Brace yourself for this, because even though it’s true, you’re probably not going to like it: Boston’s basketball tradition owes a lot to New York — Brooklyn, specifically. Not only is that the borough that produced Red Auerbach, but it was also the home of the Original Celtics, a barnstorming team that is credited with popularizing professional basketball in the Northeast. Legend has it the nickname wasn’t popular when owner Walter Brown chose it in 1946, either, as Boston’s elites were wary of such an openly Irish mascot. But Brown wanted a name associated with success, and the Original Celtics certainly were successful. Mostly, though, nobody really cared. The NBA was an afterthought, established merely to fill open dates at hockey arenas during the winter.
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