The Eastern Basketball League’s longtime hostilities with the Pennsylvania State Basketball League for player talent ended in a total victory for the senior circuit. The PSL gave up the fight and surrendered its two strongest franchises, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, to the victor. The PSL would continue to operate on and off until the mid-1930’s, but strictly as a minor league operation. The rewards of victory were limited, however, because the Eastern League itself was facing another serious challenge to its stability. During the 1920-21 season, Original Celtics owner Jim Furey had allowed his players to moonlight with EBL squads. For the new campaign, Furey had signed all his Celtics to exclusive contracts, barring their performing for any other team.The effects on the EBL were immediate. Defending champion Germantown, faced with the loss of Nat Holman and growing financial costs, withdrew from the league. Reading remained in the league despite the loss of Horse Haggerty and Ernie Reich to the Celtics, but the team was finished as a contender.
Compounding the league’s woes, when the season began it became quickly apparent that the circuit suffered from a horrible imbalance with the Trenton and Camden clubs totally outclassing the rest of the teams. With Teddy Kearns and Bernie Dunn at forward, Stretch Meehan (picked up from the defunct Germantown squad) at center, and Tom Barlow and Maurice Tome at the guard slots, Trenton was virtually unbeatable. The Bengals suffered only three defeats in twenty-seven games on their way to the first-half title. Camden, with its powerful offense in place, easily captured second place.
Waiting in the wings for the second-half, however, was a team capable of challenging the two powerhouses – the Original Celtics. Late in December, Furey purchased the moribund New York franchise and replaced it with his squad. The Celtics were bloodied in their Eastern League debut by Trenton 21-18, and Camden followed up two nights later with an equally stinging 21-14 win. The two New Jersey clubs clawed at the mighty Celtics throughout the second half of the season, but the New Yorkers lost only two more games against fifteen victories and finished in first place by a single game. The Celtics finished the season by taking two out of three games from Trenton in the playoffs to reign as EBL champions.