Game seven of the NBA Finals. A familiar rivalry that actually becomes more exciting because the teams have so much basketball history.

Let’s step back from the oomph and ebullience of the Finals for a minute. How much do you know about the basics behind the Celtics/Lakers battle?

What is a Celtic, and why the Boston Celtics?

The Celts were various peoples who lived across Europe when the Roman Empire was expanding. The common factor between the tribal groups was the Celtic family of languages.  The region where Celtic languages still have the strongest presence is Scotland, Wales, part of France, and Ireland.

NBA.com gives the following reason for how the Boston Celtics got their name: Team founder Walter Brown thought of an earlier basketball team from New York named the Celtics and figured since Boston had a large Irish population, the Celtics was a great name to use again. The moniker stuck.

As many commenters have noted, the pronunciation of “Celtic” is a messy thing. While we say the Boston “Celtics” with the C sounding like an S, when one talks about “Celtic” language or anything that refers to Celtic culture, the C sounds like a K. But if we talk about “the Celts” to describe the ancient people of that name, the C sounds like an S. Yet another demonstration that language can be as inconsistent as the world it describes.

Now, the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles isn’t known for bodies of water besides the Pacific. The Los Angeles River is an infamously dry canal paved with concrete. So who put the lake in the Lakers?

Before the Lakers moved to arid Southern California, the team was known as the Minneapolis Lakers. As in Minnesota, “land of 10,000 lakes.” Why did the team owner, Bob Short, keep  the now oxymoronic name? One of the major rules of branding is “If people recognize it, keep it.” Plus, “the Los Angeles Lakers” is the epitome of awesome alliteration.

Do you have any burning questions about basketball names or meaning? (Like the etymology of dribble? Or the origin of foul?) Post your queries in the comments section and check back later for an answer.

Animals, plants and nature Send items to nbrcalendar@dailyherald.com.(Neighbor)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) November 5, 2011 Events that involve pets and other animals, plants and nature, such as adoption days, nature walks, microchipping, nature photography exhibits, calls for volunteers for nature-related work days, etc. Deadline is two weeks before event date.

Greyhounds Only Meet & Greet: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Saturday of the month, PetSmart, Hunt Club Road and Grand Ave., Gurnee. Come and meet retired racing greyhounds and learn about their need for loving caring homes. Information about other Greyhounds Only Meet & Greet locations, donations, volunteer opportunities and adoption and rescue needs can be found at www.greyhoundsonly.com or call (847) 421-9828. website astronomy for kids

Worm Bin workshop: 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, Knupper Nursery, 1801 N. Rand Road, Palatine. Don’t throw kitchen scraps into the landfill, feed them to your worms. Create a worm bin of your own. Materials and starter worms are included. $20 per bin. register at (847) 359-1080. in our site astronomy for kids

Lake County Audubon Society: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, Libertyville Village Hall, 118 W. Cook St., Dr. Jeff Walk, director of science for the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy give a presentation on “Illinois Birds: a Century of Change.” All welcome. Chris, (847) 362-5134.

Volunteer at Stillman: Friday, Nov. 11 and 25, Stillman Nature Center, Penny Road, between Routes 59 and 62, South Barrington. Volunteer duties include clearing buckthorn, collecting seeds, planting trees, burning brush, cleaning raptor enclosures, and spreading chips on trails. Stillman has the tools; healthy, outdoor-loving volunteers are needed. Bring work gloves and wear clothes you don’t mind getting muddy. For information, (847) 428-6957 or stillnc@wildblue.net.

Astronomy for Kids: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, Harper College’s Karl G. Henize Observatory, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine. Students in third-sixth grade learn to identify planets, stars and constellations in Palatine’ night sky and observe deep-sky objects through telescopes. Free, open to the public. Visit, harperastronomy.org.


  1. wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 9, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    I thought they were pronounced:

    The Boston Keltics
    Keltic xyz
    The Kelts

    You learn something new every day!

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