The Selling of the Green: The Financial Rise and Moral Decline of the Boston Celtics

Harvey Araton, Author, Filip Bondy, With HarperCollins Publishers $20 (271p) ISBN 978-0-06-018301-1
Although Boston is 25% black, it has a reputation as a racist city; also relevant to the premise of the book is the fact that the basketball Celtics, one of professional sports' most successful franchises, have few fans among the city's minority population. The Celtics management has tried for four decades to create the image that it is color-blind: the team signed the first black player, hired the first black coach and the Celtics were the first to play an all-black starting lineup. But the image is not the reality, according to New York Times sports columnists Araton and Bondy in this hard-hitting expose. The Celtics, originally led to greatness by black center Bill Russell, prefer to make a public hero of white forward John Havlicek; for years the management has tried to assemble a roster of six blacks and six whites, although some of the whites are talented enough only to sit on the bench. The authors maintain that racism is endemic in the NBA and that it is especially blatant in Boston. They also argue convincingly that the Boston press has played a shameful role in cloaking that the Celtics team is ``still for whites.'' Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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