Much respect to the pioneers, including many Celtics. (From the Daily Dime):
FIRST BLACK PLAYER DRAFTED: Duquesne's Chuck Cooper (at right) was selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round in 1950; also Earl Lloyd was drafted by the Washington Capitols in the ninth round and Harold Hunter was drafted by the Washington Capitols in the 10th round.
According to George Sullivan, a New York Times reporter, one owner said, "Walter, don't you know he's a colored boy?" To which Celtics owner Walter Brown responded, "I don't give a damn if he's striped, plaid, or polka dot! Boston takes Chuck Cooper of Duquesne!"
FIRST MVP: Bill Russell in 1957-58 with the Boston Celtics
FIRST HEAD COACH: Bill Russell in 1966-67 with the Boston Celtics (he was a player-coach)
Marc Spears also has an article on Earl Lloyd, the first black player to play in the NBA.
"I truly believe this, that if the Celtics did not draft Chuck [Cooper] in the second round, you could not tell me that the Washington Capitols in 1950 were going to make me the first black player to play in this league. No way . . . The Boston Celtics had a tremendous influence on my acceptance in the NBA," said Lloyd in a recent phone interview.
Please note: Celtics Stuff Live is pleased to announce that Earl Lloyd and Marc Spears will be guests on our Feb. 24th show in honor of Black History Month.