The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league's original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins; the Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history. The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, have played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname "Celtics" and their mascot "Lucky the Leprechaun" are a nod to Boston's large Irish population. After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen in what was known as the new "Big Three" era, following the original "Big Three" era that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, which combined to win the 1981, 1984, 1986 championships.
Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge began a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals; this prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals; the Boston Celtics were formed on June 6, 1946, by Boston Garden-Arena Corporation president Walter A. Brown as a team in the Basketball Association of America, became part of the National Basketball Association after the absorption of the National Basketball League by the BAA in the fall of 1949. In 1950, the Celtics signed Chuck Cooper; the Celtics struggled until the hiring of coach Red Auerbach. In the franchise's early days, Auerbach had no assistants, ran all the practices, did all the scouting—both of opposing teams and college draft prospects—and scheduled all road trips.
One of the first great players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, whom Auerbach refused to draft out of nearby Holy Cross because he was "too flashy." Cousy's contract became the property of the Chicago Stags, but when that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy went to the Celtics in a dispersal draft. After the 1955–56 season, Auerbach made a stunning trade, sending perennial All-Star Ed Macauley to the St. Louis Hawks along with the draft rights to Cliff Hagan for the second overall pick in the draft. After negotiating with the Rochester Royals—a negotiation that included a promise that the Celtics owner would send the sought-after Ice Capades to Rochester if the Royals would let Russell slide to #2—Auerbach used the pick to select University of San Francisco center Bill Russell. Auerbach acquired Holy Cross standout, 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year, Tommy Heinsohn. Russell and Heinsohn worked extraordinarily well with Cousy, they were the players around whom Auerbach would build the champion Celtics for more than a decade.
With Bill Russell, the Celtics advanced to the 1957 NBA Finals and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games, the first of a record 17 championships. Russell went on making him the most decorated player in NBA history. In 1958, the Celtics again advanced to this time losing to the Hawks in 6 games. However, with the acquisition of K. C. Jones that year, the Celtics began a dynasty. In 1959, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers, the first of their record eight consecutive championships. During that time, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals five times, starting an intense and bitter rivalry that has spanned generations. In 1964, the Celtics became the first NBA team to have an all African-American starting lineup. On December 26, 1964, Willie Naulls replaced an injured Tommy Heinsohn, joining Tom'Satch' Sanders, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Bill Russell in the starting lineup; the Celtics defeated St. Louis 97–84. Boston won its next 11 games with Naulls starting in place of Heinsohn.
The Celtics of the late 1950s–1960s are considered as one of the most dominant teams of all time. Auerbach retired as coach after the 1965–66 season and Russell took over as player-coach, Auerbach's ploy to keep Russell interested. With his appointment Russell became the first African-American coach in any U. S. pro sport. Auerbach would remain a position he would hold well into the 1980s. However, the Celtics' string of NBA titles ended when they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1966 Eastern Conference Finals; the aging team managed two more championships in 1968 and 1969, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers each time. Russell retired after the 1969 season ending a Celtics dynasty that had garnered an unrivaled 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons; the team's run of 8 consecutive is the longest championship streak in U. S. professional sports history. The 1970 season was a rebuilding year, as the Celtics had their first losing record since the 1949–50 season
Jerry Ray Lucas is an American former basketball great and noted memory education expert. He was a nationally-awarded high school player, national college star at Ohio State, 1960 gold medal Olympian and international player before starring as a professional player in the National Basketball Association; as a collegian, Lucas led the Ohio State Buckeyes to the 1960 college national championship and three straight NCAA finals. He remains today the only three-time Big Ten Player of the Year, was twice named NCAA Player of the Year; as a professional, Lucas was named All-NBA First Team three times, an NBA All-Star seven times, was 1964 NBA Rookie of the Year, was named Most Valuable Player of the 1965 NBA All-Star Game among other honors and awards. He was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980. After his basketball career ended in the mid-1970s, Lucas took to becoming a teacher and writer in the area of image-based memory education, his book written with Harry Lorayne, The Memory Book, was a national best-seller.
Lucas has conducted seminars demonstrating memory techniques, has written 30 books and educational products and games for children. Lucas was born in a community of 30,000 + halfway between Dayton and Cincinnati. Middletown called itself " The Basketball Capital of Ohio", based on the success of the basketball teams from the town's one high school; the Middies had won five Ohio state high school championships, 1945–55, before Lucas played at Middletown High. Local support for the team was remarkably high in the mid-1950s. A tall youth, Lucas was encouraged to take up the game and soon dedicated himself to the town's game. In addition to strong local support for Middletown High basketball, the city was home to a remarkable summer outdoor basketball scene that had developed at Sunset Park. Previous Middletown players who had gone on to play at the college level had recruited other college players to play there in the summer. By the time Lucas was age 15 in 1955, Sunset Park was one of the best summer basketball scenes in the region.
By Lucas had grown to 6'7" and had the opportunity to scrimmage against these college players, advancing his game greatly. Lucas was, in fact, outplaying college-level big men before he played his first game for Middletown High; the budding basketball star had, by also started to display a remarkable, if unusual intelligence. A straight-A student with a penchant for memorizing his school work, Lucas had started to develop memory games for himself as early as age nine. One trick he would be known for was his ability to take words apart and reassemble them in alphabetical order. "Basketball" became "aabbekllst". He applied his intelligence to his coaching in the game. Lucas started play at Middletown as a sophomore in the 1955–56 season, his coach, Paul Walker, had led three Ohio state champions, Lucas found himself surrounded by a strong team and teammates at Middletown. Still just 15 years old, Lucas focused on a game of rebounding and passing but still became a scoring star anyway, his fame as a player spread across Ohio as early as January, 1956.
At this young age, Lucas was a remarkable athlete who could play above the rim. Middletown's schedule featured strong teams from Cincinnati and Columbus and remained undefeated. A February game held at Cincinnati Gardens against rival Hamilton, itself a nearby former state champion, drew over 13,000 at a time in the game's history when crowd sizes of that kind were uncommon at any level of the game; the two state powers repeated that feat there in 1958. In addition to a rare ability to rebound the ball, Lucas made 60% of his shots from the floor and 75% of his many free throws. Wearing the number #13, he would be compared to Wilt Chamberlain during his Middletown years; the 1955-56 Middletown team went undefeated, winning the state championship, the 1956-57 team did too. He suffered just one loss as a senior. But, after a state-record 76 straight wins over three years that saw Lucas and Middletown elevated to a remarkable level of fame within the state. Though he did not shoot Lucas carried a 34-point scoring through his high school years, received national press when he surpassed Chamberlain's high school total in points.
As Middletown played top prep teams from around the state, the fame of Lucas and Middletown spread through each stop. At Cleveland Arena, over 12,000 saw him score 53 as his Middies topped an undefeated Cleveland East Tech team there in the 1956 state playoffs. In 1957, over 15,000 saw his team top Toledo Macomber in another state playoff game at Saint John Arena the home floor of the collegiate Ohio State Buckeyes; these and other performances led Lucas to receive scholarship offers from more than 150 colleges, a remarkable total within the condition of the game at that time. He was considered the most publicized high school player in America to his time when he graduated from Middletown High in 1958, having won a number of national awards, he was state champion in the discus in 1958, a member of the National Honor Society as a student. Lucas was the subject of considerable recruiting interest while at Middletown, to such a degree that measures were taken to protect the privacy of Lucas and his family.
When he announced for Ohio State, he became the center of a legendary recruiting class in 1958 that included two more future Hall of Famers in player John Havlicek and future coach Bob Knight. Mel Nowell join the group as well, giving the group three future NBA players s well with Lucas and Havlicek. Buckeyes freshman coach Fred Taylor helped all four feel comfortable with coming to Ohio Stat
The Washington Wizards are an American professional basketball team based in Washington, D. C; the Wizards compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at the Capital One Arena, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D. C; the franchise was established in 1961 as the Chicago Packers based in Chicago and were renamed to Chicago Zephyrs the following season. In 1963, they relocated to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking the name from a previous team of the same name. In 1973, the team changed its name to the Capital Bullets to reflect their move to the Washington metropolitan area, to Washington Bullets in the following season. In 1997, they rebranded themselves as the Wizards; the Wizards have appeared in four NBA Finals, won in 1978. They have had a total of 28 playoff appearances, won four conference titles, seven division titles, their best season came in 1975 with a record of 60–22.
Wes Unseld is the only player in franchise history to become the MVP, win the Finals MVP award. Four players have won the Rookie of the Year award; the team now known as the Wizards began playing as the Chicago Packers in 1961, as the first modern expansion team in NBA history, an expansion prompted by Abe Saperstein's American Basketball League. Rookie Walt Bellamy was the team's star, averaging 31.6 points per game, 19.0 rebounds per game, leading the NBA in field goal percentage. During the All-Star game, Bellamy represented the team while scoring 23 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Bellamy was named the league Rookie of the Year, but the team finished with the NBA's worst record at 18-62; the team's original nickname was a nod to Chicago's meatpacking industry. However, it was unpopular since it was the same nickname used by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, bitter rivals of the Chicago Bears. After only one year, the organization changed its name to the Chicago Zephyrs and played its home games at the Chicago Coliseum.
Their only season as the Zephyrs boasted former Purdue star Terry Dischinger, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors. In 1963 the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking their name from a 1940s–'50s Baltimore Bullets BAA/NBA franchise and playing home games at the Baltimore Civic Center. In their first year in Baltimore, the Bullets finished fourth in a five–team Western Division. Prior to the 1964–65 NBA season the Bullets pulled off a blockbuster trade, sending Dischinger, Rod Thorn and Don Kojis to the Detroit Pistons for Bailey Howell, Don Ohl, Bob Ferry and Wali Jones; the trade worked out well. He helped. In the 1965 NBA Playoffs, the Bullets stunned the St. Louis Hawks 3–1, advanced to the Western Conference finals. In the finals, Baltimore managed to split the first four games with the Los Angeles Lakers before losing the series 4–2. In the late 1960s, the Bullets drafted two future Hall of Fame members: Earl Monroe, in the 1967 draft, number two overall, Wes Unseld, in the 1968 draft number two overall.
The team improved from 36 wins the previous season to 57 in the 1968–69 season, Unseld received both the rookie of the year and MVP awards. The Bullets reached the playoffs with high expectations to go far, but they were eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round; the next season the two teams met again in the first round, although this one went to seven games, the Knicks emerged victorious again. In the 1970–71 season, the 42–40 Bullets again met the 1970–71 Knicks, this time though in the Eastern Conference finals. With the Knicks team captain Willis Reed injured in the finals, the injury-free Bullets took advantage of his absence, in game seven, at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Bullets' Gus Johnson made a critical basket late in the game to lift the Bullets over the Knicks 93–91 and advance to their first NBA Finals, they were swept in four games by the powerful Milwaukee Bucks led by future Hall of Fame members Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson. After the trades of Earl Monroe and Gus Johnson, the Bullets remained a playoff contender throughout the 1970s.
Following a less than spectacular 1971–72 season, Baltimore acquired Elvin Hayes from the Houston Rockets and drafted Kevin Porter in the third round, out of St. Francis in Pennsylvania. After a slow start in 1972–73, Baltimore made their charge in December, posting a 10–4 record on the way to capturing the Central Division title for the third straight year; the Bullets again faced the Knicks in the 1973 NBA Playoffs, losing for the fourth time in five series against New York. In February 1973, the team announced its pending move 30 miles southwest to the Capital Centre in Landover, a Washington, D. C. suburb, became the Capital Bullets. After that 1973–74 season, they changed their name to the Washington Bullets. During November 1973, while waiting for the completion of their new arena in Landover, the Bullets played their home games at Cole Field House on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park; the Capital Centre opened on December 2, 1973, with the Bullets defeating the SuperSonic
Purdue Boilermakers men's basketball
The Purdue Boilermakers basketball team is a college basketball program that competes in NCAA Division I and is a member of the Big Ten Conference. Purdue basketball has the most Big Ten Championships with 24; the Boilermakers have reached two NCAA Tournament Final Fours. The 1931–32 team was retroactively named the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. Purdue has sent more than 30 players including two overall No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. Purdue shares a traditional rivalry with in-state foe Indiana University, leads the all times series 120–89 over them; the history of Purdue basketball dates back to 1896 with their first game against the Lafayette YMCA. In the 1902–03 season, head coach C. I. Freeman, in his only season, led them to an undefeated 8–0 record. Upon conclusion of the season, the university recognized the popularity of the sport and made it part of the Purdue University Athletic Association; the Boilermakers began play in the Big Ten Conference three years with its first championship coming in 1911 under the direction of Ralph Jones.
In 1917, Ward "Piggy" Lambert, a former basketball player at Wabash College, was named head coach of the Boilermakers. What followed was one of the most dominant eras of Purdue Basketball on the conference and national level. Under Lambert, Purdue became a front-runner in the development of the fast-paced game as it is today. In 28 seasons, Lambert mentored 16 All-Americans and 31 First Team All-Big Ten selections, which included the 1932 National Player of the Year John Wooden. Wooden was the first college player to be named a Consensus All-American three times. Lambert compiled a career record of 371 -- a. 709 winning percentage. His 228 wins in Big Ten play have been bested by only Indiana's Bob Knight and former Purdue head coach Gene Keady. Lambert won an unprecedented 11 Big Ten Championships, which Bobby Knight tied for most in conference history. In 1943, the Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively recognized Purdue as its national champion for 1932; the Premo-Porretta Power Poll recognized the Boilermakers as the 1932 national champion as well.
Ward Lambert announced his resignation on January 23, 1946. That same year and the year following, under new head coach Mel Taube, Purdue would win both meetings against coach John Wooden's Indiana State team. On February 24, 1947, three students were killed and 166 people were taken to hospitals after the 3,400-student section of the Purdue Fieldhouse collapsed during a game against Wisconsin. Center Paul Hoffman became the only Boiler to be named a First Team-All Big Ten selection four times in 1947. With third overall-picked teammate Ed "Bulbs" Ehlers, the two were the first players in the program's history to be selected in the NBA draft, while Paul Hoffman became the BAA's first player named Rookie of the Year in 1948. After Mel Taube's four-and-a-half seasons, Ray Eddy, a former player and teammate of Wooden's under Lambert, took over as head coach. During his 15-year tenure, he coached Terry Dischinger and Dave Schellhase, both Consensus All-Americans, Ernie Hall, the first Purdue junior college transfer and African-American player to wear a Boilermaker uniform.
In 1955, his team played one of the longest games in college basketball history, lasting six overtimes in a loss to Minnesota. Over the next few decades the Boilermakers would enjoy moderate success, culminating in 1969 when they won their first conference title in 29 years and advanced to the 1969 NCAA Finals game under head coach George King and led by All-American Rick Mount, where they would fall to former Purdue great, John Wooden, his UCLA Bruins squad. Former Los Angeles Lakers coach/general manager, Fred Schaus, who spent time as West Virginia's head coach, took over the program after George King stepped down to become the school's athletic director. Schaus led the Boilermakers to the 1974 NIT Championship, becoming the first Big Ten team to capture the NIT title. In the 1978–79 season, new head coach Lee Rose introduced Purdue basketball to a new approach with a slowed-down, controlled style of play. With All-American center Joe Barry Carroll, he led them to the 1979 NIT Finals and to a 1980 NCAA Final Four appearance.
In 1980, Gene Keady, the head coach of Western Kentucky and former assistant to Eddie Sutton with the Arkansas Razorbacks, was named the new head coach of the Boilermakers. Over the next 25 years, Keady led the Boilermakers to six Big Ten Championships and 17 NCAA Tournament appearances with two Elite Eights. Purdue received their highest Associated Press and Coaches Poll ranking in its program's history during the 1987–88 season, where they were ranked as high as 2nd in the nation. In 1991, Keady and assistant coach Frank Kendrick recruited Glenn Robinson, who became an All-American and Purdue's second-named National Player of the Year. A few years Purdue managed to recruit the program's first of many foreign players when they picked up Matt ten Dam from the Netherlands. In December 1997, Keady became Purdue's all-time winningest head coach, surpassing Lambert with his 372nd win, he became the second-winningest coach in Big Ten history behind Indiana's Bobby Knight, against whom Keady went 21–20 in head-to-head meetings.
Soon afterward, the playing surface at Mackey Arena was named Keady Court in his honor. Many of Keady's former assistant coaches and players throughout the years have gone on to enjoy success as head coaches. Included in the Gene Keady coaching tree is current Purdue head coach Matt Painter, former St. John's head coach Steve Lavin, Pittsburgh head coach Kevin Stallings, Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber, Wisconsin-Green Bay head coach Lin
1963 Major League Baseball season
The 1963 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 8 to October 6, 1963. The American League and National League both featured ten teams, with each team playing a 162-game schedule. In the World Series the Los Angeles Dodgers swept the New York Yankees in four straight games; the Dodgers' stellar pitching staff, anchored by left-hander Sandy Koufax and right-hander Don Drysdale, was so dominant that the vaunted Yankees, despite the presence of sluggers such as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in their lineup, never took a lead against Los Angeles the entire Series. World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Yankees. In the National League, most experts figured the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers would be locked in another battle for the pennant, much like 1962 when the Giants came from behind and beat the Dodgers in a playoff; the Dodgers started perhaps feeling the hangover effect from blowing the pennant the year before. They were 2 games under.500 in early May, trailed the surprising St. Louis Cardinals by 4.5 games.
Their pitching asserted itself, on August 28, the Dodgers led the Giants by 5.5 games and the Cardinals by 6.5 games. The Cardinals proceeded to win 19 of their next 20 games and, while the Dodgers didn't slump, they went "only" 14–7 during that same period. Thus, the Dodgers went into St. Louis on September 16 to play the Cardinals in a 3-game series leading by only 1 game. With the memory of blowing the 1962 pennant fresh in their minds, the Dodgers proceeded to sweep the Cardinals and take a 4-game lead with 7 games to go; the key game was the third one. A, but the Dodgers got 3 in the 8th and in the top of the 9th, late season call up Dick Nen, in only his 8th major league at bat, hit a pinch hit homer to force extra innings. The Cardinals could not score; the Dodgers scored an unearned run in the 13th inning and won, 6–5. The disheartened Cardinals lost their next 3 games as well while the Dodgers won 3 of their next 4 to clinch the pennant with 6 games left. January 10 – Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley creates the position of athletic director, hires ex-Air Force Academy director Robert Whitlow.
Whitlow's lack of experience lead to him being ignored by general manager John Holland and manager Bob Kennedy, he resigns in January 1965. January 27 – Sam Rice, Eppa Rixey, Elmer Flick and John Clarkson are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. March 22 – The New York Mets, who finished last in the National League with a 40–120 record in their inaugural season, purchase pitcher Carlton Willey from the Milwaukee Braves. Willey will boost a pitching rotation that include Al Jackson and Tracy Stallard; the Mets will improve to 51–111 in that season. April 13: After 11 hitless at bats, Cincinnati second baseman Pete Rose records his first major league hit, a triple off Pittsburgh's Bob Friend. Increased enforcement of the balk rule produces a major-league record seven in the Pirates' 12–4 trouncing at Crosley Field. Friend commits four of the balks. May 11 – Sandy Koufax hurls his second no-hitter in as many seasons, blanking the San Francisco Giants 8–0 at Dodger Stadium.
The final out is made by Harvey Kuenn on a ground ball back to none other than Koufax. Kuenn will make the final out of Koufax's perfect game two years later. May 17 – Houston Colt.45's pitcher Don Nottebart throws the first no-hitter in franchise history, leading his team past the Philadelphia Phillies, 4–1. June 2 – Willie Mays hits 3 home runs helping San Francisco Giants beat St. Louis Cardinals 6–4. June 9 – Ernie Banks hits 3 home runs. June 10 – Al Kaline hits 200th career home run helping Detroit Tigers beat Boston Red Sox 6–1. June 15 – Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants no-hits the Houston Colt.45's 1–0 at Candlestick Park. The no-hitter is the first by a Giant since the franchise's move from New York City after the 1957 season. July 9 – At Municipal Stadium, the National League wins 5–3 over the American League in the All-Star Game. After four years, MLB had decided to return to the original single-game format; the American League out-hit the National League 11–6, but the effort went in vain as MVP Willie Mays put on a one-man show.
Although he was held to a single, Mays collected two runs, two RBI, two stolen bases and made the defensive play of the game — a running catch that deprived Joe Pepitone of an extra base in the eighth inning. This game marked the 24th and final All-Star appearance of Stan Musial, who pinch-hit in the fifth inning, he lined out to right field, leaving behind a.317 batting average and an All-Star Game record of six home runs. July 13 – Early Wynn of the Cleveland Indians earns his 300th career win. August 27 – Willie Mays hits 400th career home run helping San Francisco Giants beat St. Louis C
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, one of only eight to survive the league's first decade; the 76ers have had a rich history, with many of the greatest players in NBA history having played for the organization, including Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955; the second title came in 1967, a team, led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Malone; the 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
In 1946, Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, the Syracuse Nationals became the Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America, based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21–23 record, finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs, the Nationals would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in four games. In their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in fifth place with a 24–36 record. Despite their struggles, the Nationals would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games. Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA; the Nationals "recipe for success" began by recruiting Leo Ferris.
Staying in the NBL, Ferris signed Al Cervi to be player coach and outbid the New York Knicks for the services of Dolph Schayes who made his professional debut, leading the Nationals to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nationals would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second straight season in four games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA; the Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the 1949–50 season, with a league best record of 51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play solid basketball, beating the Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the New York Knickerbockers, beating their big city rivals in a 3-game series.
In the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced. In Game 1 of the Finals the Nationals lost just their second home game of the season 68–66; the Nationals did not recover. Despite several teams leaving the NBA for the National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–51 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In their second NBA season, 1950–51, the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, finishing in fourth place with a record of 32–34. However, in the playoffs the Nationals played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the first place Warriors in two straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, losing the finale by just 2 points. Cervi, playing less and coaching more, emphasized a patient offense and a scrappy defense, which led the league in the 1951–52 season by yielding a stingy 79.5 points per game as the Nationals won the Eastern Division with a solid 40–26 record.
In the playoffs the Nationals knocked off the Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nationals fell to the Knickerbockers again, dropping the series in four games; the Nationals would finish in second place in a hard-fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the 1952–53 season, with a record of 47–24. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81. Needing a win in Boston to keep their hopes alive, the Nationals would take the Celtics deep into overtime before losing in quadruple OT 111–105, in what remains the longest playoff game in NBA history; the Nationals acquired Alex Groza, Ralph Beard as the Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the 1953–54 season. Once again the Nationals would battle for the Division title falling two games short with a 42–30 record. In the playoffs the Nationals would win all four games of a round robin tournament involving the three playoff teams from the East.
In the Eastern Finals the Nationals would stay hot beating the Celtics in 2 straight games. However, in the NBA Finals the Nationals would lose to the Lakers in a hard-fought 7-game series where the 2 teams alternated wins throughout. With the NBA struggling financially and down to just 8 teams Nationals owner during the 1954–55 season, Biasone suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone and Nationals' general manager