Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for the Weber State Wildcats and earned third-team All-American honors in 2012. After being selected by Portland with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Lillard was unanimously voted the NBA Rookie of the Year, he has received four NBA All-Star selections, is one of four players in Trail Blazers franchise history to become a four-time All-Star. During his sophomore year, Lillard transferred to St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, California, a private school that produced former NBA point guard Jason Kidd, but by year's end he looked to transfer again due to the lack of playing time. Lillard played for coach Orlando Watkins at Oakland High School his final two years of high school where he was first team all-league; as a junior at Oakland, he averaged 19.4 points per game. He led Oakland to a 23-9 record.
Lillard was not recruited out of high school and only regarded as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com. He would accept a scholarship offer to play for Weber State, a Big Sky Conference program located in Ogden, Utah; as a freshman at Weber State, Lillard averaged 11.5 points per game and was named the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Big Sky. In his sophomore year, Lillard raised his scoring average to 19.9 points per game and led the Wildcats to the regular season conference championship. At the end of the season, Lillard was named the Big Sky Player of the Year and was an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press. In 2010–11, Lillard suffered a foot injury ten games into the season and was forced to take a medical redshirt. Lillard led the Big Sky in scoring with 19.7 points per game before his injury sidelined him for the year. As a redshirt junior, Lillard averaged 24.5 points and led the nation in scoring throughout most of the year but ended up finishing second to Oakland University's Reggie Hamilton.
On December 3, 2011, against San Jose State, Lillard scored a college career-high 41 points, including a game-winning three-point play that gave Weber State a 91–89 double-overtime win. At the end of the year, he was named to his third first-team all-conference selection and won his second Big Sky Player of the Year award. Lillard was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award. After his strong year, Lillard was regarded as the top point guard prospect in the country and decided to forgo his senior season to enter the 2012 NBA draft, he finished his college career as the No. 2 scorer in Weber State history and the No. 5 scorer in Big Sky history. Lillard was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. In the season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 31, Lillard recorded 23 points and 11 assists to join Oscar Robertson and Allen Iverson as the only players in NBA history with at least 20 points and 10 assists in their NBA debut. In addition, his 11 assists were the most by an NBA rookie in his first game since Jason Kidd in 1994, the most by a Trail Blazer in his NBA debut.
Lillard made a career-high 15 field goals and a Trail Blazer rookie-record seven 3-pointers on January 11 against the Golden State Warriors, where he finished with 37 points, six rebounds and four assists. He became the first Trail Blazer to win an event at the NBA All-Star Weekend, winning the Skills Challenge, he participated in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend and finished with 18 points, three rebounds and five assists in a game-high 28 minutes. Lillard became the first NBA rookie to record 35 points, nine assists and zero turnovers in a game since turnovers became a stat in 1978–79 against the San Antonio Spurs on March 8. On April 10 against the Lakers, Lillard scored a season-high 38 points, he earned Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors for every month, becoming one of just eight players to sweep NBA Rookie of the Month honors since the inaugural award in 1981–82. He finished fifth in the NBA in 3-pointers made, 12th in points per game, tied for 16th in assists per game and tied for 23rd in free throw percentage.
He was one of 10 NBA players to score 1,500 points and he led all rookies in scoring, field goals and free throws. Lillard averaged 19.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 0.90 steals and 38.6 minutes in 82 games, as he won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, joining Blake Griffin, David Robinson and Ralph Sampson as the only players to win the award unanimously. He became the fourth Trail Blazer to win the award and joined Robertson and Iverson as the only rookies in NBA history to record 1,500 points and 500 assists in a season. Lillard became one of two Trail Blazers to finish with 1,500 points and 500 assists in a season. In the season opener on October 30, Lillard scored 32 points against the Phoenix Suns, he had a second 32-point effort on December 7 against the Dallas Mavericks. On December 17, he had 10 assists and eight rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers; the following day, he had a second straight 36-point effort against the Minnesota Timberwolves. On January 7, in a 123–119 loss to the Sacramento Kings, Lillard scored a career-
NBA Sportsmanship Award
The NBA Sportsmanship Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given to a player who most "exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court with ethical behavior, fair play, integrity." It is directly analogous to the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, awarded by the NBA's sister league, the WNBA, with neither award demanding excellence of play. Every year, each of the 30 NBA teams nominates one of its players to compete for this award. From these nominees, one player from each NBA division are selected by a panel as the divisional Sportsmanship Award winners. At the end of the regular season, players in the league cast votes for the award, with eleven points given for each first-place vote, nine for second-place vote, seven points for third, five points for fourth, three points for fifth and one point for each sixth place vote received; the player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award and presented with the Joe Dumars Trophy.
Grant Hill has won the award three times. Kemba Walker, Jason Kidd and Mike Conley are the only other players to have won it multiple times, each having done so twice. National Basketball Association portal Official website
David William Cowens is an American retired professional basketball player and NBA head coach. At 6'9", he played the center and the power forward position, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. Cowens has held numerous NBA head coaching positions. Most Cowens served as an assistant coach and as a special assistant to Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars. After starring in high school at Newport Catholic High in his hometown of Newport, Cowens played his collegiate basketball at Florida State University from 1967 to 1970, he scored 1,479 points in 78 games at Florida State, at 19.0 points per game, ranks among Florida State's top 10 all-time scoring leaders. He is the all-time Florida State leading rebounder with 1,340 rebounds, he holds the team record for best seasonal rebound average. He once grabbed 31 rebounds against LSU in the 1968–69 season, he was named The Sporting News All-America second team in 1970. His number now hangs in the rafters of the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Despite some critics who felt Cowens was too small to play center, Cowens was selected as the fourth overall pick by the Boston Celtics during the 1970 NBA draft at the recommendation of former Celtics center Bill Russell. During his rookie year, Cowens averaged 15.0 rebounds per game. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and shared the NBA's Rookie of the Year honors with Portland's Geoff Petrie, he led the league in personal fouls that same year. In 1973, Cowens averaged 20.5 ppg and 16.2 rpg while helping the Celtics to a league best 68-14 record. He was chosen the NBA MVP as well as MVP of the All-Star Game that same season. Cowens and fellow Celtic Bill Russell both have the distinction of being named MVP of the league but not being included on the All-NBA First Team. Cowens retired in 1980, however, in 1982 he was coaxed out of retirement by the Milwaukee Bucks, who were coached by his former Celtics teammate Don Nelson; the Celtics still held his rights at the time. Cowens played for the Bucks during the 1982–83 season before retiring for good.
During his NBA career, Cowens averaged 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, was selected to eight All-Star Games, was named to the All-NBA Second Team three times, was named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team in 1976 and All-NBA Defensive Second Team in 1973 and 1980. He was 1976 NBA Championship teams. Cowens' playing credo was all-out intensity at both ends of the court, a style that never wavered during his 11-year NBA career; as a testament to his all-around ability, Cowens is one of only five players to lead his team in all five major statistical categories for a season: points, assists and steals. He accomplished the feat in the 1977–78 season, he began his coaching career by serving as a player-coach for the Boston Celtics during the 1978–79 season, but he quit coaching after the season and returned as a full-time player before retiring in 1980. Cowens coached the Bay State Bombardiers of the Continental Basketball Association in 1984–85. Cowens returned to NBA coaching ranks, as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs in 1994–96 and was considered for the coaching job of the Boston Celtics during the 1995 off-season.
Cowens was head coach of the Charlotte Hornets from 1996 to 1999. He was head coach with the Golden State Warriors from 1999 to 2001, a tenure of 105 games. In 2005-2006 Cowens was head coach of the Chicago Sky of the Women's National Basketball Association. Cowens was an assistant coach of the Detroit Pistons from 2006-2009. In 1990, Cowens, a former Democrat, ran as a Republican for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. However, because he did not register by June 5, 1989, he was unable to appear on the primary ballot. Cowens considered running a sticker campaign for the Republican nomination, however he decided to drop out of the race. In 1973, Cowens was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Cowens was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1977. Cowens' #13 is an Honored number at Florida State University. On February 8, 1981, the Boston Celtics retired Cowens' #18. Celtics' #18 had been worn by Jim Loscutoff, who had asked that the number not be retired for him, so future Celtics could wear it.
In 1991, Cowens was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Cowens was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. There is a street named after him in his hometown of Newport, Kentucky: "Dave Cowens Drive". List of National Basketball Association career rebounding leaders Heisler, Mark. Giants: The 25 Greatest Centers of All Time. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-577-1. Dave Cowens at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame NBA History profile
Blake Austin Griffin is an American professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for the Oklahoma Sooners, when he was named the Consensus National Player of the Year as a sophomore. Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA draft, has since been a six-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-NBA selection. Griffin won four high school state titles at Oklahoma Christian School under his father, head coach Tommy Griffin. Griffin played two seasons of college ball for the Sooners before entering the 2009 NBA draft, when he was selected by the Clippers. During the final pre-season game of 2009, he broke his left kneecap, had surgery, missed the entire 2009–10 season. Griffin made his NBA debut as a rookie the following season, in which he was selected as an All-Star, won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, was named the NBA Rookie of the Year. In 2011, Sports Illustrated called him one of the NBA's 15 Greatest Rookies of All Time.
Griffin was born on March 16, 1989, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Tommy Griffin, of Afro-Haitian descent, Gail Griffin, white. His father was a basketball track standout at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Griffin and his older brother, Taylor Griffin, were home-schooled by their mother from first grade until Taylor was in the tenth grade and Blake was in eighth. Growing up, Griffin was good friends with future NFL quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford's father owned a gym where Taylor played basketball. Before deciding to focus on basketball, Griffin played baseball as a first baseman and football as a wide receiver and tight end. In 2003, Griffin followed his brother to Oklahoma Christian School, where they played under their father, head coach Tommy Griffin, they played together during the 2003–04 and 2004–05 high school seasons, winning two state basketball championships. In his freshman year, the Oklahoma Christian Saints posted a perfect 29–0 season and won the Class 3A boys state championship game at the State Fair Arena against Riverside Indian School, 55–50.
In Griffin's sophomore year, the Saints repeated as Class 3A state champions, defeating Sequoyah-Tahlequah 51–34, where he scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. The team finished the season with a 24–2 record, with Griffin averaging 13.6 points per game. He was named to the Little All-City All-State team in what was his final high school season with his brother. Taylor went on to accept a scholarship to play college basketball for the Oklahoma Sooners. During the summer of 2005, Blake was a member of the Athletes First AAU team, where he played against Kevin Durant and Ty Lawson's AAU team, the DC Blue Devils. During Griffin's junior season, the Oklahoma Christian basketball team was moved down to Class 2A from Class 3A; as he began his third season with the Saints, he was developing as a player, as he led them to a third straight state championship. He scored 22 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, recorded 6 blocks in the finals as Oklahoma Christian defeated Washington High School, 57–40, he was named the state tournament MVP, the Saints finished the season 27–1, with Griffin averaging 21.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists.
For his efforts, he was named The Oklahoman Player of the Year and to the Tulsa World Boys All-State First Team. His play attracted the attention of the new basketball head coach for Oklahoma, Jeff Capel, who first heard of him through his brother, Taylor; that spring, Capel saw him play for the first time and was impressed. Capel liked the fact that Griffin had not yet become a household name among recruiters and felt he was the player he needed to rebuild the Oklahoma men's basketball program with. Griffin had been considering Duke, North Carolina and Texas, but his brother sold him on joining Oklahoma when he raved about the direction of the Sooners and the chance to play together again for his home state. Griffin committed to Oklahoma before the start of his senior season, he went on to average 26.8 points, 15.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.9 blocks per game as a senior while leading the team to a 26–3 record. In a game against Oklahoma City Southeast, he finished with 41 points, 28 rebounds, 10 assists.
The Saints advanced through the playoffs, defeating Crescent in the quarterfinals and Foyil in the semifinals to earn a berth in the Class 2A state championship once again. On March 10, 2007, he played his final high school game in the state title game against Pawnee High School. Griffin registered 22 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks, as the Saints defeated Pawnee 81–50, winning their fourth straight state title, he was named the Class 2A state tournament MVP for the second consecutive year after averaging 26.6 points per game in the tournament. During his four-year run, the Oklahoma Christian Saints posted a 106–6 overall record. Following Griffin's senior year, he was named the Player of the Year by both the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman, he was named to the Oklahoma Boys All-State First Team, EA Sports All-American Second Team and Parade All-American Third Team. Additionally, he was the Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year and was selected to the McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand All-America teams.
At the McDonald's All-American game in Louisville, Kentucky, he won the Powerade Jam Fest slam dunk contest. He was ranked as the nation's 13th best high school senior by HoopScoop, 20th by scout.com and 23rd by rivals.com. HoopScoop rated him as the country's third-best power forward while Rivals.com ranked him sixth and was seventh according to Scout.com. Griffin was one of the highest rated and most decorated recruits at Oklahoma; as a freshman at Oklahoma, he averaged 14.7 points and 9.1
Kyrie Andrew Irving is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. He was named NBA Rookie of the Year after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. A six-time NBA All-Star, Irving was selected to the All-NBA Third Team in 2015, he won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016. Irving played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils before joining the Cavaliers in 2011, he was named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 2014. In the 2016 NBA Finals, he made a three-point field goal with 53 seconds remaining in a tied Game 7 to help lead the Cavaliers to a championship over the Golden State Warriors. After losing a rematch against the Warriors in the 2017 Finals, Irving requested a trade, was traded to the Boston Celtics, he has played for the United States national team, with which he won gold at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, he starred in the film Uncle Drew.
Irving was born on March 1992 in Melbourne, Australia, to American parents. He is the son of Drederick and Elizabeth Irving, the stepson of Shetellia Irving, he has an older sister, a younger sister, London. His father, played college basketball at Boston University alongside Shawn Teague and under coach Rick Pitino. After completing his college career, Irving's father moved to Australia to play professionally for the Bulleen Boomers in the SEABL. Irving lived in the Melbourne suburb of Kew before relocating to the United States when he was two years old, he holds dual Australian citizenship. His mother, half Sioux, died of an illness when he was four, Drederick raised him with the help of Irving's aunts. Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, where he went to his father's adult-league games, his inspiration to play in the NBA came after playing at Continental Airlines Arena during a school trip in fourth grade, when he said, "I will play in the NBA, I promise." As a result of his father's connection to Boston University, Irving spent a lot of time in Boston, including at BU's basketball skills camp.
In fifth grade, he was offered a scholarship to Boston University by then-head coach Dennis Wolff. As a teenager, Irving played for the Road Runners of the Amateur Athletic Union. Irving played for Montclair Kimberley Academy in his sophomore years in high school, he averaged 26.5 points, 10.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 3.6 steals and became only the school's second 1,000 point scorer. In his sophomore year, he led. After that year, he transferred to St. Patrick High School because he felt he needed a bigger challenge, he had to sit out the first 30 days of St. Patrick's season due to the transfer. At St. Patrick, Irving played with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, regarded as one of the best players in the class of 2011. In his first season, Irving averaged 17.0 ppg. 5.0 rpg. 6.0 apg. and 2.0 spg, led the team to its third New Jersey Tournament of Champions title in four years. In August 2009, he led the USA East to the tournament title in the Nike Global Challenge, he was the MVP with 21.3 ppg. and 4.3 apg.
The next year, St. Patrick was banned from the state tournament for holding practice prior to the permitted start of the winter sports season. St. Patrick went 24-3 and won the Union County Tournament championship as he finished his senior year with 24.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg. and 7.0 apg. On January 19, 2010, Irving was selected to the 2010 Junior National Select Team; the team played at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, on April 10. He was selected to play in the 2010 McDonald's All-American Game and the 2010 Jordan Brand Classic, where he was named co-MVP with Harrison Barnes. In June 2010, Irving was a part of the United States gold medal winning team at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship. Irving committed to Duke on October 22, 2009, in a television broadcast on ESPNU. Irving played with the Blue Devils during the 2010–11 basketball season under the guidance of head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Through the first eight games of the season, he averaged 17.4 points per game on 53.2% shooting, 5.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals.
Irving was a strong contender for NCAA Freshman of the Year until he suffered a severe ligament injury in his right big toe during the ninth game of the season. On March 17, the day before Duke played Hampton in the first round of the NCAA tournament, he returned for his first game since his injury. Duke fell to Arizona. Irving scored 28 points in. Irving announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of eligibility and enter the 2011 NBA draft, where he was selected with the first overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving was named to the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge. Irving scored 34 points in the game, going 8-of-8 from three-point range, earned MVP honors, he won the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year Award with 117 of a possible 120 first-place votes. He was the only unanimous selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. For the season, Irving averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and shot 46.9% from the field, including 39.9% on three-pointers. At a Las Vegas Cavaliers practice on July 14, 2012, Irving sustained a broken right hand after slapping it against a padded wall after committing a turnover.
"I am a little disappointed", he said. "I have to be more responsible about my health. It was just crazy, it happened so fast." It was announced that Irving would require hand surgery on July 18. At the start of the 2012–13 NBA season, Irving injured his index finger i
NBA All-Rookie Team
The NBA All-Rookie Team is an annual National Basketball Association honor given since the 1962–63 NBA season to the top rookies during the regular season. Voting is conducted by the NBA head coaches; the All-Rookie Team is composed of two five-man lineups, a first team and a second team. The players each receive two points for each first team vote and one point for each second team vote; the top five players with the highest point total make the first team, with the next five making the second team. In the case of a tie at the fifth position of either team, the roster is expanded. If the first team consists of six players due to a tie, the second team will still consist of five players with the potential for more expansion in the event of additional ties. Ties have occurred several times, most in 2012, when Kawhi Leonard, Iman Shumpert, Brandon Knight tied in votes received. No respect is given to positions. For example, the first team had four forwards, one guard in 2008, while the first team had four centers and one guard in 2016.
Nine All-Rookie Team members have won both the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award during their careers. Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld are the only players to accomplish this feat in the same season; as of the end of the 2007–08 season, 29 members of the All-Rookie Team have been elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 28 members were not born in the United States and 120 members are active in the NBA. National Basketball Association portal General Specific
Edward Gottlieb, known as "Mr. Basketball" and "The Mogul", was the first coach and manager of the Philadelphia Warriors in the National Basketball Association, the former owner and coach of the team from 1951 to 1962. A native of Kiev, Ukraine, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor on April 20, 1972; the NBA Rookie of the Year "Eddie Gottlieb Trophy" is named after Gottlieb. A small, balding man with deep eyes and penchant for wearing bow ties, Gottlieb was described by Red Smith as "a wonderful little guy about the size and shape of a half-keg of beer."Gottlieb organized, played for, the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association teams in the 1920s. Along with a few other sports promoters, he organized the Basketball Association of America, the league that became the NBA. Gottlieb coached the original Philadelphia Warriors, bought the team, sent it to San Francisco in order to expand the game westward, he headed the NBA rules committee for 25 years. When he died at age 81, he had been in charge of NBA scheduling for three decades.
In 1971, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "Gottlieb was about as important to the game of basketball as the basketball", fellow Hall of Famer Harry Litwack said. Gottlieb took on many duties, he started organized leagues. He was in charge of semipro baseball in Philadelphia, made the schedule for the Negro National League, he helped coordinate the overseas tours of the Harlem Globetrotters. The NBA might have been able to get started without him, but it wouldn't have survived. Sportswriter Mike Lupica wrote in a eulogy, "They used to joke that if he got hit by a car and died, the NBA died with him." Gottlieb was involved with sports throughout his life. Born Isadore Gottlieb in 1898 in Kiev, he moved with his family to Philadelphia at the turn of the century. By the time he was a young adult he had not only played on but had coached and operated neighborhood sports teams, he was, by his own admission, a born promoter and organizer, changed his name to Edward. In 1917, when he was 19, Gottlieb organized a team of Jewish players representing the Young Men's Hebrew Association, which supplied the team with uniforms for three years.
The players found a new sponsor with the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association, a social club from which the team derived its new identity, the Philadelphia Sphas. The team wore uniforms with the acronym SPHAs sewn across the chest in Hebrew letters. After the association stopped providing the uniforms, the team kept the unusual name. Having no home court, the team nicknamed themselves "the Wandering Jews". In the early days of the SPHAs, a game was as much a social event. "We played in a lot of dance halls in those early years", Gottlieb told The Associated Press. "It was basketball dancing. A nice Saturday evening for yourself and your date. We used to let the girls in for free, because you couldn't have a dance after the game without the girls. We had no trouble getting the guys to pay for the basketball game when they heard that news."The SPHAs became one of the powerhouses of basketball in the East. The team entered the Philadelphia League and won two consecutive championships, the final two in the league's history.
The SPHAs joined the Eastern League, which went out of business in the same season, forcing the team to book its own games. Gottlieb, an entrepreneur and future schedule maker, had no trouble lining up a series of exhibition games against teams from both New York's Metropolitan League and the American Basketball League, which in 1925–26 began operation as the country's first major professional basketball league; the SPHAs won five of six games against ABL teams in 1925–26, losing only to the league's top club, the Cleveland Rosenblums. The SPHAs defeated two of the game's best touring squads, the New York Original Celtics and the New York Renaissance Five, in best-of-three series. In about six weeks, Gottlieb's team had won nine of 11 contests against the most celebrated squads in basketball. For the next two years Gottlieb devoted his energy to the Philadelphia Warriors, a 1926–27 ABL entry; the Warriors, who featured former SPHAs stars Chick Passon and Stretch Meehan, competed in the ABL for two seasons, posting winning records both years.
The ABL, its decline hastened by the Great Depression, shut down two seasons in 1931. Meanwhile, Gottlieb had rebuilt the SPHAs in 1929 with younger talent, in 1933 the team joined the ABL, which had reorganized as a smaller, regional circuit after a two-year hiatus; the clubs in this reincarnation of the ABL played in small arenas and dance halls, much as teams had in the early 1920s. The SPHAs were the premier team, winning championships in three of the league's first four seasons and taking titles in 7 of 15 years; the club stayed together for 31 years, until 1949, when Gottlieb became too involved with the new Basketball Association of America. Gottlieb sold the SPHAs to Red Klotz in 1950. In the spring of 1946, the United States was celebrating the end of World War II, which had formally ended in September 1945. Peace brought the population leisure time and money for entertainment, basketball was ripe for a move to the big time. College basketball had grown immensely in popularity during the previous 10 years, there was no professional basketball circuit.
The National Basketball League was operating in the Midwest, did not attract the attention of other cities where basketball was popular, such as New York and Boston—which, for nearly half a century, had been the hotbeds of barnstorming teams and fly-by-ni