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It's hard to believe, but the NBA season is just around the corner. So come with us now as we present five tiny tidbits on each team, just to get you in the mood. Today we begin the Atlantic Division, so do us a favor and send your tips to

1. It's Not Easy Being Green. The more things change (honest to goodness point guards, brand new dance team) the more they stay the same. The once celebrated Celtics/Lakers rivalry may not be what it used to, but Jack Nicholson still refused to wear any Celtic gear while shooting The Departed, which is set in Boston. — (Thanks to Kyle Gustafson).

2. They're After Me Lucky Charms. This season will mark the inaugural year for the Celtics Dancers, women with big hair who normally stay bundled up in bulky sweaters for the long New England winters. In 2003-04, Boston fans were treated to the birth of Lucky, the mascot of the C's who looked nothing like an Irishman. While other mascots get to hide their shame behind a giant mask, the Celtics exposed theirs for full public ridicule. — (Thanks to FilthyFowl).

3. Damn Schedule. The Celtics' Chuck Cooper was the first African American to be drafted by an NBA team. He wasn't the first to play however. That same year, Nat Clifton was the first black player to sign a contract with an NBA team, and Earl Lloyd was the first black player to play in an NBA game; his team started its season one day before Cooper's and four days before Clifton's.

4. From the Celtics Pantheon Of Stars. Theophilus Curtis Ratliff is from Demopolis, Alabama.


5. Life Of Brian. Brian Scalebrine may be the best warm-up player ever. In pre-game warmups he'll drain 3 after 3 after 3 like he's Dan Majerie. Everyone's energy seems to flow right through him up until Doc informs him that he's another DNP tonight, so Al Jefferson can get more minutes. — (Thanks to Matthew Ozelius).