Today in Celtics history: Celtics, NBA created; 1976 Championship won

Today, June 6th 2017 is the 71st anniversary of the creation of the Basketball Association of America (BAA - the precursor to the NBA) and component teams, among which was the Boston Celtics, one of only six of the original teams to still exist in the modern NBA. The inaugural season had a 60-game schedule (perhaps they were on to something?), and tacked on eight more minutes than the 40-minute collegiate game played then and today. Many of the team owners (including Boston owner Walter Brown) had close ties to professional hockey, and the BAA playoffs were modeled after professional hockey playoffs as a result.

Today is also the 41st anniversary of the Celts' 1976 championship, their 13th, won against the Phoenix Suns in their second-ever finals appearance. Significant underdogs, Phoenix was called the "Sunderellas" by some simply through making it to the matchup. The managed to steal a pair of games from the Celts, including a Game Four triple-overtime thriller, before the Celtics sealed the deal on the road in Game Six, winning 87-80 behind Jo Jo White's 15-point performance. It would be John Havlicek's eighth and final ring with the club, and, years later, EIGHT players from this series would one day go on to become coaches, including Pat Riley, Don Nelson, Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, Gar Heard, Dick Van Arsdale, Paul Westphal, and John Wetzel.

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Photo via WBUR
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