Timeline of the NBA from its beginnings as a BAA until the 1950s



FILE – This May 17, 1954, a file photo shows, left to right, George EC Hayes, Thurgood Marshall and James M. Nabrit holding hands as they pose in front of the Washington Supreme Court. The three lawyers led the fight to end segregation in public schools before the Supreme Court, which ruled that segregation is unconstitutional. (Photo / AP File)


Timeline of the National Basketball Association from its founding as the Basketball Association of America until the 1950s. The timeline includes significant moments in league history as the NBA celebrates its 75th season:

June 6, 1946: Walter Brown, owner of Boston Garden, researching other events in his arena, helps found the Basketball Association of America in New York.

November 1, 1946: The game now counts as the first official NBA game to be played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. The New York Knickerbockers beat the Huskies 68-66.

April 23, 1947: Howie Dallmar and the Philadelphia Warriors defeat the Chicago Stags 4-1 to win the first NBA Championship in 1947.

November 4, 1948: Future Hall of Fame center George Mikan made his debut with the Minneapolis Lakers and scored 19 points in an 84-72 victory over the Baltimore Bullets.

August 3, 1949: The Basketball Association of America agrees to merge with the National Basketball League into a league called the National Basketball Association.

April 13, 1949: The Minneapolis Lakers end their first season by beating the Washington Capitols 4-2 for their first championship. It is the first of 17 titles in the franchise now called the Los Angeles Lakers.

June 25, 1950: Beginning of the Korean War, with North Korea attempting to unify the peninsula. The United States joins South Korea and China fights alongside North Korea.

October 31, 1950: Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper and Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton cross the color barrier in the NBA as the first black players in the league. Lloyd was the first to make his NBA debut on October 31, 1950 with the Washington Capitols. Cooper is the first black player drafted by an NBA team as the 13th overall selection and Clifton was the first black player to sign a contract.

November 1, 1950: Bob Cousy, future Hall of Fame member and six-time NBA champion, debuts for the Boston Celtics after refusing to appear for Tri-Cities, which drafted him. He scored 16 points in a 107-84 loss to Fort Wayne.

November 4, 1950: Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton made his NBA debut as the second black player in the NBA, scoring 16 points for the New York Knickerbockers in an 87-76 road loss to the Tri-Cities Blackhawks.

March 21, 1953: The Boston Celtics and Syracuse Nationals couldn’t decide on a playoff game without going through a fourth overtime as the Celtics won the Eastern Conference semifinals 2-0. Bob Cousy set playoff records making 30 of 32 free throw attempts and finishing with 50 points.

July 27, 1953: The fighting ends with the Korean Armistice Agreement creating the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North Korea and South Korea. No peace treaty has ever been signed with countries technically still at war.

May 17, 1954: The Supreme Court rules on Brown v. Board of Education, a combination of five lawsuits brought by the legal arm of the NAACP to challenge racial segregation in public schools. The High Court unanimously ruled that “separate but equal” education denies black children their constitutional right to equal protection under the law, removing a cornerstone that supported Jim Crow, or racial segregation. state sanctioned.

December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, triggering a boycott that led the United States Supreme Court to declare all segregation illegal on December 20, 1956.

December 22, 1956: Bill Russell, future member of the Hall of Fame, who will win 11 NBA titles, makes his debut with the Boston Celtics. He scored six points and took 16 rebounds in a 95-93 victory over the St. Louis Hawks.

April 13, 1957: The Boston Celtics win the first of 17 NBA championships, defeating the St. Louis Hawks 125-123 in double overtime in Game 7.

September 21, 1957: President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders 1,200 members of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Ky., In Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation and protect the Little Rock Nine at Central High School.

April 12, 1958: Bob Pettit tied the NBA scoring record with 50 points to help the St. Louis Hawks win the NBA Championship 4-2 against the Boston Celtics. The Hawks needed every point to win Game 6 110-109.

October 24, 1959: Quadruple MVP and 13-time All-Star Wilt Chamberlain makes his debut with the Philadelphia Warriors. He scored 43 points and took 28 rebounds in a 118-109 road win over the New York Knicks.


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This story was originally published October 18, 2021 11:16 am.

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