What’s in a Name

What's in a Name?

The legend of the naming of the team dates back to when the franchise was formed in the summer of 1946. Team founder Walter Brown was an avid hockey man who just happened to fall in love with the sport of basketball. With professional hockey in place, the perceptive Brown could now fill the empty seats at his famous Boston Garden with another winter sport team - professional basketball.

The name seemingly grew out of a conversation between Brown and Howie McHugh, a member of the Garden's publicity staff and the man assigned to handle the basketball entity. Both men suggested several nicknames, including Whirlwinds, Unicorns and Olympics.

But it was Brown, who suddenly exclaimed, "Wait, I've got it - the Celtics. We'll call them the Boston Celtics!" Brown excitedly went on, "The name has a great basketball tradition from the old Original Celtics in New York. And, Boston is full of Irishmen. We'll put them in green uniforms and call them the Boston Celtics!"

McHugh tried in vain to talk with, negotiate and dissuade Brown not to use the name Celtics, but Brown's mind had clearly reached a final decision and that would be the end of that conversation.


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