The 1964–65 NBA season was the Celtics’ 19th season in the NBA. The Celtics finished the season by winning their eighth NBA Championship, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. In 1996, the team was named one of the 10 greatest teams in NBA history. In addition five players were inducted into the Hall of Fame – K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Russell, and John Havlicek. Sam Jones, Havlicek, and Russell were selected as among the NBA’s 50 greatest players. Both Red Auerbach and John Thompson were elected into the Hall of Fame as coaches.
This season is best noted for Havlicek’s heroic “steal” of the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Division final, immortalized in a commentary by Johnny Most where he exclaims that “Havlicek stole the ball.” This is considered one of the greatest NBA moments, and its importance over time overshadowed the subsequent final between the Celtics and Lakers (of which there were many played in that era).