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Boston Celtics History: The Inaugural Year of the Celtics trivia quiz

1946-47 marked the 1st season for the C’s in Beantown.

NBA: Playoffs-Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

If one wishes to try the harder All-Star edition of the quiz, try to answer the questions without looking at the multiple choice offerings; extra points only apply as possible if the correct answer to the original question is given first.

Layup-What was the name of the league, a precursor of the NBA, in which the Celtics played during their first season of 1946-47?*who was the first commissioner

A) National Basketball League

B) Basketball Association of America

Dunk-What stadium hosted the first official Celtics game during their inaugural season?

A) Boston Arena B) Harvard University Gymnasium

Reverse layup-True or false: the parquet floor of the old Boston Garden was made up of discarded pieces of scrap wood, which led to the parquet design and pieces that didn’t always fit perfectly together.*how many pieces formed the original parquet floor

A) True B) False

Free throw-What future major league baseballer and TV star played for the Celtics in 1946-47, averaging 4.6 points a game?

A) Chuck Connors B) Al Brightman C) Lou Boudreau

Free throw-Along with the Celtics, which is the only other existing NBA team to remain in its original city from the inaugural 1946-47 season?

A) Philadelphia 76ers B) New York Knicks

C) Washington Wizards

Free throw-What was the original full name of the Boston Garden?

A) The Boston Tea Garden B) Boston Madison Square Garden

C) Boston Square Garden

Free throw-What team won the first BAA championship in 1947?

A) Philadelphia Warriors B) Chicago Stags C) St. Louis Bombers

Jump shot-What Seton Hall coaching legend piloted the Celtics in their first season?*what was his nickname

A) John Russell B) Red Auerbach C) Nat Holman

D) Bill Raftery

Jump shot-Which of the following were NOT nicknames team owner Walter Brown considered before settling on Celtics in 1946?

A) Whirlwinds B) Unicorns C) Olympians D) Patriots

Jump shot-What was the nickname of the Toronto franchise the Celtics tied for last in the 1946-47 eastern division standings?

A) Raptora B) Grizzlies C) Maple Leafs D) Huskies

Hook shot-What team did future Celtic legend Red Auerbach coach to the league’s best record in 1946-47?

A) New York Knicks B) Providence Steamrollers

C) Washington Capitols D) Chicago Stags

3-pointer-Whom did owner Walter Brown have to pay thousands of dollars to in order to buy the rights to the Celtics nickname?

A) Jim Furey B) Nat Holman C) Joe Lapchick D) Davey Banks

3-pointer-Who led Boston in scoring during their first season with a modest 10.3 ppg?

A) Chuck Connors B) Al Brightman C) Connie Simmons

D) Jerry Kelly E) Wyndol Gray

3-pointer-What almost disastrous event happened to nearly cancel the first home game ever for the Celtics in 1946, delaying it for two hours?*whom did they play

A) Broken rim B) Ice under the wooden floor causing slippage

C) Broken backboard in warmups

D) No referees E) Power outage

3-pointer-Which of the following defunct teams was NOT one of the five clubs who comprised the Western Division of the BAA in 1946-47?

A) Chicago Stags B) St. Louis Bombers C) Detroit Falcons

D) Pittsburgh Ironmen E) Minneapolis Lakers

33 points is the highest possible score.


Layup-B) Boston played in the BAA for three seasons, while the NBL was its rival league from 1946-49. The two leagues merged for the 1949-50 season and the new loop was renamed the National Basketball Association.

*Maurice “Poodles” Podoloff, a 5-3 Ukrainian immigrant, was the first commissioner. A hockey man and astute businessman, he admittedly knew next to nothing about hoops.

The BAA, which had 11 teams in 1946-47, featured the bigger cities and arenas, while the NBL had smaller pro cities (such as Anderson, Indiana) and venues, but arguably played better basketball.

Dunk- A) The Celtics played their first game in Boston Arena since a rodeo was being held at the Boston Garden. The Garden, built in 1928, used to also host such events such as indoor ski jumping, boxing matches and political conventions.

The three-tiered, 7,200-seat Boston Arena was the frequent Celtic practice venue, with a hockey rink on the first floor, dormitory type rooms on the second floor, and the basketball court on the third level.

Reverse layup-A) True. Tony DiNitale of nearby Brookline, Mass. built the famed court out of *264 interlocking, sometimes mismatched pieces of wood.

Seasoned hardwood was in short supply at the time due to the post-WWII housing boom.

Free throw-A) Kevin “Chuck” Connors was a wild, physical 6-7 forward for Boston in their first season. He shot 46 percent from the foul line and 25 percent from the field in his lone full pro basketball season.

Connors played major league baseball for the Cubs and Dodgers as a first baseman, then later starred in the popular TV western series “The Rifleman.”

Future Pacer gunner Chuck Connors Person was named after the former Celtic, as his mom was a big fan of the TV show.

Free throw-B) Along with the Celtics, the New York Knicks are the only other existing NBA team to remain in its original city from the inaugural 1946-47 season. The other six teams surviving from that era have all moved at least once - the Lakers, 76ers, Pistons, Hawks, Kings and Warriors.

Free throw-B) Boston Madison Square Garden was the original name, much like their counterpart in New York.

Free throw-A) The Warriors, who originated in Philadelphia as the descendant of the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association team, beat Chicago in the first NBA Finals.

Philly, led by jump-shooting scoring leader Joe Fulks, finished 35-25 and second in the East regular season.

Jump shot-A) John *Honey Russell coached Boston to a 22-38 record in 1946-47, tied for fifth and last in the eastern division of the BAA with Toronto. They missed the six-team playoffs.

The hot-headed Russell had been a successful player with the Original Celtics and fine coach at Seton Hall, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1964.

Jump shot-D) Patriots was the nickname that Brown did not consider among Whirlwinds, Olympians and Unicorns.

Jump shot-D) Huskies was the nickname of the Toronto franchise the Celtics tied for last in the 1946-47 eastern division standings at 22-38, well out of the playoffs.

Hook shot-C) Red Auerbach guided Washington to a BAA-best 49-11 record in 1946-47, but the Capitols were upset by the Chicago Stags in the semifinals.

3-pointer-A) Jim Furey, who owed the great Original Celtics barnstorming team of the 1920s/30s featuring Laphick and Holman. Brown considered other nicknames before settling on Celtics in order to appeal to Boston’s large Irish population.

3-pointer-C) Connie Simmons was the only Celtic to average double figure points per game at 10.3. Defensive ace Al Brightman, later a college coach, scored 9.8 ppg. Gray (6.4), Kelly (6.0) and Connors (4.6) also supported Simmons.

Using bigger-inflated balls which varied widely in quality compared to today, Simmons also led the team in field goal percentage at 32 percent, and in foul shooting (67.7%).

3-pointer-C) Zany Chuck Connors shattered the glass backboard with a 40-foot heave as warmups ended before the opener was to start. Team officials had to go across town to the Boston Garden to get another backboard. But the Garden was hosting a rodeo, and the backboard was stored in a room with Brahman bulls. Eventually some drunken cowboys dragged the backboard through the dangerous area and it was installed at the Arena.

In the interim, fans from the original crowd of 6,000 who stayed for the game were treated to ballhandling drills and a 3 on 3 competition.

Boston lost to the Chicago Stags 57-55 in their first home game on a late basket by Max Zaslofsky, who scored 28 points.

3-pointer-E) Minneapolis Lakers. The above mentioned four teams and the Cleveland Rebels made up the West, won by the Chicago Stags over the St. Louis Bombers by a game, 39-22 to 38-23.

The Lakers, who began as the Detroit Gems, played as Detroit in the 1946-47 NBL.

Other NBL teams were the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons, Anderson Duffey Packers, Rochester Royals, Toledo Jeeps, Syracuse Nationals, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Youngstown Bears, Oshkosh All-Stars, Indianapolis Kautskys, Chicago American Gears and Sheboygan Redskins.

Surviving teams: the Royals moved to Cincinnati and then Kansas City as the renamed Kings before going on to Sacramento; the Nationals became the 76ers when the Philly Warriors moved to San Francisco; the Ft. Wayne Pistons moved to Detroit in 1958; and the Blackhawks eventually went on to Milwaukee and St. Louis before settling in Atlanta as the Hawks.

The Chicago Gears beat Rochester in the 1947 NBL Finals, 3-1.

The Gems moved to Minneapolis and won the 1948 NBL title. Akron won the first three NBL crowns from 1938-40. Oshkosh captured the next two titles, while Ft. Wayne later won a pair of crowns in 1944-45.

Anderson (Indiana) won the last NBL title in 1949 before the NBL and BAA merged into an unwieldy 17-team league.

Scoring scale


30-32=1st ballot Hall of Famer

27-29=Retired Celtic jersey number, Hall of Famer

24-26=Celtic All-Star

21-23=Celtic starter

18-20=Celtic sixth man

15-17=Celtic second stringer

12-14=11th man

9-11=12th man

7-9=3-man sliding roster

4-6=D leaguer

1-3=D league reserve

0=1st day cut

To contact the quizmaster directly, email Cort Reynolds at

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