Tradition is the word most closely associated with any conversation about the Boston Celtics.
There's the technicolor highlights of legends like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Bill Russell, Dennis Johnson. There's the 17 NBA championships, which is the most of any NBA franchise in the league's history.
There's the construction of the "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, which later became the "Big Four" once Rajon Rondo rose to prominence. There's the old Boston Garden, one of the greatest sports relics in history.
There's even that horrible comedy "Celtic Pride," starring Damon Wayans and Dan Aykroyd.
Celtics fans are as much a part of basketball's history as any fanbase in any sport. You can't have this list without Celtics fans on it.
So, why are they only third on the list?
Well, as unfair as it may seem, it's hard to campaign for a fan base to be much higher when they share the same city as hockey fans who resort to doing things like this on Twitter.
It might not be fair to group Celtics fans with the same racists who wrote what they did about Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward after Game 7 against the Bruins. After all, just because a couple of morons display ignorance doesn't mean the whole city is tainted with ignorance.
However, as NBA.com's David Aldridge wrote back in 2010, racism is as much a part of the Celtics' past as their long tradition of winning. It's a cross Celtics fans must bear and it's hard to say that chapter is closed when fans of another sport that occupies the same arena are still mentally stuck in the Stone Age.
Ignorance aside, Celtics fans showed during the Eastern Conference Finals that they can still provide a formidable home court advantage, as evidenced by Kevin Garnett's assessment of the crowd following Game 3.
The Boston Celtics are a vital piece of the story of pro basketball but, even though the good far exceeds the bad, the bad is hard to ignore. For now, they are an intense fanbase capable of uplifting the players that feed off their energy. They just also happen to be hindered by a few bad eggs.