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Maine Red Claws sold to Boston Celtics

The acquisition was announced Tuesday morning at a joint press conference.
Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
The Maine Red Claws mascot performs a trick during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks in Boston, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Boston Celtics have acquired the Maine Red Claws basketball team.

The acquisition was announced Tuesday morning, October 15, at a joint press conference at the Portland Expo Building where the team plays their home games.

Officials said the team will stay in Portland and there will be no disruption to the current Red Claws staff, though it may be augmented. 

Red Claws owner William Ryan Jr. made the announcement flanked by Celtics President Rich Gotham, Red Claws Coach Austin Ainge and Red Claws President Duane Eubanks. 

Ryan would not disclose the price tag that the Red Claws sold for but said it was important that whoever bought the team was community-oriented. 

Ryan said he was thrilled that the Red Claws, who debuted in 2009, was sold to one of the "most storied professional sports organization in the world."

"We are already proud of what we do but I think you will see something even better," Ryan said. 

President of the Celtics Rich Gotham said the shamrock team will bring resources, expertise and brand equity to the Red Claws. 

"The G League has become increasingly important to the NBA, the Maine Red Claws have become increasingly important to the Celtics player development effort," Gotham said.

He said the Celtics want to invest in better basketball which creates a better game for the Red Claws and ultimately a better game for the Celtics.

Fifty percent of all players in the NBA once played in the G League, Ainge said. Buying the G League team solidifies the partnership that already existed between the Celtics and Red Claws and is seen as a direct move to invest in the Celtics future. 

Gotham said the Red Claws fan base is great and that the Celtics will help it grow. 

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