicorns, etc. That is how the founder put two factors together: team location and the city’s population with Irish/Celtic origins.
Boston Celtics logo history
In 1946, when the club was founded, its owner Walter Brown was choosing between the names “Whirlwinds” and “Unicorns,” but then it dawned on him, “Celts! The name has rich basketball traditions of the old “Celtics” from New York (1920s). In addition, there are so many Irish people in Boston.”
Green is the traditional color of Ireland, which goes back to the Gaelic tradition. It symbolizes life and growth In heraldry. The leprechaun jacket on the Boston Celtics logo became dark gold after the team moved from the Boston Garden arena to the TD Garden in 1995.
1946 – 1950
The first Boston Celtics logo (from 1946 to 1950) looked like a green circle with a clover petal. Shamrock is a state symbol of the Irish. With the help of this plant, Saint Patrick explained what the Trinity is. It is considered to be a symbol of prosperity, and it’s hard not to believe this fact, because “Boston” is the most titled club in the NBA. The team has 17 championships.
1950 – 1960
In the early 1950s, an idea was developed by an artist Zang Auerbach, the brother of the Celtic trainer Red Auerbach. Leprechaun Lucky, depicted on the sign, represents the traditional Irish city in the United States. That is how Americans imagined the Irish in the ’50s. The character is shown in a bowler hat, with a rough oak cane and a pipe.
It is said that the tube in the mouth of the leprechaun is not only a tribute to the legends. The brother parodied Auerbach, who had a crowning gesture of smoking a cigar when he understood that victory is guaranteed. In the second version of the Boston Celtics logo, the leprechaun had a crown on his head, which symbolizes the reign of the Celtics in the NBA.
1960 – 1968
The new version of the «leprechaun logo» with orange add to the background. This design was originally designed by Zang Auerbach, the brother of Celtics head coach Red Auerbach. Squatted down leprechaun got a dimension and color. Jumping man’s vest is green with a magical shamrock. The leprechaun is on the orange background, which follows his contour. Image of the leprechaun on the logo remained the same: a pipe in his mouth, crown with the inscription «NBA», cane in his left hand and white half-boots on his feet.
1968 – 1976
In 1968, the leprechaun image on the Boston Celtics logo was redesigned. Now the leprechaun is standing, leaning on a cane and cunningly smiling and is now spinning a white basketball on his finger. The character is wearing green trousers, green Irish hat, black boots with big buckles, bowtie and white vest with distinctive Irish design – shamrock, a symbol of the northern state. The Boston Celtics logo became more colorful and the designers changed the background – now it’s a big red basketball with a black outline and club nickname.
1976 – 1996
The Boston Celtics logo, which dates from this period, is green and white, it perfectly lays emphasis upon Irish origins of Boston. A cheerful guy is smiling and cunningly winking with his left eye. Half-boots, trousers, and shirts are white. There’s a shamrock design on the vest, hat, and bowtie. He is still spinning a basketball on one finger and leaning on a cane. The background basketball is gone and replaced with a green ring with the wordmark «BOSTON CELTICS» in white.
1996 – present
Modern Boston Celtics logo became more colorful and realistic. Now it features new details: internal and external outline with the team nickname, black pants, white knee socks, brown buckles on the boots. Some elements are updated: vest and hatband on the black derby hat of the smiling guy became beige, his cane and basketball became tile red. A pipe projecting from the right corner of his mouth is the only thing that didn’t change.