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    National Basketball League
    National Basketball League logo NBA Hoops Online has one of the most extensive collections of National Basketball League information on the web. The NBL was a precursor to the NBA, in 1949 it merged with the Basketball Association of American (BAA) to form the NBA. The NBA, however, does not consider this history to be part of its own, instead taking the history of the BAA, which has caused much of the NBL's history to be lost. Luckily we have pieced a lot of it back together.

    National Basketball League history page

    The Worst Draft in NBA history: 1952

    When discussing the worst NBA draft classes in NBA history, two classes often get brought up: The 1986 NBA draft and the 2000 NBA draft. Both drafts, while disastrous, did produce multiple NBA all-stars. However, only one draft class has failed to produce multiple NBA all-stars and that is the draft of 1952: The worst draft in NBA history.

    1952 was just the beginning of NBA history and drafts until the 1990s were truly crap-shoots as few if any of the teams had video or scouting on the majority of the players they drafted. The 1952 draft class was just the sixth draft in NBA history, but teams had begun getting use to the process and some of the preceding and succeeding drafts provided the league with some of the all-time greats.

    Excluding the two most recent draft classes of 2019 and 2020, every other draft in NBA history has produced at least 3 all-stars except for 1951 and 1952. Even the dreaded 2000 draft was able to give the league three all-stars in Michael Redd, Kenyon Martin and Jamal Magloire. While the 1951 draft only produced two all-stars in Mel Hutchins and Don Sunderledge, it was able to produce several solid role players who played multiple seasons in the NBA such as Whitey Skogg, Lew Hitch, Al McGuire and George Dempsey. The 1952 draft was not even able to do that.

    Complete Article
    Lusia Harris: The first female NBA Draft Pick

    Rarely in the annals of NBA history does a team pick a six-foot-three-inch center in the draft; even more rare does an NBA team draft a woman. But that is what the New Orleans Jazz did in the 1977 draft.

    With the 137th pick in the 1977 draft the New Orleans Jazz drafted Lusia Harris. Harris was a well known product in the bayou having been a star at near by Delta State. While attended college in Cleveland, Mississippi, Harris had lead the Lady Statemen to 3 NCAA titles. She finished her career at Delta State as one of the winningest college players in history and was widely considered the best female player in the country.

    Still, the pick was unorthodox. Many women had played at very high levels in college before, but none had even gotten the attention of a men's league. Harris herself was shocked by the pick. She thought it was a joke. "...Drafted by a Men's team?" was a quote from Harris taken from a Mississippi based news paper.

    Complete Article

    The Smallest City to ever Host an NBA Game

    The City of Negaunee, Michigan, is known as a mining town in the Upper Peninsula, that has turned into winter sports hub with one of the best luge tracks west of the Mississippi River. With a population of just 4,500 people, it seems to be an unlikely place to find an NBA game. But on January 16, 1952, that is exactly what happened. Negaunee, Michigan, became the smallest city to ever host a regular NBA season game.

    Of the four major North American professional sports leagues the NBA has always had a reputation for having some of the smallest markets. Seven NBA markets do not have a corresponding NFL, MLB or NHL team. The BAA's merger with the NBL also added several cities like Waterloo, Iowa; Anderson, Indiana; Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Moline, Illinois to the ranks of small towns home to an NBA team. But by 1952 the NBA had done away with much of the smaller markets in the league. In the 1951-52 season the NBA was struggling. The league had shrank for the 18 teams it had just 2 seasons prior to just 10 teams for that season. Several of the teams that entered the season were on shaky ground. The Western Division was rife with trouble, all 5 teams had serious financial issues and rumors were rampant about their possible relocation. This relocation talk is what spurred the NBA to look into new markets and other ways to attracted new fans.

    Complete Article
    Andrew Bogut: One of the Greatest Australian NBA Players

    A topic that's often debated among NBA fans is around the greatest Australian player of all time. There have been some great Aussies in the NBA over the years. From Luc Longley to Ben Simmons, they've all had an impact in America. But there's one name that tends to get mentioned more than most – Andrew Bogut. Let's take a look at his illustrious career, which began back in 2005.

    Milwaukee Bucks 2005-2012
    Bogut was the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft. He was the first Australian to be drafted number one overall. The Australian's first season saw him average 9.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

    The next few years saw Bogut struggle with injuries. From back fractures to broken hands and dislocated elbows, it wasn't easy for him to stay at the top of his game, but he did. The 2009-10 season was pivotal in being a breakout year as he was named in the All-NBA Third Team.

    Complete Article
    Top Centers from 1999-2020

    The once proud and dominate center position has been much maligned the past two decades. From 1946 until 1999 the center position was the premier position in the game. If you were going to be a title contender, you needed a great center.

    Twenty-three times from 1956 until 1983 the leagues highest honor, the MVP award, went to a center. Two of the other times it did not go to a center, it went to the other big man position the power forward - both awards were won by Hawks PF Bob Petit. The other three times the award went to a non-center was Point Guards Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson and Small Forward Julius Earving. A Shooting Guard did not win the award until 1988 when Michael Jordan won his first MVP.

    The 1980s and 1990s seen the award be more spaced out, but big men still dominated the game. It was this era, specifically the success of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, which changed the game from a game dominated by big men in the paint, to the more perimeter game we see today.

    Complete Article
    Why the NBA Succeeded Where Other Leagues Failed

    Today when we think of professional basketball we think of the NBA. The NBA has become a cornerstone in American sports along with the NFL, NHL and MLB. It is the most successful basketball league of all-time, raking in tens of billions of dollars annually and has about a billion viewers world wide.

    But this wasn't always the case. At one time the NBA was little more than a footnote, not just to the NHL, NFL and MLB, but to other basketball leagues as well. So what changed? How did the NBA succeed where these other leagued failed. Two things really, big cities and consistency.

    The NBA, or the BAA as it was called back then, began in 1946 as a way for NHL owners to make money on days when their NHL teams were not playing. This is why the first group of teams where in cities with NHL teams; Boston (Bruins), Toronto (Maple Leafs), New York (Rangers), Detroit (Redwings), and Chicago (Blackhawks).

    Military Veterans who have played in the NBA

    The United States Military has been a big piece of American history and American lore. Before every basketball game fans stand an honor America and the men and women who have served with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. The song immortalizes the defense of Fort McHenry from the war of 1812. The Veterans Administration (VA) estimates that 22 million Americans have served in the military. Countless famous Americans have served in the armed forces and that includes several NBA players.

    During the early days of one of the NBA's precursors, the NBL, it was not uncommon for a player to leave the league to join the military. The military offered better pay and better accommodations than the league did.

    World War II was nearly the end of the NBL as the majority of players left to serve. The lack of players caused the first racial integration in any major sport in American history

    Complete Article

    A History of Women's Basketball

    James Naismith is acknowledged as having invented the game in 1891. With the football and lacrosse seasons over and due to winter causing students to be snowbound in school, the young men were becoming restless. James Naismith had been trying to develop a game already when his boss requested he find an activity that the young men could play to remain fit, active and occupy their minds. This resulted in peach baskets being raised ten feet high either end of a courtyard and 13 basic rules being drafted up and thus basketball was invented.

    It only took one year before women started playing the game. In 1892 Senda Bereson, who was at Smith College as a teacher after spending time at Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, organised the first women's basketball game. She had seen Naismith's invention and wondered whether it would be a suitable game for women to play.

    Complete Article
    5 Cities the NBA could expand to

    The NHL recently announced that it's newest team will be called the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken will be the latest in a series of expansions for the four major North American leagues going all the way back to the 1960s. However, expansion has slowed considerable in the last 25 years. The Kraken are the first major expansion team in any North American league since the Vegas Golden Knights joined the NHL in 2017. The last NFL team to be added was the Houston Texans in 2002, the MLB has not added a new team since 1998 when they added the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The NBA last expanded in 2004 when it added the Bobcats. The NHL has expanded 4 times since 2000 and 11 times since 1990. The NFL has expanded once in the last 20 years, and only 4 times since the late 1970s. The MLB hasn't expanded since the late 90s and has added only 4 teams since the 1970s. The NBA has seen considerable expansion since 1980. Since 1980, when the NBA added the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA has added 8 teams to its league.

    The NBA's last expansion is a bit confusing. in 2004 the NBA returned to Charlotte and added the Bobcats as its 30th team. The Bobcats replaced the Hornets which went to New Orleans two seasons prior. The Bobcats were considered an expansion team and had their own unique history, while the New Orleans franchise kept the Hornets history. Than in 2014, the New Orleans Hornets became the New Orleans Pelicans and the Charlotte Bobcats became the Charlotte Hornets once again. The Hornets history from 1988 until 2002 went back to Charlotte, while the history after 2002 was kept by the Pelicans and the Hornets kept the Bobcats history. Still, the Charlotte Bobcats were an expansion team. They had an expansion draft and were treated as such until 2014.

    Complete Article
    The 2009 NBA Draft: A retrospect

    As the pro-longed 2019-2020 season comes to a close, several team are left waiting for their next big basketball thing - the NBA draft. The NBA draft is where teams can instantly change their fortunes or continue in their cycle of despair. Some draft classes though, are better than others. The well vaunted 1984 draft may be the greatest in NBA history, while the much maligned 2000 draft class may be the worst.

    The best drafts change the game and people look back in awe at how some of the best players in the draft could have fallen. John Stockton, the NBA's all-time leader in steals and assists, was part of the 1984 but fell all the way to 16th. Knowing what we know now, he likely would have been the 4th pick behind Hakeem, Jordan and Barkley.

    Other well know modern day draft classes that provided the NBA with a ton of legends are the 1996 and 2003 classes. Another class is starting to very quietly rival those great classes; The 2009 draft class.

    Complete Article

    Australia's basketball history

    Basketball is primarily associated with certain countries. Obviously, the United States where the game was created and home to the NBA. But also, Canada, where the creator of the game was born; Europe and China. But one part of the world often gets overlooked, and that part of the world has played a big part in the development of basketball. I am talking about the land down under: Australia.

    It did not take long after its creation for the game of basketball to make its way from Springfield, Massachusetts, to nearly half way around the world in Australia. The first recorded game of basketball was played at a gym in Adelaide in 1897.

    Unlike the United States and the rest of the world, basketball did not take off in the Australia until well into the 20th century. Australia did not make the summer Olympics until 1956

    Complete Article

    The Greatest Teams To Never Win An NBA Title

    An often-debated topic among NBA circles is "Who is the greatest franchise in NBA history?". There are lots of very good teams to chose from. Could it be the team with the most NBA titles in 17, the Boston Celtics? Could it be the team with the most consistency in winning titles; the Los Angeles Lakers? Maybe it could be the most consistent team in terms of overall winning the San Antonio Spurs? The Warriors, Bulls, and 76ers also get honorable mentions. All these teams have one thing in common - multiple NBA titles.

    One thing not often discussed is who is the greatest NBA franchise who has never won a title? The list is actually quite short, as only eleven NBA teams have yet to win an NBA title. Five of those teams to never win a title are recent having just joined the NBA in the past 35 years. Six of the eleven teams have yet to even make an NBA-finals.

    Three of the four teams from the ABA have never won an NBA title, though the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets have both gotten close

    Complete Article
    NBA Players turned Politicians

    With the recent unrest in America, a lot of current and former NBA players have made comments online and let their feels and opinions be known. For some, this is seen as the players stepping out of their industry; for most it is just the players exercising their 1st Amendment rights. But, players getting political is nothing new. Many former athletes have left the court and gone on to have very successful playing careers.

    Most people will recognize that several former football players have made some very high profile runs of office. The most famous of these, and successful, is former University of Michigan star Gerald Ford. Ford served 25 years in the House of Representatives, before in 1973, being nominated by Richard Nixon to become the Vice President. When Nixon resigned the office following the Watergate scandal, Ford became the 38th President of the United States. Ford would lose his re-election bid in 1976 to Jimmy Carter.

    Another famous football star, Jack Kemp ran for the office of president in 1996 as the Republican challenger to Bill Clinton. Kemp, a star quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, selected another former athlete to be his running-mate. Kemp selected former New York Knicks forward Bill Bradley to be his Vice-Present.

    Complete Article
    Who Were the Toronto Huskies?

    It's a documented fact, and well-researched already on this site, that the first game in the history of the NBA took place in Canada. On Nov. 1st, 1946, at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens, the inaugural game in the Basketball Association of America - as the NBA was originally known, was contested between one team that remains synonymous with the NBA, and another that faded away rapidly into oblivion.

    On opening night, the New York Knicks edged the Toronto Huskies 68-66.

    Decades before the Toronto Raptors beat the odds at the online betting sites and upset the Golden State Warriors to win the 2018-19 NBA Finals, it was actually a quirk of circumstance that the league would be launched in its lone Canadian city. It's also a little-known fact that the NBA owes it origins in no small part to the operators of the six NHL franchises that played in hockey's major league in the mid-1940s.

    Complete Article
    That one time a Saudi arms dealer connected to Iran-Contra tried to buy the Utah Jazz

    We sometimes forget that sports and other forms of entertainment are not done in a vacuum and that some times the real world comes crashing into our beloved sports. In 2020 the Coronavirus or COVID-19 has put a harsh stop to our games, and this latest real life interference is not the first time or will it be the last time the real world and the sports world collide.

    The 1980's where a great time for the NBA. Most see it as the beginning of a golden era for the league and it was the building blocks for the league we see today. It was also a time of cold war politics and tension.

    But while the Lakers and Celtics of the 1980's were seeing success, some NBA teams were struggling and on the brink of financial ruin. No team was more close to financial ruin in the early 1980's than the Utah Jazz.

    Today we think of the Utah Jazz as one of the most stable franchises in sports, but in June of 1984 that was anything from reality. The Jazz had just relocated to Salt Lake City five years earlier from New Orleans, and actually had finally made the playoffs the season prior for the first time. But the team was in financial disarray and the future looked bleak for their survival in Salt Lake City.

    Jazz owner Sam Battistone was losing money fast, not just with the Jazz but with a lot of his businesses. The highly inappropriately named Sambo's restaurant chain was dying and with it his fortune

    Complete Article

    The History of the NBA Cancelling, Suspending, and Postponing Games

    On March 11, 2020, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Gobert's test results came in seconds before the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder were set to tip-off their game. The positive results for Gobert resulted in the game in Oklahoma City being postponed.

    As news broke of Gobert's virus it became clear that this was the first domino that needed to fall. For a few days the league had talked about playing games without fans. But as the first case of an athlete testing positive for the virus came to light the NBA took the extortionary measure to completely suspended the 2019-20 season.

    There were several games that had already been played on that Wednesday night, with one game airing nationally on ESPN, and one that was waiting to be played.

    Complete Article

    How Cocaine caused the New York Knicks to throw games

    Cocaine was the scourge of the NBA in 1970s and 80s, the drug lead to 8 players being banned from the NBA and 3 of them permanently. But no case of drug use, or potential use, is as crazy as what is rumored to have been doing on with the 1980s Knicks.

    The Knicks were the main attraction in New York City during the 1970s. The team won their only two NBA championships and made the eastern finals 5 times. But by the late 70s and early 80s the team had fallen on hard times. But things had started to look up, the Knicks had used the 4th pick in the 1978 NBA draft on Montana guard Michael Ray Richardson.

    Richardson was going to change the franchise and bring back the glory days of the early 1970s, or so the Knicks thought.

    .

    Complete Article
    Who is the worst franchise in NBA history?

    Losing is as much a part of basketball as winning, but some teams do the former a lot more often than the latter. They lose so much that they become synonymous with losing. The Clippers have been the butt of many jokes, especially during the 1990s, about their winning futility, but they seem to have turned it around once being sold off.

    So who is the worst team in NBA history? Obviously, the Los Angeles Clippers come to mind first and foremost. This is a franchise that all but embraced losing and made it part of their identity. But a forced ownership change has seemingly given the Clippers a new identity that has taken them away from the trash heap of the NBA. The glitz and the glam of LA also added to the Clippers mystic as the unlovable losers, and the franchise did deserve a lot of the bashing it got for sucking.

    The Clippers were run by a terrible owner in Donald Sterling and had a terrible general manager in Elgin Baylor, that Sterling insisted on keep even though the team was always terrible

    Complete Article
    The story of the New Jersey Swamp Dragons

    For most of their history the Nets have been one of the most maligned teams in the NBA. They've been the eastern conferences version of the Clippers. A team who habitually loses and does so many stupid things that it becomes comical. And if comedy is what you like that the tale of the New Jersey Swamp Dragons is for you. Swamp Dragons? What the .... are the Swamp Dragons? what is a Swamp Dragon? In the summer of 1994 the New Jersey Nets considered rebranding their franchise the Swamp Dragons.

    To fully understand this you have to go back to the early 1990s. The league had just experienced its first full explosion into American society and pop culture. The 1980s had been great for the NBA, it added 5 new teams, and the Magic-Bird rivalry had driven fans to the arenas like nothing before.

    Complete Article
    Who got the first triple-double in NBA history?

    One of the most impressive stats a player can get in the modern NBA is the triple-double. A triple-double is defined as a player getting ten or more of any of the five statistical categories of points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks.

    But who got the first triple-double and when was it? That question is hard to answer as in the early days of the NBA and BAA stat keeping was not well kept. Many of the early box scores have gone missing or are incomplete. Add to that the NBA did not keep track of blocks and steals until 1973. The NBA also did not accurately record rebounds until after the 1950 season.

    Triple-Doubles were not even well tracked or a thing until the 1980s,

    Complete Article

    The NBA's 6 Overtime Game

    Sometimes a game can seem like it never ends. The last two minutes of a game can take thirty minutes in real life minutes, but the game usually ends in regulation and occasionally goes into overtime. But on January 6, 1951 it seemed like a game between the Indianapolis Olympians and Rochester Royals would never end.

    On May 5, 2019 the Portland Trailblazers outlasted the Denver Nuggets 140-137 in four overtime, but that game would pail in comparison to the January 6th game. On that cold night in Rochester the Olympians beat the Royals 75-73, in SIX OVERTIMES!

    The six overtime periods is still a record for the NBA. The game broke the record set a year earlier when the Syracuse Nationals outlasted the Anderson Packers in five overtimes. The NBA was still in its infancy at the time

    Complete Article
    John Barber the man who scored 188 points in a basketball game

    Basketball fans are well versed in two of the most legendary games in NBA history: Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game vs the Knicks and Kobe Bryant's 81 point game vs the Raptors. Both games are legendary, but in the grand spectrum of high scoring games both come up short. in fact, Bryant's 81 point game does not even crack the top 25 of highest scoring games, all 25 games are games where a player scored over 100 points, and Chamberlain's game comes in near the bottom.

    On February 16, 1953 the granddaddy of all super scoring games occurred when Los Angeles State took on Chapman Community College. Barber scored an astronomical 188 points, as the result of an "experiment" concocted by his coach, Sax Elliot, to debunk the notion of "Bevo" Francis as a "Superman" of the courts. Rio Grande's Clearence "Bevo" Francis was a scoring machine and was attracting a lot of national attention. He scored 116 points earlier in the season against Ashland Junior College and was averaging over 50 points a game. Los Angeles States John Barber was a scoring machine himself having already dropped 103 against Los Angeles Community College.

    Complete Article
    Marie Boyd: The First 100 Point Scorer:

    Great scorer's and basketball seem to go hand-in-hand, so it is a rarity that a great scorer goes unnoticed, especially one that scores an astonishing 156 points in a game. But Marie Boyd, whose name is often misattributed as Mary Boyd, is just that; a prolific scorer that nobody knows of. She was the first player, man or woman, to score 100 points in a basketball game, a feat that has largely gone unnoticed.

    Boyd is arguably the greatest woman basketball player of the first 50 years of basketball. An era where both the men's and women's game lacked the competition that we see today. Nonetheless she still dominated at such a high degree that was unmatched in the men's game until Wilt Chamberlain come along.

    Central High School in Lonaconing, Maryland, was one of the first dominant schools in basketball history. The Black Knights as they were called went 4 years, 1922-25, without a loss and were in large part lead by the dominating Boyd

    Complete Article

    Tallest Basketball Player Ever

    The tallest player in NBA history is a tie between seven-foot-seven-inch Manute Bol and Gheorge Muresan. Both players played in the 1990s and were considered giants among their peers; peers in themselves who are considered giants among men. But both Bol and Muresan get dwarfed by the tallest player to ever play basketball. At Eight-foot-four-inches tall, Gilbert "Tiny" Reichert was truly a giant of giants. Reichert played in an era where the average center was maybe six-foot-four or six-foot-five and he towered over players.

    Reichert played for a couple of barnstorming teams during the barnstorming era, he most notably played for the House of David Israelite; a barnstorming team made up of mostly people of Jewish decent in and around the Cleveland, Ohio area. The team was unique in that all it's members grew beards. Beard were a rarity in basketball at the time because it was well within the rules to grab and pull on a beard. He also briefly played for a team called the Detroit Clowns.

    Before playing basketball Reichert made a living as a circus or sideshow freak. During this time a lot of his physical measurements get confusing with some reports having him listed at over 12 feet tall and others at a more modest 7-foot-six inches tall. The most reliable reports come from the House of David official pamphlets and Reichert himself which state him between 8'1" and 8"4'. It should be noted that he is not listed on the Guinness Book or World Records list for tallest human beings.

    Complete Article
    The Long Weird History of the NBA Draft

    Every June fans line up waiting to see who their favorite NBA team will select in the draft. In today's NBA it is a pretty straight forward process. Each team normally has 1 pick in the first round, and 1 pick in the second round based on their record and maybe a little luck in the draft lottery. But in the long history of the NBA draft things have not always been that simple. Before the league started to curtail the draft in 1988 the rounds could go on and on indefinitely if they wanted them too. For example the 1960 draft had 21 rounds and the 1984 draft seen 228 players drafted.

    The process for the draft became cumbersome and the majority of the players selected after round three never played in the NBA. Several of the early drafts did not keep accurate records so its unknown which players went where in the draft, each team is just listed as having selected players listed in an alphabetical record. Basketball betting tips for the experts suggest that most of these players never even knew where they were drafted and the majority of them did not care as they planned to focus on other endeavors rather than the NBA.

    Than there was the territorial picks. For a time in the NBA a team was allowed to forfeit their first round pick to select a local product that the league thought would help boost attendance to the games. While it was true that these picks did help boost attendance and fan interest, it was several taken advantage of as several really good teams got better by using giving up their late first round pick to get a superstar. There was a total of 23 territorial picks made in NBA history between 1949 and 1965 and 13 of them are in the hall-of-fame and two others were all-stars. Teams had a better chance of landing a hall-of-fame player than they did a bust at nearly 2-1 odds.

    Complete Article
    Minnesota Madness

    The NBA in the 1980s and 1990s is often seen as an era of financial stability and expansion. The league saw money come in at a previously unprecedented rate, most of it coming for the new found television revenue. The NBA added 11 new teams from 1976 until 1996. The league also found three superstars to hang its image on in Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.

    But there was an underbelly to this glorious side as well. In the same time span that saw the NBA add 11 new teams, four teams relocated and three others attempted to relocate.

    One of the most interesting cases involved the Minnesota Timberwolves who were awarded by the NBA to the city of Minneapolis in 1989. The Wolves were one of four NBA teams that entered the league between 1988 and 1989, and the second NBA team to play in the Twin-Cities.

    Complete Article

    The NBA's First Season

    Following World War II sports in America began to pick up a lot of popularity. Fans clamored for entertainment and Football, Baseball and Hockey brought just that to the American populace. Basketball at the time was still in its infancy, with most leagues lasting less than a season before disbanding. There were two established leagues in the United States following the War, there was the ABL and NBL. Both leagues played in small Midwest cities and were regional at best.

    Walter Brown, owner of the Boston Garden and the landlord of the Boston Bruins of the NHL, thought that money could be made on the off-nights if the Boston Garden were to host basketball games. Brown had thought about attempting to purchase an ABL team but that did not pan out. He was skeptical that an NBL team could succeed so far away from the Ohio Valley where most teams resided, and often failed.

    Brown got in contact with other business owners in other major cities such as Philadelphia and New York to try and establish a new league based in larger cities with teams playing in large venues.

    Complete Article

    Leo Ferris: The man who saved the NBA

    The early days of basketball often seen slow fan-unfriendly low scoring matches that often left spectators bored. Games often only got into the 40s and many of the best players averaged less than 15 points a game. Many early basketball games looked more like a glorified version of the childrens game of keep-away than an action packed professional sport. This style of play culminated in a game between Minneapolis and Fort Wayne, where the Pistons of Fort Wayne held the ball most of the second half nursing a 1 point lead over the Lakers. The Pistons would win 19-18 in the lowest scoring game in NBA history. Prior to that the fewest points ever score 33 points, just 4 fewer than both teams scored, and that game was one the opening night of the NBA, or BAA as it was called back then.

    This place pace bored fans, many of whom where promised an action packed fun experience and attendance and interest in the new league had begun to dip. The NBA needed a solution and needed it fast. The solution was an ingenious one and one that would revolutionize the game as we know it. A simple clock, with just 24 seconds on it would forever change the game.

    The clock was the brain child of Syracuse Nationals general manager Leo Ferris, a man that the NBA has long forgotten in one of the biggest travesties in the games history. Ferris, is as important to the early days of the NBA as anyone and one could argue that without Ferris there would be no NBA today; and there definitely would be no Atlanta Hawks, or Philadelphia 76ers. The NBA would look much different today without Ferris's input all those years ago.

    Complete Article

    History of point shaving in basketball

    Point shaving is arguably the biggest cardinal sin in the basketball world. While there has been several cases of it involving college basketball, the NBA has had relatively few incidents of point shaving, that is not to say that the scandals have not affected the NBA, quite the contrary. Of the four major leagues in the US the NBA has been the most ardent opponent of betting on games, especially during its early years. The league has soften its stance in later years, but is still waging a fight against the state of New Jersey over online betting.

    Point shaving is when a bookie or better convinces a player or official to help a favored team not make the spread. For example, if a team is favored to win by 10 points, the player or players involved make sure that the team wins by fewer than 10 points. This is accomplished by intentionally missing shots, committing turnovers or fouls, or in the case of a corrupt official making bad calls.

    Basketball is an extremely easy sport to manipulate because of the tempo of the game and the affect just one player can have on the game. The NCAA is much more susceptible to point shaving than the NBA because of the NCAA's strict emphasis on amateurism. NCAA players do not make any money and are often struggling college students, while the NBA players are making millions of dollars. It is much easier for a bookie to convince a poor college student to miss a few shots for a few hundred dollars than it is to convince a millionaire NBA player to do the same thing.

    Complete Article

    Connie Hawkins fight against the NBA

    On October sixth, the NBA lost one of the great pioneers in league history. Connie Hawkins was a four time NBA all-star and former ABA MVP, who's legal battle with the ABA and NBA helped change the landscape of professional basketball.

    Few athletes in American history have ever been as victimized by the system as Hawkins was. In 1961, while Hawkins was a freshman at Iowa and ineligible to play on the Hawkeyes varsity team due to NCAA regulations at the time, a humongous college betting scandal erupted and Hawkins was kicked out of school.

    The scandal involved 22 different schools and 37 players, but Hawkins was not implicated. The scandal mostly focused on players associated with Jack Molinas, who had escaped the CCNY betting scandal a decade and a half earlier. Hawkins, growing up in New York City, knew many of the players involved and had borrowed $2,000 for school expenses from Jack Molinas, but Hawkins brother had paid Molinas back before the scandal erupted.

    Complete Article
    History of the Westward Expansion of Basketball

    Basketball's early roots on the east coast are well document, from that cold December day in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891 when the game first formed to the present, we know the stories, the players and the histories. What is less known is how the game developed out west. While at the time of basketball's founding the east was pretty much an established mega-industrial center catering to the worlds needs. The west, it was still wild and untamed.

    When James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 the United States states had just 44 states and Wyoming and Idaho had just joined the Union. Three states that would join the union after the founding of basketball, Utah, Oklahoma and Arizona, now contain NBA teams. The battle of Wounded Knee, the last great battle between the United States Army and the Native American's had happened just shy of a year before the game of basketball was invented. And the infamous gun fight at the OK Corral had happened just a decade before. In fact, the early days of basketball are closer in time to the French Revolution than they are to today.

    It is easy to see why basketball's roots began in the east and why it has stuck and become such an integral part of the urban landscape. The east had the infrastructure and had young men with free time to play the game and form leagues. In contrast, the west lacked the roads, rails, and metropolitan areas to give rise to the infrastructure that is required to play basketball.

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    The Collapse of the PBLA and the end of multi-league basketball in America

    Following World War II many Americans were looking for some sort of entertainment outlet, and sports quickly became one of the most popular outlets. Basketball was still in its infancy but would soon see epic growth as war weary Americans needed more and more entertainment outlets.

    In 1946 there were three major American basketball leagues in the US. The oldest, the ABL had been around in some from since the 1920s but had spotty attendance and fans and players alike had a hard time figuring out what teams were actually in the league. The newest of the leagues was the BAA, which had just formed an 11 team league on the eastern seaboard with a couple of teams as far west as Chicago and Detroit. The most successful of the leagues was the NBL, which was entering its 11th season and had the best players in the world.

    The NBL and ABL had little direct competition as the ABL stuck around mostly New York City, Philadelphia and Washington and the NBL was primarily focused in Ohio, Indiana and the Great Lakes regions. The inclusion of a third league which directly competed with both leagues worried both leagues ownerships and started to bring about instability to both leagues.

    Complete Article

    The Bad Attitude Choke Artists of Chicago

    The 1970s were a difficult time for the NBA and for America in general. The Bill Russell lead Celtics dynasty which had dominated the 1960s had come and gone. Wilt Chamberlain was a shell of the man who once scored 100 points in a game. Cocaine and drug abuse was a serious problem in the league. The Summer of Love had descended into Helter Skelter. The US had ended its involvement in Vietnam The people did not trust their own government because of the Watergate scandal. Than there was the circus sideshow known as the Chicago Bulls.

    Even with the difficulties of the era the Bulls had seen some success on the court. The team made the playoffs eight times in their first decade and had even made a few serious deep playoff runs. But the Bulls still struggled to bring in the big bucks, despite playing in the third largest market in the US. Fans in Chicago would rather watch the Bears in the fall and winter and the Cubs and Whitesox in the spring. This forced the Bulls to get creative with their ways to get fans in the seats.

    Pat Williams is widely considered to be one of the best general managers the NBA has ever seen, he has rebuilt team after team after team, but in the early 1970s he was just starting out in the NBA and had the unfortunate task of saving the Chicago Bulls.

    Complete Article

    History of early professional basketball in Indiana

    Before the Indiana Pacers joined the ABA and eventually the NBA, the state of Indiana was the hot bed of professional basketball. From 1935 until 1953 the state hosted no less than 11 different teams in the major professional basketball leagues. Unfortunately, almost all of them would end and leave the state with no professional basketball teams for nearly two decades.

    Indiana is synonymy with the game of basketball. The University of Indiana is one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball winning 5 NCAA titles, but it was Purdue who would bring the state its first NCAA basketball title in 1932.

    Through out the early years of basketball a lot of fly by night leagues and teams called Indiana home, in fact Indiana even had its own semi-pro league of teams completely made up of teams in the Indianapolis region. It was not until 1935 when the Midwest Basketball Conference formed did the state of Indiana start seeing regular professional basketball at the highest levels and quality

    Complete Article

    Wat Misaka broke the color barrier years before Jackie Robinson

    he was the first non-Caucasian to ever play in the NBA, or as it was known at that time the BAA or Basketball Association of America. Watura Misaka, the second generation son of Japanese immigrants, grew up on Ogden's 25th street in the back of a barber shop and would often find him and his family the victim of rampant racial discrimination. Yet despite this Misaka was able to find a love of basketball and was allowed on the Ogden High Schools basketball team, where in 1940 he lead them to the state title.

    In 1942 he began attending college at Weber College, which is now Weber State University. This was a dangerous time to be Japanese-American as president Roosevelt had recently signed Executive Order 9066 which required that Japanese-American's in the western United State be placed into interment camps. It remains one of the darkest chapters in American history and one of, if not the most, egregious violation of Human and Civil Rights in the 20th century.

    Misaka was allowed to get an exemption to continue his studies at Weber and play basketball. He only played two seasons at Weber College but would lead the Wildcats to the Junior College championship both season.

    Complete Article
    The Merger that formed the NBA: How and why it happened

    When the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949 it was the culmination of two great basketball leagues that would give us one final and polished product; the National Basketball Association (NBA). A league, that in 1949, looked much different that the product we see today. Today we have 30 teams nestled in mega arenas in 28 cities across the United States and Canada and income in the Billions of dollars.

    The 17 team league would be a mixture of big east coast cities, small Midwest farming communities, and one lone enclave in the Rocky Mountains. From the start problems started to arise with the disparity between the former NBL teams and the BAA teams. One of the biggest was income disparity as the BAA teams had a lot more money than did the NBL teams, the one thing that the NBL teams did have an advantage over the BAA is that the NBL tended to have the bigger stars.

    One of the major factors in the merging of the two leagues was that the BAA, after three years of existence, was finally able to start not only plucking the top stars away from the NBL but also the NBL's top teams as well. Two seasons after its existence in 1947, the BAA was able to lure the Minneapolis Lakers away from the NBL along with the Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons and Indianapolis Jets.

    Adding the Lakers to the BAA gave them the games biggest star in George Mikan

    Complete Article

    Bruce Jenner's brief NBA career

    The 1970s were a interesting decade for America and for sports in particular. The decade saw the US withdraw from Vietnam and seen the presidency mired in the biggest scandal in American history; Watergate. It saw the Superbowl rise to dominance lead by the dominant teams of the era, the Steelers and Cowboys and it seen the Miami Dolphins deliver the only perfect season. In the basketball world it seen the NBA go head-to-head with the dazzling ABA only to see the larger NBA eat the ABA and take four of its teams.

    It was also an era in the NBA when the annual NBA draft was like that annoying song from the children's show Lambchop; it would go on and on and on..... But looking at the seemingly endless list of picks and one can find some funny and interesting picks. The Chicago Bulls would draft runner Carl Lewis in 1984, the same year they drafted a guy named Michael Jordan. The New Orleans Jazz drafted a woman named Lusia Harris. The Boston Celtics drafted a water boy and the Lakers tried drafting both Scooby Doo and a chair but both picks were rejected by the league. But one of the most interesting publicity stunt picks, mostly because he may have actually been able to play in the NBA, was the Kansas City Kings 7th round pick Bruce Jenner.

    Complete Article

    The NBA Ghost Team: Utah Rockies

    One of the great anomalies and interesting facts of the NBA revolves around a team that is not even in the NBA, but yet receives a portion of the NBA revenue. It is the rumored ghost franchise of the NBA, also known as the Utah Rockies or Spirits of Saint Louis.

    Even some of the most die hard fans have never heard of this franchise and that is because they have never played a game in the NBA. Ever. The Spirits are a semblance of the NBA's old rival, the American Basketball Association. But unlike teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and New York Nets; the Rockies/Spirits never joined the NBA, nor did they disband like the Virginia Squires, Kentucky Colonels or San Diego Conquistadors. Instead they got one the good side of one of the best business deals of the 20th century, and deal that is still making its benefactors a fortune today.

    Complete Article

    Top 10 NBL Players of All-Time

    In 1949 the Basketball Association of American(BAA) and the National Basketball League(NBL) merged to form the National Basketball Association; this is a fact that most NBA fans know. Many NBA fans also know about the brief three year history of the BAA, but what about the NBL? Not many fans know about the 12 year history of the smaller market NBL or its players. Who were these players?

    In fact, little can be found about them. This list is a collection of information about the 10 best players who played in the NBL. Emphasis is giving to NBL careers, which is why some players rank higher on this list then on other lists composing mostly of NBA players.

    Complete Article
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