WHEN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED BEGAN PUBLISHING IN 1954, THE NBA AND THE BOSTON CELTICS WERE just getting warmed up. Since then the Celtics have won 17 championships and Celtics players have appeared on the cover of SI 46 times. Among NBA teams only the Lakers (77) and the Bulls (52) have been featured on our front page more frequently, but neither can surpass the Celtics' star power. From Bob Cousy to Bill Russell to John Havlicek to Dave Cowens to Larry Bird to Paul Pierce, here are 35 of our most memorable Celtics covers.
JANUARY 9, 1956
Creativity and ball handling ability made Bob Cousy the greatest attraction in the NBA in '56.
JANUARY 16, 1961
Cousy helped demonstrate basketball's "three keys."
OCTOBER 26, 1964
Tom Heinsohn would be right about title number 8.
OCTOBER 25, 1965
Bill Russell shared his winning mind tricks.
MAY 9, 1966
John Havlicek & Co. raised their ninth banner.
DECEMBER 23, 1968
SI honored Russell as Sportsman of the Year.
APRIL 28, 1969
The aging corps beat New York to reach the Finals.
MAY 12, 1969
Hondo led Boston over the Lakers in seven.
FEBRUARY 7, 1972
Thanks to an injection of youthful energy from Dave Cowens, the Celtics battled the Knicks atop the Atlantic.