It is official: The Boston Celtics are now the winningest team in NBA history. Boston's 2024 NBA Finals victory over the Dallas Mavericks broke a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers to give them sole possession of the most titles in league history. Boston has now won 18 championships.

Some of their championships were more impressive than the others, though, and it can be easy to forget how Boston became champions each time they did it, considering it has happened 18 times now. If you are struggling to recall each of Boston's championship teams, we have you covered. We ranked all 18 Celtics championships, from their very first NBA championship when they were led by Bob Cousy in 1957 to their most recent victory in 2024 during the Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown era.

This list takes into account a variety of factors. We look at Boston's path to winning the Finals and how dominant they were en route to being crowned champions, how stacked their roster was, and how memorable their championship run was in comparison to their other title years.

18. 1965 – Celtics vs. Lakers

John Havlicek's famous steal against the Philadelphia 76ers came in the Eastern Division Finals and allowed the Celtics to advance to the 1965 NBA Finals. There, they beat the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. The Lakers' lone win in this series came in Game 4, and the ABC broadcast infamously cut away to a previously scheduled program. All of the Celtics championships were great, but we have to rank the one that wasn't even on TV for its entire duration in last place.

17. 1960 – Celtics vs. Hawks

While Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain is the big man battle that most fans remember from the '60s, Bob Pettit was another dominant big man during this era. Of course, though, Russell bested him when it mattered most, as the Celtics' 1960 championship came in seven games over the St. Louis Hawks.

16. 1961 – Celtics vs. Hawks

For the second straight season, the Celtics faced the Hawks in the championship series. This go around, it only took five games for the Celtics to be able to handle the Hawks.

15. 1962 – Celtics vs. Lakers

The Celtics won eight straight championships in the late '50s-'60s, as well as 11 out of 13 championships during that time. The team was the greatest dynasty in NBA history and steamrolled through anyone who was put in front of them. The year they most struggled in their playoff run, though, was in 1962.

Both of their playoff series (the postseason was only three rounds at this point, and Boston had a first-round bye) went the distance, and it even took a battle in overtime in Game 7 against the Lakers in the NBA Finals for the team to capture their fifth championship.

The team finishing the Elgin Baylor/Jerry West-led Lakers in overtime to be crowned champions was iconic, but Boston's 1962 playoff run was far less impressive than other years. The 1962 NBA Finals are important in that it is the earliest championship series in which both teams playing in the series still reside in the same city. Boston's fifth championship win also tied them with the Lakers for most franchise championship wins at the time.

14. 1963 – Celtics vs. Lakers

Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Sam Jones all together with Celtics 1963 logo in background

The NBA 1963 NBA Finals were Bob Cousy's last with the Celtics before he retired. These Finals served as a passing of the torch of sorts, as rookie John Havlicek was Boston's new star guard. Of course, neither Cousy nor Havlicek were Boston's biggest star, as that honor belongs to Bill Russell.

The 1963 team was perhaps the roster most suited for NBA2K. In addition to eventual Hall of Famers Russell, Cousy, and Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn, Clyde Lovellette, Frank Ramsey, Satch Sanders, Sam Jones, and K.C. Jones were all elected to the Hall of Fame. The nine total Hall of Famers on one roster is the most in league history.

13. 1976 – Celtics vs. Suns

The Celtics have dominated a lot of different eras during their time in the NBA. An era of the league that is often forgotten is the '70s, but the Celtics were unstoppable even during that time. They won two championships in the '70s, the latter of which came in 1976. Not much stands out about this championship, especially in comparison to the one two years earlier.

12. 1974 – Celtics vs. Bucks

After the majority of the Celtics core from the '60s retired, fans wonder how long it would take for Boston to get back to championship glory. The answer was not very long, as the new era Celtics of the '70s won a championship just five years after they last did with Bill Russell. Havlicek, a former sixth man, was now the team's leader, but Jo Jo White and Dave Cowens gave Boston a more than formidable trio.

11. 1964 – Celtics vs. Warriors

Most of the Celtics championships in the '60s came over the Lakers. The 1964 NBA Finals was not an example of that, as Boston beat the San Francisco Warriors in five games. Just as iconic as the Celtics-Lakers clashes throughout the years were the Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain battles. The two centers are two of the best players ever, let alone big men ever, and their contrasting skill sets and fierce rivalry were enjoyable to watch for all NBA fans.

10. 1968 – Celtics vs. Laker

The 1968 NBA Finals were a series of revenge for Boston. After not making the championship series for the first time in 11 years the year prior, the Celtics were out to redeem themselves. They did just that by beating the Lakers in six games. Prior to winning the NBA Finals, Boston won the Eastern Division Finals after becoming the first team to ever overcome a 3-1 deficit.

9. 1969 – Celtics vs. Lakers

The last championship in the Bill Russell era came when he was a player-coach in 1969. This marked the 11th championship in 13 seasons for the team and signaled the end of a dynasty. Adding one more championship before Russell's retirement was impressive, but the signs were there that Boston was fading. Their 48 wins that season were the fewest since the first season that they won the championship.

8. 1959 – Celtics vs. Lakers

With 52 wins, the 1959 Celtics' championship team won more than they did during the year they first won the championship, but this team still wasn't nearly as dominant as they were in some of the other years in the Bill Russell era. Still, the Celtics swept the Minneapolis Lakers and became the first of only nine teams with a NBA Finals sweep.

Russell and company were certainly better than anyone else in the league, but they were still somewhat finding their footing for the greatness that was to come during their second championship run. This year showed that the pieces were there for a long run, though. The 1958-59 season was K.C Jones rookie season and Sam Jones second season.


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7. 1957 – Celtics vs. Hawks

The 1956-57 season was the one that started it all. This was Bill Russell's rookie season, and the franchise's first ever championship created a snowball effect of championships to come. This was the first of 11 championships over a 13 year period. Russell was the leader of a dynasty that was born in 1957, and even though the team won fewer games (44-28) than in any of their other championship seasons, the first one always holds a special place in people's hearts.

6. 1981 – Celtics vs. Rockets

Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Cedric Maxwell all together in Celtics gear with Celtics 1981 logo in background

Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and many more iconic Celtics have been monumentally important figures for Boston's organization, but it is the Celtics teams from the '80s that are the most known. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish were the teams stars at this time, and they won their first championship together in 1981.

None of those three won the Finals MVP, though. Instead, Cedric Maxwell won the award. There may never again be a more obscure Finals MVP winner.

5. 1966 – Celtics vs. Lakers

The 1965 NBA Finals were the eighth straight that the Celtics won. That is a record that will almost surely never be broken. These were the last Finals where Boston was coached by Red Auerbach. The NBA Finals went to distance, as the series was yet another thrilling NBA Finals matchup between the Celtics and Lakers.

One of the highlights was Russell's 32-point, 30-rebound performance. One of the most thrilling NBA Finals ever was concluded when Havlicek secured a steal with only seconds remaining in a tie-ball game that allowed him to hit the Game 7 game-winning shot.

4. 1986 – Celtics vs. Rockets

The longest lasting Celtics' dynasty was in the '60s, but the team's most remembered team is the Larry Bird-led teams of the '80s. The best version of that team won the NBA Finals in 1986. That year, they won 67 games, which is the most wins the franchise has produced in any season. Boston continued their dominance in the playoffs, as they only lost one postseason game coming into the NBA Finals.

This was also the first year the championship series was labeled the NBA Finals, as prior to 1986, the league's championship was called the NBA World Championship Series.

3. 2024 – Celtics vs. Mavericks

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown 2024 NBA Finals
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics made it to at least the conference finals in five of the seven seasons leading up to the 2023-24 season. In 2024, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown finally took that next step and won a ring. Tatum and Brown form one of the best duos in the league, but they are not alone.

The team traded for Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday in order to get over the hump. The Celtics earning a title in this era was long overdue, and it will be even more special if Al Horford decides to ride into the sunset and retire now that he finally has a ring. Horford appeared in the third most postseason games ever without having a championship title to his name prior to his victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Boston's 18 title not only moved them into first place for championship victories, but it also secured them a championship in six different decades. The only reason this championship doesn't rank higher is because their series against the Mavericks wasn't the most entertaining/memorable we have ever seen.

2. 1984 – Celtics vs. Lakers

The 1984 playoffs was the first year where 16 teams made the postseason, so Boston had to work a little extra to win it all that year. Two of their four postseason series went to seven games, including the NBA Finals matchup against Lakers.

Of course, the Celtics-Lakers rivalry is one of the greatest in sports, and this was the first time Larry Bird and Magic Johnson got to square off in the biggest stage. Boston rose to the occasion, as the Celtics were able to emerge victorious in one of the most important series in NBA history.

A number of memorable moments occurred in this series. There were two iconic overtime performances. Kevin McHale clotheslined Kurt Rambis in Game 4, and Game 5 became known as the Heat Game because it was played in grueling temperatures without air conditioning.

1. 2008 – Celtics vs. Lakers

The 2008 Celtics team might not have been as dominant as some of the teams from the '60s, but they are certainly the most memorable Celtics championship team, and they are also one of the most impactful teams in NBA history. Therefore, we rank them as the best championship team in franchise history.

Boston was well established as arguably the most prestigious team in NBA history by this point, but they actually hadn't won a championship in 21 years. When the team hoisted the Larry O'Brien in 2008, it proved that they weren't just a product of dominating the league's early days when there were only 8-12 teams.

Kevin Garnett's post-game quote, where he ecstatically screamed, “Anything is possible,” is one of the most iconic moments in NBA history. Additionally, this Finals victory came over the Lakers, which renewed the greatest rivalry the sport has ever seen.

Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen were Boston's superstars, and considering Garnett and Allen were traded for in the offseason prior, many credit the Celtics with having the first true superteam, as a big bulk of their roster was not homegrown.

Boston's big three was memorable, but the team really had more of a big four. In addition to having Garnett's tenacity, Pierce's all around scoring prowess, and Allen's three-point shooting, the Celtics also had one of the brightest young stars in the game in Rajon Rondo. Rondo was a flashy playmaker who tied the team together. Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, and Brian Scalabrine were other iconic role players on the roster.