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(Wall Street Journal) — If the history of basketball ended with the 20th century, New York’s eminence in the sport would be undeniable.  Not only were the Knickerbockers a flagship franchise in the National Basketball Association, but the city was home to the two most successful teams of touring professionals in the early years of pro basketball, the Original Celtics and the Renaissance Five.  In Madison Square Garden, New York provided the first grand stage for big-time college competition, hosting doubleheaders among nationally ranked teams and the oldest postseason championship tournament, the NIT, while earning a reputation as basketball’s Mecca. Beyond those contributions, New York nurtured so many residents to stardom they could support an entire wing in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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