Basketball was tethered to ethnicity almost from its inception. As teams began professionalizing in the 1920s, the game grew from those ethnic enclaves, where Jewish teams like the B’nai Brith All-Stars, Irish teams like the original Celtics, and African American teams like the New York Renaissance Big Five dominated. It was that urbanity, Riess notes, that ultimately drew black players at or below the poverty line to the game and consequently drove the perception of the game’s blackness in the postwar period as it had its ethnicity prior to World War II. “Other young athletes may learn basketball,” wrote historian Pete Axthelm in 1970, “but city kids live it.” Basketball “is considered a city game in a society which romanticizes the pastoral,” wrote Jeffrey Sammons a generation later. “It has no Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Dimaggio, or Matthewson, icons of a white athletic dominance of years gone by. Although basketball is probably far more American than baseball in its pace of play, constant action, and undeniably urban foundations, no enabling mythology has been created for or seen in it historically. Moreover, it is now a black game in numbers, superstars, culture, and symbols.”