History of the NBA
A group of team
owners met on June 6, 1946, in New York to talk about a league they
would name the Basketball Association of America. This meeting was
the beginning of what we know today as the NBA. This group was
mainly some members of the Arena Association of America. They
controlled the sporting arenas in the major United States cities. They had
experience with hockey, ice shows, circuses and rodeos, but never had
basketball games been part of the picture.. Most of them had little
experience with the game of basketball.
War II had recently ended, and the men felt that there would be lots of
money available for entertainment purposes. They looked at the
success of college basketball at Madison Square Garden and in cities like
Philadelphia and Buffalo. They agreed that a professional league
would probably succeed if they continued to highlight college pros.
a result, on June
11, franchises were formed to compete in two divisions: East and
West. The East consisted of the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia
Warriors, Providence Steamrollers and Washington Capitols, as well as New
York and Toronto. In the West were the Pittsburgh Ironmen, Chicago Stags,
Detroit Falcons, St. Louis Bombers and Cleveland Rebels.
teams had to pay a $10,000
franchise fee, the money going for league operating expenses including a
salary for Maurice Podoloff, who like the arena owners who hired him was
experienced in hockey. Podoloff, a New Haven, CT lawyer who was President
of the American Hockey League, agreed to also take on the duties of
President of the new Basketball Association of America, which three
seasons later, in a merger with the midwest-based National Basketball
League, became the NBA. The salaries for beginning players was only $5,000
for the season.