|National Basketball League 1937-38 to 1948-49 |
National Basketball Association 1946-47 to
The NBA came into being on June 6th, 1946. On that day 11 men met and a new professional basketball league was born, which they named the Basketball Association of America. The season - which featured a 60-game schedule and a series of playoffs - was modeled on the National Hockey League's season. The game itself was based on college basketball, but with the contests lengthened to 48 minutes rather than the 40 played in college. A driving force behind the BAA was Celtics owner Walter Brown, who ran the Boston Garden and was part of the NHL's Boston Bruins organization. All the franchise owners knew each other through the Arena Managers Association of America, and through their teams in the NHL and American Hockey League. For a chief executive, the members chose Maurice Podoloff, the colorful 5ft 2in president of the A.H.L.
In the following year the 11 teams became 8, when 4 dropped out and Baltimore Bullets was admitted. In 1948 four teams from the NBL joined the BAA and, in 1949, the NBL folded and merged with the BAA, with the 6 remaining NBL franchises joining the BAA, which then adopted its present name. The original 11 teams were: Boston Celtics, Chicago Stags, Cleveland Rebels*, Detroit Falcons*, New York Knickerbockers, Philadelphia Warriors, Pittsburgh Ironmen*, Providence Steamrollers, St Louis Bombers, Toronto Huskies* and Washington Capitols. [ *these 4 teams dropped out after one season ]