Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox; the Trail Blazers have been the only NBA team based in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977.
Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 34 seasons of their 48-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history; the Trail Blazers' 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team's inception in 1970. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player. Four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new expansion teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles.
When the Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1960 Glickman saw the potential it could serve as a professional basketball venue but it was not until February 6, 1970, that the NBA board of governors granted him the rights to a franchise in Portland. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks on February 24, team management held a contest to select the team's name and received more than 10,000 entries; the most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis & Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, was selected by the judging panel, being revealed on March 13 in the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum. Derived from the trail blazing activity by explorers making paths through forests, Glickman considered it a name that could "reflect both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the start of a major league era in our state."
Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name shortened to just "Blazers", became popular in Oregon. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its early years, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in its first six seasons of existence. During that span, the team had three head coaches; the team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span. In 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick. In 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA; the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 saw those two rival leagues join forces. Four ABA teams joined the NBA; the Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft. That summer, they hired Jack Ramsay as head coach; the two moves, coupled with the team's stellar play, led Portland to several firsts: winning record, playoff appearance, championship in 1977. Starting on April 5 of that year, the team began a sellout streak of 814 straight games—the longest in American major professional sports history—which did not end until 1995, after the team moved into a larger facility.
The team started the 1977–78 season with a 50–10 mark, some predicted a dynasty in Portland. However, Bill Walton suffered a foot injury that ended his season and would plague him over the remainder of his career, the team struggled to an 8–14 finish, going 58–24 overall. In the playoffs, Portland lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 conference semifinals; that summer, Walton demanded to be traded to a team of his choice because he was unhappy with his medical treatment in Portland. Walton was never traded, he held out the entire 1978–79 season and left the team as a free agent thereafter; the team was further dismantled as Lucas left in 1980. During the 1980s, the team was a consistent presence in the NBA post-season, failing to qualify for the playoffs only in 1982. However, they never advanced past the conference semifinals duri
2009–10 NBA season
The 2009–10 NBA season was the 64th season of the National Basketball Association. The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, ended on Wednesday, April 14, 2010; the 2009 NBA draft was held on June 25, 2009, Blake Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Dallas Mavericks hosted the 59th Annual All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 14, 2010. For the second time in NBA history, all eight Western Conference playoff teams won at least 50 games, only 7 wins separated the Western Conference #1 seed from #8 seed. Both of these events first occurred in 2008. Cleveland's league-leading 61 wins was the lowest win total to lead the league since the Indiana Pacers won 61 games in 2003–04; the New Jersey Nets became the fifth team in NBA history to lose 70 games in a season. On April 22, the Washington Wizards hired Flip Saunders as head coach, replacing interim head coach Ed Tapscott. On April 23, the Sacramento Kings fired interim head coach Kenny Natt and four assistant coaches after the Kings finished with a season-low 17 wins.
On May 11, the Philadelphia 76ers' interim head coach Tony DiLeo decided to withdraw his name from consideration as head coach for the 2009–10 season, citing family concerns. DiLeo retains his old position as Senior Vice President. On June 1, the Philadelphia 76ers hired Eddie Jordan as head coach. On June 9, the Sacramento Kings hired Paul Westphal as head coach. On June 17, the Minnesota Timberwolves fired interim head coach Kevin McHale, ending McHale's 15-year association with the franchise. On June 30, the Detroit Pistons fired head coach Michael Curry, after only one season at the position. On July 9, the Detroit Pistons hired Cavaliers assistant coach John Kuester as head coach. On August 10, the Minnesota Timberwolves hired Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis as head coach. On November 12, the New Orleans Hornets fired Byron Scott as head coach, replacing him on an interim basis with general manager Jeff Bower. On November 29, the New Jersey Nets fired Lawrence Frank as head coach, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant coach Tom Barrise.
On December 1, the New Jersey Nets appointed general manager Kiki Vandeweghe as an interim head coach, replacing Tom Barrise who coached the team for two games after Lawrence Frank was fired. On February 4, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy stepped down from coaching duties, he retained his position as the team's general manager. Assistant coach Kim Hughes replaced him as head coach on interim basis. June On June 10, 2009, one-time All-Star Game MVP Randy Smith died at the age of 60. On June 25, 2009, the 2009 NBA draft was held at New York City. Blake Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. July On July 7, 2009, the NBA announced that the salary cap for the 2009–10 season would be $57.70 million and would go into effect on July 8. September On September 1, 2009, the five-year contract between the NBA and its referees expired. Both parties had failed to negotiate a new contract by the start of the pre-season, resulting in a lockout by the National Basketball Referees Association starting on September 18.
On September 5, 2009, three-time NBA Champion Bruce Bowen retired after 12 seasons in the NBA, at the age of 38. On September 11, 2009, Charlotte Bobcats co-owner William Beck died in a plane crash, at the age of 49. On September 11, 2009, NBA legends Michael Jordan, John Stockton and David Robinson along with Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. On September 16, 2009, Indiana Pacers co-owner Melvin Simon died at the age of 82. On September 24, 2009, Mikhail Prokhorov, who at the time was Russia's richest man according to Forbes magazine, reached a deal to become the majority owner of the New Jersey Nets and to fund nearly half the cost of building the Nets' new arena. On September 30, 2009, the NBA issued a policy regarding Twitter and other social media sites, banning players and other team basketball operations personnel from using them during games. October On October 1, the pre-season games started and were refereed by replacement referees from the Women's National Basketball Association and the NBA D-League due to the lockout of referees.
This marked the first time. On October 2, the NBA Board of Governors approved the expanded use of instant replay starting this season to determine whether a 24-second shot clock violation occurred during a play, to determine during the last two minutes of regulation play or any overtime period which player last touched the ball prior to it going out-of-bounds. On October 8, the NBA played its first-ever game in Taipei. A pre-season game between the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets was played at Taipei Arena. Taipei became the seventh Asian city to host an NBA game, after Beijing, Macau, Shanghai and Yokohama. On October 9, Marvin Fishman, one of the original owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, died at the age of 84. On October 23, the NBA and its referees announced that they have agreed on a new labor agreement for the next two seasons, thus ending the lockout of referees. On October 27, the regular season opened with a record of 83 international players on the opening night rosters, tying the records set in the 2006–07 season.
Israeli Omri Casspi, Swede Jonas Jerebko and Tanzanian Hasheem Thabeet were representing their countries for the first time in the NBA. The opening night rosters featured a record number of former D-League players with 63 players on 29 NBA teams. November On November 10, Hall of Famer coach Al Cervi died at the age of 92. On November 24, W
The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association. The Eastern and Western conference champions play a best-of-seven game series to determine the league champion; the winners of the Finals are awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the Walter A. Brown Trophy in 1983; the series was known as the BAA Finals prior to the 1949–50 season when the Basketball Association of America merged with the National Basketball League to form the NBA. The competition oversaw further name changes to NBA World Championship Series from 1950 to 1985, as well as a brief stint as the Showdown, before settling on NBA Finals in 1986; the NBA Finals was structured to harbor a 2-2-1-1-1 format. In 1985, it was changed to a 2–3–2 format to ease the amount of cross country travel until 2013, where the first two and last two games of the series were played at the arena of the team who earned home-court advantage by having the better record during the regular season. In 2014, the 2–2–1–1–1 format was restored.
The first two are played at home for the higher-seeded team, the following two at the home of the lower-seeded team. The following three are played at each team's home arena alternately. A total of 18 franchises have won the NBA Finals, with the Golden State Warriors the current champion; the Boston Celtics hold the record for the most victories, having won the competition 17 times, as well as winning the competition the most times in a row, winning it eight times from 1959 to 1966. The Los Angeles Lakers have contested the NBA Finals the most times, with 31 appearances; the Eastern Conference has provided the most champions, with 38 wins from ten franchises. The Boston Celtics went 11–1 in the NBA Finals during 13 seasons, they won eight straight NBA championships from 1959 through 1966. This period marks the largest stretch of seasons that a single team made up over 65% of Finals appearances, includes the only time the NBA Finals was decided in double overtime. With the establishment of the Celtics dynasty in 1957 spearheaded by center Bill Russell, the team saw great success, only encountering difficulty when up against teams led by Wilt Chamberlain.
However, for most of the late 1950s and 1960s, the Celtics and Russell managed to have an upper hand on Chamberlain's teams. In 1964, who had moved to the state of California alongside his team, led the San Francisco Warriors to a Western Conference championship, but again failed to conquer the Celtics; the following season, he returned to the Eastern Conference to join the Philadelphia 76ers, who were the former Syracuse Nationals that had relocated to the city to cover the vacancy created with the departure of the Warriors. The first clash between the two stars in the playoffs was in 1966, with Boston winning the series 4–1. In the following season, Philadelphia coach Alex Hannum instructed Chamberlain to provide an increased focus on playing a team game, to avoid drawing the double-teams that troubled Chamberlain during the Finals; this tactical change brought the team to a new record of 68 wins the following season, as well as defeating the Celtics before winning the Finals. In 1968, Boston overcame a 3–1 deficit against Philadelphia to once again arrive in the Finals.
They went on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals to again become NBA Champions. In 1969, the Celtics faced great difficulty entering the postseason, as they had an aging team and multiple injuries to a number of players, they qualified for the playoffs as the fourth and final seed in the East, while the Lakers, who had added Chamberlain in the offseason to join stars Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The Lakers won the West and were prohibitive favorites to become Champions for the first time since relocating to Los Angeles. Despite holding a 2-1 advantage going into Game 4, the Lakers led 87–86 and had the ball with 10 seconds to play, but after a turnover, Sam Jones scored tying the series. The series was tied 3-3 going into Game 7 in Los Angeles, with Lakers owner Jack Cooke hanging balloons in the arena in anticipation of a Lakers victory. West picked up injuries to his thigh and hamstring during the series, returned to play for the final game. Russell utilized this newly lacking mobility in West to organize fast breaks at every opportunity for the Celtics, which allowed them to gain an early lead.
They held off a furious Lakers comeback to win 108–106 and win the series, win their eleventh championship in 13 years. As many stars either declined or retired following this win, it is recognized as the last NBA Finals conducted by the Celtics dynasty; the 1970s saw. In 1970, a classic final featured the Knicks against the Lakers. In the waning moments of Game 3, with the series tied, Jerry West hit a basket from 60 feet to tie the game, a shot which became one of the most famous ever. However, the Knicks won in overtime and continued their momentum for a 4–3 win, becoming the first team after the Celtics dynasty to win an NBA championship; the Milwaukee Bucks won their first franchise title, defeating the Baltimore Bullets in 1971. Two seasons after losing in the Finals, the Lakers got a measure of revenge by winning 33 straight games, the longest such streak in NBA history. By season's end, they broke the record for most wins in a season with 69, one more than the 1966–67 Philadelphia 76ers, before taking home the championship for the first time since relocating to Los Angeles.
The Knicks returned to win the championship round again a season to record their second victorious season. Despite the rise of the Knicks, the
The Seattle SuperSonics known as the Sonics, were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. The SuperSonics played in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Pacific and Northwest divisions from 1967 until 2008. After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City and now plays as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sam Schulman owned the team from its 1967 inception until 1983, it was owned by Barry Ackerley, Basketball Club of Seattle, headed by Starbucks chairman emeritus, former president and CEO Howard Schultz. On July 18, 2006, the Basketball Club of Seattle sold the SuperSonics and its Women's National Basketball Association sister franchise Seattle Storm to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett; the sale was approved by the NBA Board of Governors on October 24, 2006, finalized on October 31, 2006, at which point the new ownership group took control. After failing to find public funding to construct a new arena in the Seattle area, the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008–09 season, following a $45 million settlement with the city of Seattle to pay off the team's existing lease at KeyArena at Seattle Center in advance of its 2010 expiration.
Home games were played at KeyArena known as Seattle Center Coliseum, for 33 of the franchise's 41 seasons in Seattle. In 1978, the team moved to the Kingdome, shared with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, they returned to the Coliseum full-time in 1985, moving temporarily to the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, for the 1994–95 season while the Coliseum was renovated and rebranded as KeyArena. The SuperSonics won the NBA championship in 1979. Overall, the franchise won three Western Conference titles: 1978, 1979, 1996; the franchise won six divisional titles, their last being in 2005, with five in the Pacific Division and one in the Northwest Division. Settlement terms of a lawsuit between the city of Seattle and Clay Bennett's ownership group stipulated the SuperSonics' banners and retired jerseys remain in Seattle; the SuperSonics' franchise history, would be shared with the Thunder. On December 20, 1966, Los Angeles businessmen Sam Schulman and Eugene V. Klein, who both owned the AFL's San Diego Chargers at the time, a group of minority partners were awarded an NBA franchise for the city of Seattle.
Schulman would serve as the active head of team operations. He named the SuperSonics after Boeing's awarded contract for the SST project, canceled; the SuperSonics were Seattle's first major league sports franchise. Beginning play on October 13, 1967, the SuperSonics were coached by Al Bianchi and featured All-Star guard Walt Hazzard and NBA All-Rookie Team members Bob Rule and Al Tucker; the expansion team stumbled out of the gates with a 144–116 loss in their first game in San Francisco against the San Francisco Warriors. The team got their first win on October 21, their third game of the season in San Diego against the San Diego Rockets in overtime 117–110, finished the season with a 23–59 record. Hazzard was traded to the Atlanta Hawks before the start of the next season for Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens brought a strong all-around game to the SuperSonics, averaging 22.4 points, 8.2 assists, 6.2 rebounds per game for Seattle in the 1968–69 season. Rule, improved on his rookie statistics with 24.0 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The SuperSonics, only won 30 games and Bianchi was replaced by Wilkens as player/coach during the offseason. Wilkens and Rule both represented Seattle in the 1970 NBA All-Star Game, Wilkens led the NBA in assists during the 1969–70 season. In June 1970 the NBA owners voted 13–4 to work toward a merger with the ABA; the Oscar Robertson suit delayed the merger, the SuperSonics remained in Seattle. Early in the 1970–71 season, Rule tore his Achilles' tendon and was lost for the rest of the year. Wilkens was named the 1971 All-Star Game MVP, but the big news of the season came when owner Sam Schulman managed to land American Basketball Association Rookie of the Year and MVP Spencer Haywood following a lengthy court battle; the following season, the SuperSonics went on to record their first winning season at 47–35. The team, led by player-coach Wilkens and First Team forward Haywood, held a 46–27 mark on March 3, but late season injuries to starters Haywood, Dick Snyder, Don Smith contributed to the team losing eight of its final nine games.
For the 1972–73 season, Wilkens was dealt to Cleveland in a unpopular trade, without his leadership the SuperSonics fell to a 26–56 record. One of the few bright spots of the season was Haywood's second consecutive All-NBA First Team selection, as he averaged a SuperSonics record 29.2 points per game and collected 12.9 rebounds per game. The legendary Bill Russell was hired as the head coach in the following year, in 1975 he coached the SuperSonics to the playoffs for the firs
2003–04 NBA season
The 2003–04 NBA season was the 58th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4–1 in the 2004 NBA Finals; this was the final season for the original two-division format in both the Eastern and Western Conferences, before each of the conferences added a third division the following season. As a result, this would be the final season for the NBA Midwest Division, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were that division's last champion, the only division title the franchise has won in their twenty-nine seasons in the NBA; the All-Star Game was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The West won 136-132. For the first time in 21 years the Portland Trail Blazers did not make the playoffs, ending the second longest streak in NBA history. For the first time in 20 years the Utah Jazz did not make the playoffs, ending the third longest streak in NBA history. Prior to the start of the season, Karl Malone and Gary Payton took major paycuts to leave their teams and join Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal on the Lakers for a chance at a possible NBA title.
However, that title chase came to an end in the NBA Finals, as the Detroit Pistons won 4-1. The Minnesota Timberwolves, behind their "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, amassed the best record in the Western Conference, were expected to win a first round playoff series, they advanced to the Western Conference Finals, which they lost to the Lakers. It would be their last playoff appearance until the 2017–18 season. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, among others, formed one of the strongest drafts in NBA history. Among the touted rookies and Wade led their teams to the playoffs, Wade's play pushed the Heat into the second round. James went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989–90 season. Tracy McGrady was the first scoring leader since Bernard King in 1984–85 whose team did not make the playoffs. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot Teams in bold advanced to the next round.
The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record. * Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves Rookie of the Year: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Defensive Player of the Year: Ron Artest, Indiana Pacers Sixth Man of the Year: Antawn Jamison, Dallas Mavericks Most Improved Player: Zach Randolph, Portland Trail Blazers Coach of the Year: Hubie Brown, Memphis Grizzlies Executive of the Year: Jerry West, Memphis Grizzlies Sportsmanship Award: P. J. Brown, New Orleans Hornets J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.
The following players were named the Western Conference Rookies of the Month. The following coaches were named the Western Conference Coaches of the Month. Http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695268141,00.html
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
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