CELTICS LOGO: Old/New, Rumours And History

Celtics Logo
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The Boston Celtics are a professional American basketball team that has represented the city of Boston since 1946. The team’s logo honors Celtic and Irish heritage. If you’ve ever wondered why they used a leprechaun with a sleek grin, it’s because it represents strategic acuity, faith in success, and a desire to take charge, more like conquer. For the Celtics team and its management, their culture and origin are greatly important, and that is why the first icon that served as their logo is still part of their present logo. As always, there’s a story behind every icon that represents a team, so let’s head on to the history behind the Boston Celtics logo.

The Boston Celtics logo features a leprechaun who has one hand on an Irish club and the other twirling a basketball on the tip of his index finger. A three-leaf clover pattern decorates his vest, hat, and bow tie. The name of this leaf is “Shamrock,” and it’s an oxalis leaf. The oxalis leaf shamrock means “a clove of happiness.”  A careful look at the logo will point out the franchise’s name, “Boston” on the left, and the “Celtics” on the right. The logo appears more like a cartoon piece than what a 21st-century logo ought to reflect.

However, the team holds the logo in high esteem as it proves that the present-day Boston Celtics are as good as the first team and even better. Additionally, they uphold their history and origin, but, the logo is a link to who they truly are, “Celtics”.

Aside from the leprechaun logo, the Celtics have an alternate logo that they use on other products aside from their uniforms. The main logo has evolved several times since the team’s inception in 1946. Moreover, once the new one was launched, the team stopped using the previous one. The alternate logo is always in use, even when a new one is launched. Let’s get to the history of the Boston Celtics logo and how they came to settle for the guy named “Lucky,” the leprechaun, and the shamrock.

The old Celtics logo is a journey of how the Boston Celtics’ logo evolution began and how it gets to the weird-looking leprechaun who has a sly grin and is clothed in a vest designed with a shamrock.

The original Boston Celtics logo was a green shamrock with the wordmark “CELTICS”. Zang, the designer, used a sans-serif font to make the writing. Zang was a cartnist then. He was also the brother of the Celtics coach, Red Auerbach, who brought the team to light with victories. A green circle with a red rim encloses the shamrock and the text.

The shamrock is one of the signs and long-standing amulets. Just in case you’re wondering what a shamrock is. The Shamrock is a classic white oxalis leaf, sometimes known as the “clover of happiness.” The team’s name, with its Celtic overtones, is shown in a half-arc above it.

The Celtics introduced the leprechaun logo in 1950. Hey, that doesn’t mean they got rid of the shamrock. They didn’t. The leprechaun is actually an Irish fairy tale character that is similar to an elf. Although fairy tales describe him as a mischievous character, the Celtics named the guy Lucky. The leprechaun was made by Red Auerbach’s brother Zang. Lucky, though, was decked up in a green vest with white shamrocks to contrast the predominantly white design.

That touch of green stayed true to the team’s established color scheme. Well, let’s just say that Lucky brings good luck to the team. He still portrays the Irish rich culture. Just how did the first leprechaun look? The first leprechaun is still the same one on the team’s current logo. Lucky was decked in an NBA crown, putting on a vest that was designed with the shamrock, puffing a pipe, holding an oak cane in his left hand, and leaping with bent knees and shoes that were secured with buckles.

The Celtics’ management wanted something unique, something that anyone could trace to an origin. Therefore, cultures, and heritage were the inspiration behind the logo.

In 1950, a little adjustment was seen on the team’s official logo. Remember, Lucky the leprechaun was white in his first appearance. However, the 1960 design included an orange background. The color made our little guy, Lucky, stand out. The leprechaun took on a new depth and hue. He wears a green vest emblazoned with a mystical shamrock when he jumps.

In 1968, the team came up with a more distinct logo. Remember Lucky, our leprechaun received a new feature. Rather than leaping jovially, he stood in grand style. He isn’t just holding a cane, he is leaning. The leprechaun has risen to his feet, leaning on his cane with a sly grin on his face as he spins a white basketball on his finger. He wears an all-green outfit from head to toe, including a bowler hat, slacks, a bow tie, and a green-and-white vest. His feet are encased in black leather buckled shoes, and he is sitting on a basketball-shaped red background.

The Boston Celtics’ iconic leprechaun was updated for the first time since 1968. The protagonist is decked up in traditional Irish garb: did I mention he was wearing a green hat, a vest with a shamrock motif, black boots with large buckles, a bowtie, and green pants, revealing the Irish culture?

The 1974 logo served as an inspiration for the current logo. This time, Lucky the Leprechaun seemed more confident with his sleek.

The redesigned logo features an enlarged version of the basketball he was balancing on his index finger, emerging from the green shape.

In keeping with the Irish heritage of Boston, the Celtics’ first emblem, created around this time, used green and white colors. A short man flashes a charming grin and winks slyly with his left eye. I trust you already know who he is, Lucky the leprechaun. Half of his boots, pants, and shirts are white. His vest, cap, and bowtie all feature the shamrock pattern. He still uses a cane as support while juggling a basketball on his finger. The basketball has been removed as a background, and a green circle with white lettering reading “BOSTON CELTICS” has been added.

Boston’s Celtics ’96 logo is currently still in use. This new logo, reveals the beauty of the design and draws attention to the other features of the logo. 

It’s easy to point out the new details, such as an internal and external outline of the team’s name, black pants, white knee socks, and brown buckles on the boots. The happy guy’s cane and basketball are now tile red, while his waistcoat and hatband have been upgraded from black to beige. The only constant is a pipe that protrudes from the right side of his mouth. And of course, his sleek grin is still on, I don’t think he’s ever letting go of that anyway. 

The Boston Celtics team, have alternate logos that also represent the brand. According to the team’s management, alternate logos were introduced to broaden the scope of the team’s identity and complement the primary logo. However, these are not used on Boston’s game uniform. Moreover, All of the team’s alternate logos are still in use to this day, in contrast to the primary logos.

You will find most alternate logos on items like joggers, bags, hoods, and so on.  Each logo receives a little modification to ensure that people still recognize the image irrespective of the print size. Moreover, the group came to the conclusion that it would be best to remain with the well-known silhouette since it allows viewers to immediately recognize what they are seeing, even if it is only an outline of Lucky. This only means that, whether the alternate will undergo modifications in the future or not, it will still have traces of the shamrock and, of course, Lucky the leprechaun. 

Celtics Alternate Logo: History

I give the Celtics credit for their love of history and heritage. Let’s check out the history and evolution of the Boston Celtics alternate logo.

The Celtics script logo is actually the simplest the team ever had. You will see the word “Celtics” in green letters and there is a cloverleaf in green color above the second “C” and the “S,”.

The Shamrock logo features a white circle, a green clover with three leaves inside of it, and a green parameter. You may have noticed that this alternative design has a striking resemblance to the primary logo used by the squad.    The wordmark for “CELTICS” is in the form of an arch and circumnavigates the clover. 

The Celtics’ 2015 alternate logo was designed in 2014 and became official in 2015. It depicts a silhouette of Lucky, the leprechaun, in white on a background of green. As always, he’s got his pipe on, donning the classic bowler hat, and juggling a basketball on his finger. “BOSTON CELTICS” is clearly visible in block letters around the picture. 

Boston Celtics History

When New York City started its own basketball league in 1911, everyone wanted a name that was unique and resonated with its origin. So it wasn’t a surprise when the Celtics came up from a group of Irish immigrants living in Chelsea. The Celtics were a great team but folded in 1930 because of some of the challenges it encountered.  

The squad made a valiant attempt at a solo return after its merge with American Basketball League failed to no avail. Unfortunately, the only option left was to close down, which they eventually did.

1946, Walter A. Brown established the Boston Celtics in the newly formed Basketball Association of America.   Brown was the CEO of the Boston Garden Arena Company at the time. He needed a name for the team and all the great options that were presented to him were rejected. Till he mentioned Boston Celtics with a broad smile. According to him, he wanted something unique and traceable to a thrilling origin. 

recorded Three years later, the Basketball Association of America joined the NBA, which gave the Celtics the ticket to play in NBA. Boson Celtics recorded its first championship in 1957 under Red Auerbach, a reckoning force who brought the team 10 championships. 

Boston Celtics Today

Fast forward to 2023, Boston Celtics hold the record with 40 players honored by inclusion in the Basketball Hall of Fame. In terms of their accomplishments, they have recorded 32 division titles, 9 conference titles, and 17 NBA titles. Presently, they are one of the best basketball teams in the United States

Boston Celtics Founder

Celtics was founded by Walter Augustine Brown in 1946. Brown was a native of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and served as the owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team from 1946 until his death in 1964. He is also the founder of the Boston Bruins hockey team from 1947 until 1964. 

Before beginning a career in athletics, he received his education at Boston Latin from 1922 to 1923 and at Philips Exeter Academy from 1923 to 1926. The first time he was involved in sports was when he took over from his father as manager of the Boston Garden. After that, he founded the Basketball Association of America and was instrumental in the organization till it became part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949.

Under Brown, the Celtics won seven NBA titles in a row in a span of eight years (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964) 

Thanks to him,  Chuck Cooper became the first black player to be drafted into the NBA, and Brown was the one who came up with the idea for the NBA All-Star Game, which Boston played host to in 1951 and was the very first game of its kind in NBA history. He was adored by his players due to the fact that they described him as “down-to-earth, honest, and innovative.” 

As a result of his contribution to the success of sports in the United States, he was posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1962, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder. 

Boston Celtics Uniforms

Since its inception in 1946, the Boston Celtics have changed, but not in drastic measures. This is because they love their origin and always retain it irrespective of what changes. So most of the changes in the changes their uniform java recorded are merely adjustments to the original 1950s wear.

How Many Colors of Uniform Do Celtics have?

The Celtics have two colors of uniforms spread across various designs. The primary colors are white and green. Since their inception, they have worn green uniforms whenever they are playing away matches and white whenever they are playing matches at home. However, this changed when Nike became an NBA uniform provider in 2017. Rather than home and away, it was upgraded to association and icon wear. White is currently the association wear while green is the Icon wear.

For a significant portion of their existence, the Celtics competed away from home in white uniforms and wore green uniforms at TD Garden. The Celtics’ current uniforms are based on a basic template that was formalized in the 1950s. Along the way, they have made a few adjustments in the lettering and stripes of the uniforms.

Major Changes Of The Boston Celtics Uniform

The change of font from serifed to sans-serif block lettering is one of the major modifications that the team wear has seen. This was done in 1968.

#1. Addition of Names

In 1972, the tea’s uniform witnessed an additional feature which is the addition of names to the wear. With this, you get to know a player just by looking at the name on the wear.

#2. Addition of Shamrock

In 1998, the shamrock symbol was added to the Celtics’ uniform. The shamrock is a three-leaf symbol that represents happiness. It is also one of the symbols of the Celtics logo.

Two great things happened in 2017. The first is that Nike became the official provider of NBA uniforms. Secondly, the Boston Celtics signed a deal with General Electric to become the exclusive data and analytics partner. The contract agreement entails paying the Boston Celtics more than $7 million annually in exchange for the right to have a GE logo prominently displayed on the left shoulder of green and white jerseys. This, too, is an additional feature and not a modification. 

#4. Black Band/ Memorial Unform

Celtics players do wear a black band on the left shoulder strap of every jersey as a memorial to team members and family members who have passed away. Walter Brown (1964–65), Bob Schmertz (1975–76), Joan Cohen (1989–90), Johnny Most (1993–94), Reggie Lewis (1993–94), Dorothy Auerbach (2000–01), Dennis Johnson (2006–07), Sam Jones (2021–2023). Sam Jones was the eighth time the team featured these special uniforms and it’s with the number 24 on their jersey.

Others Include

  • Alternate 
  • Special

Why is Boston Called the Celtics?

It was Walter Brown who suggested this name. Brown was head of the Boston Garden Arena Corporation and needed a name for a basketball team. There are two popular reasons why Boston is called the Celtics. According to Brown, the first is because Boston is full of Irishmen. And the second is because Boston is named after the former New York Irish team, the Celtics. The former Celtics were a popular New York basket team full of Irish immigrants. The team lasted between 1911 and 1930.

  • The Celtics were one of the first eight teams to join the NBA in 1946.
  • The Boston Celtics is a team of professional basketball players. If you’re a fan of the National Basketball Association NBA, you must have seen them play on the. Eastern Conference.
  • Boston Celtics since its inception have remained in its original city which is Boston
  • The team plays at TD Garden, which is also home to the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League.
  • Most of the time, the NBA team plays at home in the TD Garden.
  • There have been 12 NBA Finals games between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Funny enough, both have the same number of NBA championships
  • Most of those games were dominated by the Celtics, who won nine of them.
  • Chuck Cooper was the first black player in the NBA.
  • Since 1946, when they first began, the Celtics have had 16 different owners.
  • TD Garden is the fourth place the Celtics call home.
  • The Celtics have played at the Boston Garden, the Hartford Civic Center, and the Boston Arena in the past.
  • Red Auerbach was the Celtics’ chief operating manager for almost 33 years, from 1951 to 1984.
  • The legend Red Auerbach died in 2006. Paul Pierce has been the captain of the Celtics.

The Boston Celtics’ History

  • In 1946, when the NBA started, the Celtics were the first team to join. One of the most successful teams, they have won 17 NBA championships, including eight in a row from 1956 to 1966 under Red Auerbach
  • The Celtics have won 17 NBA titles, only the Lakers have achieved this feast
  • Walter Augustine Brown was the founder of the Boston Celtics
  • From 2008 to 2013, the Celtics were led by Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kevin Garnett, all of whom are well-known players.
  • But in July 2013, Pierce and Garnett were traded to the Brooklyn Nets, and Rondo went to the Dallas Mavericks.
  • The team’s success peaked at the same time that the number of people watching TV in the U.S. skyrocketed. This helped the players and team become legends as basketball became more popular
  • Russell’s two games with 40 rebounds are some of the best parts of the Celtics’ historic championship runs in 1960 and 1962.
  • When Russell and Chamberlain played on the court together, the Celtics’ rivalries with the 76ers and the Lakers were at their worst
  • Russell and the player-coach of the Celtics got into fights from 1966 to 1969.

Celtics Accomplishments

  • Everyone is familiar with the Boston Celtics’ dominance in the NBA and the league’s history of division championships.
  • Boston Celtics have 17 NBA championship titles in 1957, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1984.
  • The Celtics have a back-to-back championship record
  • The Celtics have won  Eastern Conference Finals 20 times (1957–1961, 1963–1966, 1968–1969, 1974–1976, 1981–1976, 1981–1976, 1981–1983). This victory is also in addition to the Eastern Conference champions they’ve won 17 times (1957–1961, 1963–1966, 1968–1969, 1974–1976, 1981–1983).
  • In 2017, they had one victory in the AFC East Championships.
  • The team has been successful in the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs 52 times between 1957 and 2013.
  • Twelve times they were crowned Division Champions, and four times they were selected first in the NBA Draft.

Celtics Ownership History

Boston Celtics have had 16 different owners since its inception. These are as follows:

  • Walter Augustine Brown, team founder and the original owner (1946–64)
  • Marjorie Brown, wife of team founder (1964–1965)
  • Marvin Kratter/National Equities (1965–68)
  • Ballantine Brewery (1968–69)
  • E.E. Erdman’s Trans-National Communications (1969–71)
  • Investors Funding Corporation (1971–72)
  • Robert Schmertz-Leisure Technology (1972–74)
  • Robert Schmertz and Irv Levin (1974–75)
  • Irv Levin (1975–78)
  • John Y. Brown, Jr. and Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. (1978)
  • Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. (1979–83)
  • Don Gaston, Alan N. Cohen, Paul Dupee (1983–92)
  • Paul Gaston (1992–2002) 
  • Boston Basketball Partners LLC – consisting of Wycliffe Grousbeck, Stephen Pagliuca, and H. Irving Grousbeck (2002–present)

Does the Boston Celtics Logo Have a Name?

The Boston Celtics logo doesn’t have a name itself, but the primary icons on it do. The first is the leprechaun, whose name is Lucky, and the second is the oxalis leaf, whose name is Shamrock. 

Since its inception in 1946, the Celtics logo has been adjusted 6 times. The last one was designed in 1996 and adopted in 1997. It’s the longest the team has used. According to them, the 1996 logo is a colorful, modern design with updated graphics. So, no one knows if they will be changing that any time soon. 

Why Is Celtics Logo a Leprechaun?

Boston’s NBA team, the Celtics, has a mascot in the form of Lucky the Leprechaun. The name “Lucky” was likely inspired by the big Irish population and the rich history of Boston. The “Lucky Alternate” logo was designed internally and is a nod to an artwork from the 1960s by Zang Auerbach, brother of Celtics founder Red Auerbach and a former editorial and sports artist for newspapers in Washington. Some people consider leprechauns, the Irish folkloric supernatural beings who are often depicted as small and humanlike, to be a form of lone fairy. As a rule, they are portrayed as pranksters dressed as little versions of bearded guys in coats and hats.

There’s only one guy on every Celtics logo, and that’s Lucky the leprechaun. It was first designed by Zang Auerbach in the 1950s.

The leaf-like object in the Celtics’ logo is a shamrock. Even though the logo has evolved since 1946, the shamrock has always been part of it. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the cult signs, along with a traditional amulet. The shamrock is typically a leaf of oxalis, or what is otherwise known as the “clover of happiness.” Initially, it was white on a green background, but now it’s green. 

Why is Boston Called Celtics?

There are two popular reasons why Boston is called the Celtics. According to Brown, the first is because Boston is full of Irishmen. And the second is because Boston is named after the former New York Irish team, the Celtics. The former Celtics were a popular New York basket team full of Irish immigrants. 

Why Do They Call Them the Celtics?

The Celtics represent the rich culture of the Irish people, who were the original founders of a top New York basketball team. Although it folded in 1930, Brown resurrected the name in 1946, and the team has since lived up to the former team.

Is Celtics the Best Team Ever?

The Celtics are a great team, but whether they are the best team or not depends on the number of achievements they’ve recorded over the years. I mean the number of victories in the NBA. I mean, supporters care more about the win you bring in than how good you are. Are the Celtics the best thing ever? Well, we can say they are. Judging from the 17 NBA titles they’ve won over the years and 22 appearances in the NBA, we can say they are really great.

The Celtics changed their logo because they considered it a good time to make a mark, something new and fresh with a lot of history behind it. ” It’s not a huge change, but it’s enough to make things interesting. The Celtics logo has evolved a number of times since it was first designed by Zang in 1946. Every time their logo evolves, the goal is usually to expand the Celtics brand with a symbol that reflects the team’s rich history.

Why are the Celtics Wearing 24 on Their Jersey?

It’s a tribute to Sam Jones, a former Celtic who played a key role in the team’s legendary championship run. Sam Jones was an iconic figure in the Boston Celtics who died in 2021. He actually won 10 championships for the team, so it’s little wonder the team had to honor him at age 88 upon his death. 


Boston is a great team, without a doubt. One can visibly see that with their record, with 17 NBAs, we cannot but give the team some credit. And even though the logo looks like comics, it is still traceable to the team’s origin and that’s a good thing, for their players.

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