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Breaking Barriers With Cooper
The Celtics made history on April 25, 1950, by selecting Chuck Cooper, the first African American player drafted in NBA history. When cautioned against the move due to Cooper’s skin color, Celtics owner Walter A. Brown reportedly said, “I don’t give a damn if he’s striped, plaid, or polka dot! Boston takes Chuck Cooper of […]
Celtics Help Break Color Barrier
Red Auerbach selected Chuck Cooper in the 1950 NBA Draft, the first Black player drafted in league history. Cooper and two other players then broke the NBA’s color barrier by playing in the 1950-51 season with their teams, but Cooper said it was Auerbach who opened the door. “I’m convinced that no NBA team would […]
Cooper: Watch Your Step!
Chuck Cooper elevated over Syracuse Nationals defenders for a slam dunk in a game on December 19, 1953. This bucket was Cooper’s only successful attempt of the night, as the Celtics fell at home to the Nationals, 90-83.
Finally at the Hall
In 1975, Bill Russell was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame but declined to accept the honor, only saying at the time, “for my own personal reasons I don’t want to be a part of it.” In later years it became clear that Russell was uncomfortable being the first Black player inducted […]
Watch: Cooper Adds a Bucket
Watch Chuck Cooper add to his total of 10 points as the Celtics blew out the Baltimore Bullets on the road, 94-73. Two years earlier, Cooper made NBA history when he became the first drafted African American player, joining the Celtics in 1950. “Just like the world knows about Jackie Robinson in Major League Baseball, […]
Watch: Ed Makes It Easy
Watch as Ed Macauley provided an assist for Chuck Cooper to make an easy shot against the Minneapolis Lakers. Cooper was the first Black player drafted in NBA history and Macauley later relayed the thoughts of the Celtics players at the time: “No one ever said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this black guy coming to the […]