Team/Player: Boston Celtics
Date: 1957-1969

The Celtics' incredible run through the late 1950s and all of the 1960s coincided with the gradual racial integration of the NBA. The Celtics were one of the league's more progressive teams, with their signature player (Bill Russell) and several other key stars (Sam and K.C. Jones) all being African-Americans. Not all other teams were so forward-thinking, though, and particularly in the early days of the Celtics' dynasty many African-American players were relegated to bench roles despite their obviously superior talent. The result was a few titles that the Celtics won that would have belonged to other teams had they been willing to play their best players.