On June 6, 1946, a small professional basketball league called the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed. Although in its early years the league was not necessarily superior than competing leagues or independent associations, it went on to become what is considered the premier men’s basketball league in the world.
A year of firsts
On November 1, 1946, Toronto, Canada witnessed what is known as the first NBA game when the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Knicks won 68-66.
Did you know? The New York Knicks are only one of two original NBA teams that still reside in its initial city, the other being the Boston Celtics.
In the very first championship of the league in 1947, superstar Joe Fulks led the Philadelphia Warriors to a 4-1 defeat of the Chicago Stags.
The creation of the NBA
In 1949, the BAA agreed to absorb the National Basketball League, thus forming the National Basketball Association. That same year marked the birth of the first Lakers dynasty spearheaded by basketball sensation George Mikan. The Lakers (then in Minneapolis) won the Finals that year over the Washington Capitals.
Today, the NBA harbors 30 franchises (1 in Canada), and is one of the most popular and highly lucrative professional sports leagues in the US.