The NBA G-League’s Maine Red Claws announced yesterday the team would be known as the Maine Celtics beginning with the 2021-22 season. The Red Claws had been affiliated with the Boston Celtics since 2012 and owned by the team since 2019.
“I’m as excited about this change as I was when we started the Maine Red Claws back in 2009,” Maine Celtics President Daijuan Eubanks said in the press release. “Directly aligning our franchise name with the iconic Boston Celtics brand creates a new era of heritage building for basketball here in Maine.”
This name change now increases the amount of NBA G-League clubs directly using NBA team names from eleven up to twelve.
“When we purchased the Maine franchise in 2019, we immediately made that organization a part of our family,” said Boston Celtics President Rich Gotham. “The decision to rename the team to ‘Maine Celtics’ is the next step in that evolution, and a nod to our diehard fan base, which extends throughout the great state of Maine.”
While the Red Claws name is now just another identity added to minor league sports’ colourful history books, the lobster from the logo will at least live on.
Re-coloured green from red, the new Maine Celtics primary logo takes the lobster from the Red Claws’ secondary logo, showing a lobster holding a basketball with one free claw on a black and green circle, the team name circled around in white.
Additional logos include a new MAINE jersey wordmark similar to the BOSTON wordmark worn on the NBA Celtics uniforms as well as a wordmark featuring CELTICS in green with the “C” in the shape of a lobster’s claw.
“Maine’s evolution to further align the team with the Boston Celtics is as exciting for the team’s fans as it is for the league,” said NBA G League President (and the greatest player in Vancouver Grizzlies history) Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “Fans in Portland have long enjoyed the team’s focus on development and becoming the Celtics really highlights that commitment. I can’t wait to visit Portland to watch the team in green next season.”
The Maine Celtics will continue to play their home games at the Portland Exposition Building in Portland, Maine as they have since their expansion season in 2009-10. They will join the Capitanes de Ciudad de Mexico (transferring from Mexico’s LNBP), the Motor City Cruise (relocated NAZ Suns), the yet-unnamed Birmingham team (relocated Erie Bayhawks), and the yet re-named Grand Rapids team (former Grand Rapids Drive) as new G-League identities for the 2021-22 season.