The Boston Celtics are a celebrated franchise in professional sports history, endowed with some of the most adept coaches in NBA history. From Red Auerbach to Brad Stevens, the Celtics have been lucky to have several of the sharpest minds in basketball coach them. In this article we’ll evaluate the top five coaches in Boston Celtics history.
5. Brad Stevens (2013-2021)
Brad Stevens is the latest mentor to appear on this list, though due to his adeptness he is considered one of the most successful Boston Celtics coaches. While assuming the role from 2013 to 2021, Stevens was able to impel the team to two Eastern Conference championships in 2017 and 2018. He was especially known for candidly nurturing young talent and was able to immediately make required adjustments during games. In 2021, Stevens stepped away from the Celtics to become the head of basketball operations for the team in an official role.
4. K.C. Jones (1983-1988)
K.C. Jones was a revered player for the Boston Celtics in the 1960s and accumulated eight NBA championships as part of his illustrious playing career. Subsequently, Jones assumed the position of head coach for the team and notched two more championships to his name in 1984 and 1986. He was renowned for his prodigious aptitude of wringing out the best of each player on the level of individual contributions, along with fabricating a most beneficial team chemistry. He was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player and a coach.
3. Doc Rivers (2004-2013)
Doc Rivers led the Boston Celtics from 2004-2013 and collected an NBA championship in 2008. Rivers was acknowledged as someone who could relate to his players well, and was a specialist at making adjustments during a game. Additionally, he was commonly praised for his strategic skills and was able to get the best of his players’ aptitudes. As of 2013, Rivers left the Celtics to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.
2. Tom Heinsohn (1969-1978, 1980-1995)
Tom Heinsohn was not just an adept coach, but was also an exemplary player for the Celtics. While playing for the team from 1956 till 1965, Heinsohn obtained eight NBA titles. He then took up the helm of being a coach and guided the team to two additional championships in 1974 and 1976. Heinsohn was prized for his ability to mentor young talents, and his prowess to construct solid team chemistry. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player and a coach.
1. Red Auerbach (1950-1966)
Without question, Red Auerbach is easily the most renowned coach in Celtics’ history. In the 16 seasons Auerbach coached for them, he obtained nine NBA titles. Auerbach was profoundly skilled at his tactical approach, and was considered for his aptitude to bring out the best of his teams. Additionally, Auerbach was a forerunner in the utilization of data analytics, being the first to regularly employ the full-court press. He was welcomed in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969 and his legacy echoes till today.