Walter A. Brown

Walter Brown turned Boston into a basketball mecca. As president of the Boston Garden, he organized the first college basketball doubleheader in Beantown. In 1946 he helped establish the Basketball Association of America, and in 1949 helped form the NBA when the rival National Basketball League merged with the BAA. But Brown’s biggest accomplishment was the Boston Celtics. Brown founded the Celtics in 1946 and served as co-owner and president. His string of seven NBA championships (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964) in eight years showed his shrewd business sense and ability to form a team. Brown was responsible for Chuck Cooper becoming the first black player drafted in the NBA, and originated the NBA All Star Game which Boston hosted in 1951, the first in history. Described as “down-to-earth, honest, and imaginative,” he was beloved by his players. When he passed away, the NBA honored Brown by naming the championship trophy after him.