The Ultimate Guide to Boston Celtics Jersey History

by | Jan 30, 2024 | NBA Jerseys

The Boston Celtics aren’t just one of the best NBA teams ever, their jerseys are iconic. Since they were founded way back in 1946, those classic green and white uniforms have come to represent the team’s long history of success.

As we explore the detailed Boston Celtics jersey history, we not only delve into a key element of sports fashion but also celebrate a symbol of the Celtics’ illustrious past.

Though the designs have been tweaked here and there over the years, they basically looked the same the whole time. That’s very fitting for a franchise that values tradition.

For Celtics fans, rocking one of those jerseys is a badge of pride and a symbol of the dominance this team has had through the ups and downs.

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1946-50 Boston Celtics Jersey

When the Boston Celtics first came onto the scene in 1946, no one could have predicted they’d become one of basketball’s most dominant franchises. They were one of the early teams when the Basketball Association of America (the precursor to the NBA) was just getting started.

The Celtics didn’t set the world on fire right away. Honestly, they struggled big time in that first season trying to figure things out and be competitive.

But they did establish one thing that would stand the test of time, their classic green and white team colors and jerseys. Even in those first fledgling years, the green and white stood as a symbol of the fighting spirit and refusal to back down that would one day define the Celtics.

1951-68 Boston Celtics Jersey

1951-68 Boston Celtics Jersey

The 1950s and early 60s were totally the Celtics’ time to shine. They dominated the NBA, winning title after title behind stars like Bill Russell and John Havlicek. Their jerseys back then matched their simple, no-nonsense style of play.

The Celtics wore classic green and white jerseys made by Medalist Sand-Knit during this period. They repped the team’s colors from 1951 all the way to 1968 at home and 1965 on the road. We’re talking about major longevity here! They kept a straightforward, iconic look that embodied the Celtics spirit.

Celts legends Russell, Havlicek and Sam Jones rocked these jerseys as they took over the NBA. Seeing them own the court in that classic green and white only added to those players’ god-like statuses.

The no-frills jerseys were so Celtics, not flashy, just reliable excellence, like Russell grabbing rebound after rebound wearing the iconic uniform. Simple but so meaningful for Celtics fans and NBA history overall.

1968-89 Boston Celtics Jersey

1968-89 Boston Celtics Jersey

The late 60s through the 80s were a time of evolution for the Celtics, both in terms of team dynamics and jersey style.

The Celtics’ jerseys kept their trademark green and white during this stretch, of course. But the designs started shifting with the times more compared to the more straightforward previous looks. While staying true to their classics, the late 60s and 70s Celtics units gradually got a little more modern flair.

Celtics jerseys were still made by the trusty Medalist Sand-Knit company through the 80s before Champion took over in 1989. This marked a new era as the NBA started looking at team gear through a more consumer-focused lens.

On the court though, it was business as usual – which meant championships. Led by new superstar Larry Bird along with Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and more, the Celtics kept their spot among the league’s elite. They claimed titles in 74, 76, 81, 84 and 86.

There were some logo shifts too that brought in a more vibrant look. The classic leprechaun got an update in 1968 and a new background treatment.

1989-97 Boston Celtics Jersey

1989-97 Boston Celtics Jersey

The late 80s into the 90s were transitional years for the Celtics. Their jerseys kept that trademark green and white look during this stretch, still made by Champion. But there were definitely some shifts happening on and off the court.

As the legends who drove the glory years like Larry Bird entered their final seasons, these Celtics uniforms became symbols of both the storied past and a bridge into a new unknown future. The simple, classic designs embodied the Celtics way, while also showing a team very much in flux.

With Bird missing major time and then retiring due to injuries, the Celtics struggled to maintain their dominance. Though he made an inspiring comeback in 1989-90 after surgery, Bird and the Celtics just didn’t have that old magic.

It was definitely an era of transition. But while the roster faced a lot of uncertainty, those green jerseys kept fans connected to epic Celtics history during the ups and downs. The championships weren’t there, but pride remained.

1997-04 Boston Celtics Jersey

1997-04 Boston Celtics Jersey

The late 90s into the early 2000s saw the Celtics continue evolving their look. In 1997, they switched from Champion to Nike taking over manufacturing their iconic green and white jerseys.

The core Celtic green design didn’t change, speaking to how the franchise still respected its rich history. But there were some subtle tweaks here and there, with piping and lettering getting modernized.

On the court, the Celtics were going through a transitional period trying to regain their dominance. The post-Larry Bird era was all about getting back on top after years away from true contention.

There were some solid playoff runs thanks to stars like Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker. But no rings to show for it.

Though the championships didn’t come, those jerseys kept fans connected to the banners of the past while hoping for more in the future.

2004-06 Boston Celtics Jersey

2004-06 Boston Celtics Jersey

In 2004, the jersey manufacturing duties switched over to Reebok. The classic green design didn’t change though, just some subtle updates to the piping and trim.

On the court, the 2004-2005 squad showed some real promise. Led by longtime star Paul Pierce, they put together 45 wins to nab the 3 seed in the East. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get over the hump in the playoffs.

Names and faces shuffled in and out, but that green uniform linked eras past and present. Promising talents emerged to revitalize Celtic Pride for a new generation. And the iconic jerseys reminded fans that this was still the same iconic franchise ready to recapture glory.

2006-14 Boston Celtics Jersey

2006-14 Boston Celtics Jersey

The late 2000s into the early 2010s saw the Celtics rocking some sharp new threads. With Adidas taking over manufacturing duties in 2006, the jerseys blended classic Boston style with some contemporary flair.

The home whites and road greens maintained a simple, elegant look that aligned with Celtics tradition – accentuating those iconic colors fans know and love. But there were some fresh alternate uniforms added to the mix too that broke from tradition with modern touches.

Take those alternate green jerseys featuring black lettering and trim. The prominent “Boston” text on the front made a bold statement and those black panels with a green shamrock were total throwbacks to late 1940s C’s pride.

Celtics legends like The Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen repped these jerseys, adding to their nostalgia. But also names like Shaquille O’Neal during his short Boston run. Some true big-time players that made this Celtic-green threaded look hugely popular.

On top of some new looks, this stretch also saw major success with that 2008 title run. So these jerseys carry cultural significance too as symbols of Boston rallying around that KG-Pierce-Allen banner.

2014-17 Boston Celtics Jersey

2014-17 Boston Celtics Jersey

The mid-2010s saw the Celtics rolling out some slick uniforms that blended old school legacy with modern style. Manufactured by Adidas from 2014-2017, the jerseys featured classic green and white as the base while experimenting with some fresh decorative touches.

The home whites kept it simple yet bold by accentuating the green. The road greens maintained their iconic status as well, representing Celtic identity and heritage for big name guys new and old.

There were also some flashy alternate editions, like the fan-favorite St. Patty’s Day jerseys around this stretch.

Then there were the unique “Parquet Pride” sleeved grays from 2014-2017. The white letters with green trim popped nicely, while the shorts had the leprechaun logo every Celtics fan knows and loves. But the parquet-pattern sides were an especially cool touch shouting out the Celtics’ iconic home hardwood.

2017-18 Boston Celtics Jersey

2017-18 Boston Celtics Jersey

The 2017-2018 season marked a fresh start for the Celtics’ uniforms with Nike taking over manufacturing duties. While keeping that classic green and white identity, Nike introduced some slick modern touches. There were a few different looks showcasing both tradition and innovation.

The Association whites and Icon greens carried on Celtic legacy in a clean, updated package. But the Statement black jerseys with green lettering and City edition gray-and-greens made bolder stylistic statements. Specifically, that eye-catching City uniform worn by Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and others tried some daring new designs.

On the roster side, some major moves brought excitement with Kyrie coming over from Cleveland and the drafting of elite rookie prospect Jayson Tatum out of Duke. Joined by mainstays like Al Horford, the Celtics were looking dangerous.

Though they fell just short of the Finals, 2017-2018 proved a memorable campaign and those unique jerseys encapsulated a team blending championship heritage with fresh swagger.

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2018-19 Boston Celtics Jersey

2018-19 Boston Celtics Jersey

Nike put their unique stamp on Celtics uniforms again in 2018-2019, mixing timeless Boston style with modern basketball flair across some sweet jerseys.

The City edition green received the praise of fans keeping Celtic Pride alive through a contemporary lens, sported with swagger by Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and crew.

But traditional looks still had their place too. Those classic white Associations and iconic green Icons brought familiar comfort while getting upgraded fabric and trim.

On the court under coach Brad Stevens, talent like Irving and rising phenom Tatum pushed the gritty Cs to another solid season finish. Though Finals hopes fell short, their sharp green-themed Nike threads signaled this young squad’s blend of hardwood heritage and fresh outlook.

2019-20 Boston Celtics Jersey

2019-20 Boston Celtics Jersey

The Celtics had a strong 2019-2020 campaign on the hardwood, powered by the dynamic duo of Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum. They finished third in the East with a solid 48-24 record. Though they fell short of the Finals, there were definitely some iconic moments along the way that made it a memorable year.

The uniforms were pretty sharp too. Nike continued coming up with new designs that represented Boston culture and heritage. The City edition threads are always my favorite each season, how they highlight something unique about each NBA city through jersey styling.

The City edition Celtics jerseys used a lot of Gaelic influences in the lettering and numbers to celebrate Boston’s Irish background. They featured a bold green background with Celtic knot patterns infused throughout. Really clean look that felt both fresh and true to Boston through the shamrock motifs and classic green.

2020-21 Boston Celtics Jersey

2020-2021 Boston Celtics Jersey

The 2020-2021 campaign was definitely a unique one for the Celtics and the NBA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a condensed 72-game schedule, the Celtics navigated an up and down year to finish 36-36, landing them the 7 seed in the East playoffs.

In terms of threads, the Celtics intrigued with some slick new looks. The Air Jordan-manufactured Statement jerseys made a splash with their black base and eye-catching green trim, earning rave reviews that matched their playmaking guys like Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart.

But those City Edition uniforms took Celtics legacy to another level. Mimicking the classic championship banner look in jersey form was a stroke of genius. Between the iconic parquet floor print and gold Larry O’Brien trophy imagery, they connected today’s rising squad to past legends in pursuit of hanging Banner 18.

The Statement jerseys brought contemporary flash, but those City greens wove team history into the fabric itself. It was like Jaylen Brown and the current stars were donning relics that channeled Bill Russell himself striding the Garden hardwood once again.

2021-22 Boston Celtics Jersey

2021-22 Boston Celtics Jersey
2021-22 Boston Celtics Jersey City edition

The 2021-2022 campaign was a banner year for the Celtics – both in terms of on-court success and their sweet uniform game. Guided by first-year head coach Ime Udoka, Boston nabbed 51 wins and the 2 seed in the East playoffs.

The jerseys beautifully blended Celtic heritage and contemporary style. There was the 1950s-inspired Classic uniform for the NBA 75th anniversary, instantly recognizable with its retro vibe.

But the City Edition greens took it up another notch. Blending beloved looks over the years from Red Auerbach tribute shorts to 1980s Larry Legend lettering, it was like a treasure chest of iconic moments meshed into threads. The shamrock logo short trim and arched “CELTICS” front text transported any Jays, Horfords or Smarts back to Boston’s early days. Just an incredibly fresh way to rep 75 years of utmost hoops pride.

From past championship glory to pursuing present pursuit, these jerseys linked extraordinary eras. Whether rocking 1950s classics or eras crossing city specials, the 2021-2022 Celtics honored those retired numbers high above the parquet through aesthetics and aspiration.

2022-23 Boston Celtics Jersey

2022-23 Boston Celtics Jersey

The 2022-2023 season has seen some sharp new uniform debuts repping that storied Celtic green. As usual, Nike has been creatively blending old school tradition with fresh modern flair across the Cs’ jersey lineup.

We get the classics – the white home Associations and green road Icons upholding Celtic Pride in an updated package. But some, like the Statement Edition threads, get modernized tweaks, like removing stripe designs for a streamlined appearance.

The Celtics themselves are upholding their own excellence on the parquet. An incredibly impressive 57-25 regular season record earned them the 2 seed entering the playoffs. It’s a testament to the resilience and development of this squad under coach Joe Mazzulla.

Stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown do these jerseys justice game in and out by performing at an elite level while honoring a long legacy. Because the Celtics’ uniforms have always been symbols of something bigger, the pride of a city, the passion of its beloved fans and generations who forged the path to hang banners the current players hope to match one day.

2023-24 Boston Celtics Jersey

2023-24 Boston Celtics Jersey
The Celtics are taking a vintage approach to their [City jerseys] that traces back basketball’s origins. The “BOSTON” lettering across the front uses a unique font actually inspired by the entrance of the iconic Springfield, Mass YMCA, where the legendary James Naismith invented basketball back in the 1800s. The sides of the jersey and shorts have an eye-catching “basket weave” pattern with leather ball-resembling trim, paying homage to the original peach baskets and leather balls from early basketball days. Not flashy, but creatively linking today’s stars to the game’s earliest history through classy touches. The Celtics themselves are essentially basketball royalty with 17 championships. The City Edition jersey is about honoring those Naismith days that eventually spawned icons from Bill Russell to Larry Bird to modern Boston heroes, a graceful celebration through aesthetics.
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Special Edition Jerseys

2001-02 Boston Celtics 9/11 Memorial Special Jersey

2001-02 Boston Celtics Jersey 911 Memorial Special

The 2001-2002 season came just weeks after the devastating September 11 attacks. Like the rest of the nation, the Celtics looked for ways to honor those lost and impacted across the country. The solution was placing a simple but meaningful 9/11 memorial patch on the team’s regular home uniforms.

Featuring an American flag intertwined with a patriotic red, white and blue ribbon, the modest patch was worn on the right chest area. It served as a constant reminder for players to not only play for the name on the front of the jersey but also for something much bigger.

Simple gestures in pro sports can sometimes mean the most during national tragedies. The patch was the Celtics’ symbolic way to honor victims and preserve the memory even in the midst of heated on-court battles.

2006-15 Boston Celtics St. Patrick’s Day Special Jersey


2006-13 Boston Celtics Jersey St. Patrick's Day Special


2013-15 Boston Celtics Jersey St. Patrick's Day Special

When it comes to unique jerseys repping Celtics pride, you can’t forget about those sharp St. Paddy’s Day unis from 2006-2015. Manufactured by Adidas, those special edition green jerseys were donned for the annual March 17th games.

Featuring prominent Celtic cross motifs and trimming that resembled Ireland’s national flag, they allowed stars like Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and even briefly Shaquille O’Neal to rep their Boston hardwood heritage with some Irish flair.

Fans loved seeing names old and new wear these holiday threads on the parquet. They embodied the rich Irish history woven into Boston culture.

It might seem like just a festive annual tradition, but the special edition greens held deeper ties. The Celtics community has always celebrated those Irish roots. So shamrock jerseys on St. Patrick’s Day felt symbolic-bridging basketball prominence and enduring ethnic pride.

2007-08 Boston Celtics Europe Live Tour Jersey

2007-08 Boston Celtics Jersey Europe Live Tour

The Celtics went on a tour of Europe in 2007 to play some friendly basketball games there. This was a few years after they had put together their new “Big Three” team of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. People were excited to see if this group could win an NBA championship.

During the Europe Tour, the Celtics likely wore special jerseys to celebrate the trip.

The 2007 Europe Tour had games in England, Italy, Spain and Turkey. The Celtics played against pro teams from Europe, as well as other NBA teams doing tours there. It was part of the NBA’s plan to grow interest in basketball globally. The Celtics and other NBA teams won most of those games in Europe before returning home for the regular season.

2008-09 Boston Celtics Champion Special Jersey

2008-09 Boston Celtics champion special Jersey

The Celtics had a pretty cool special jersey designed by Adidas for the 2008-2009 season.

This was during the time when the new “Big Three” Celtics group of Garnett, Pierce and Ray Allen were having lots of success. They won the championship the year before. So that unique 2008-2009 jersey has become a symbol of that era in Celtics history.

It was a popular jersey that people still remember.

Boston Celtics Christmas Special Jersey


2012-13 Boston Celtics Chrismas Special Jersey


2016-17 Boston Celtics Chrismas Special Jersey

Boston Celtics Earned Edition Jersey


2018-19 Boston Celtics Earned Edition Jersey


2020-21 Boston Celtics Earned Edition Jersey

Nike makes these cool “Earned Edition” jerseys for NBA teams that make the playoffs each year. For example, the 16 playoff teams from 2020-2021 got their own special design. These jerseys look different from the normal team uniforms.

Most Earned Edition jerseys have silver logos instead of the usual colors. That includes the Nike swoosh, the size tag, and NBA logo.

The jerseys take inspiration from what makes each franchise unique, stuff like their name, logo and colors. So they emphasize the most iconic parts of that team’s look.

Nike first dropped these jerseys back in 2018-19 season for the playoff teams. They skipped 2019-20 but brought them back again. Fans can buy them to represent their squad’s success!

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Sandy Lee

Hi! I’m Sandy Lee, the creator of Jerseys Wiki. As a lifelong sports enthusiast with a special fondness for sport jerseys, I’ve created this space to share my passion. Join me as we explore the rich tapestry of sports jerseys, Learn more about me.
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