The city of Portland, ME is a little more than 100 miles north of Boston, MA but both cities basketball teams are closer than they've ever been

The Boston Celtics, the Maine Red Claws, and the NBA Development League today announced that the Celtics and Red Claws have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2012-13 NBA D-League season. Boston will be Maines sole NBA affiliate and will have full control over the teams basketball operations.

This "hybrid" partnership, which is the fifth of its kind, allows for the C's to secure control of and cover the expenses related to the basketball operations of the Red Claws while partnering with existing local ownership, which maintains responsibility for the Claws' off-the-court business operations.

Six other NBA teams are singly affiliated with their NBA D-League affiliates.

The Red Claws and Celtics have been affiliated since the 2009-10 season, when Maines entered the NBA D-League.

"We are excited to formalize an already great relationship we have established with Maine. Not only is it a perfect fit geographically, but the people of Maine are some of our most loyal Celtic fans, and Bill Ryan Jr. and the Red Claws staff have been great to work with," said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. "What a great opportunity for our young players to get game reps and develop their skills, while still maintaining the continuity and direction of our organization."

The Charlotte Bobcats and the Philadelphia 76ers were previously affiliated with Maine during the 2011-12 season, but will be forced to look elsewhere for the 2012-13 season.


The NBA D-League celebrated its 11th and most successful season, where records were set with 60 GATORADE Call-Ups and 67 assignments, while 27 percent of players on 2011-12 NBA end-of-season rosters spent time in the NBA D-League. For the third consecutive year, the NBA D-League saw more than one million fans attend games across its 16 cities.