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The ABCs of the Celtics' part in the growth of the NBA

 I'm talking about Red Auerbach, Walter Brown and Chuck Cooper. We still hear and read a lot about the late Redhead, but little about his former boss, Celtics owner Walter Brown, and the first black player ever chosen in the NBA draft, Chuck Cooper. Brown signed Cooper to a contract with the Boston Celtics despite antagonistic reactions from around the League.


Brown famously maintained that he would have selected Cooper even if the latter had sprouted polka dots.

Sounds like something Auerbach would say. It is no wonder that Walter and Red got along so well as the NBA was in its infancy. Damn the torpedoes, and full-speed ahead. Cooper could play, and that was all that mattered.


Brown took a man for who he was, regardless of race, color, religion or any other designation. He made deals with a handshake and stood by them. Drafting Chuck in 1950 in the second round opened the door for others of color seek fame and fortune on the hardwood.

Several years later, Walter signed another black college star that changed the way the game was played and became the on-court leader of one of the few, true dynasties in professional sports. 


There you have it! The ABCs of the origins of the NBA. And the vital importance of of the union between an owner and his coach, and the two men of color that broke ground for the many black players that thrill fans all over the world.

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