A BRIEF HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL
1891 Basketball is invented by Dr. James Naismith, an instructor at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts.
1895 The backboard is introduced to prevent fans from interfering with play (baskets were often hung on balconies).
1898 The first professional league, the National Basketball League, is formed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
1908 The dribbler is permited to shoot the ball, and the NCAA eliminates the double dribble.
1914 NCAA, Amateur Athletic Union and YMCA rules are standardized.
1920 Players are allowed to re-enter the game.
1925 The first major professional league, the American Basketball Association is formed. (The ABL is the first league to sign players to exclusive contracts and it’s teams are located in many of the major cities in the country)
1930 Professional leagues eliminate the double dribble.
1931 The American Basketball League disbands.
1932 The midcourt line is introdued to eliminate stalling.
1937 The center jump ball after each score is eliminated.
1937 The National Basketball League is formed. (The Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings can all trace their heritage beck to the the NBL, and the league featured many future NBA stars such as George Mikan, Jim Pollard, Dolph Schayes, Bob Davies and Red Holzman)
1946 The Basketball Association of America, a forerunner of the NBA is formed. (Three of the league’s orginal 11 franchises are still playing today- the New York Knickerbockers, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia (now Golden State) Warriors)
1948 Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Rochester jump to the BAA from the NBL
1949 The BAA merges with the National Basketball League to form the National Basketball Association.
1950 The NBA begins racial integration when Earl Loyd, Nat Clifton and Chuck Cooper join the league.
1954 The NBA introduces the shot clock to curtail stalling tactics.
1960 The Minneapolis become the first team to move to the West Coast as they become the Los Angeles Lakers
1961 The rival American Basketball League begins play and introduces the three-point shot.
1967 A rival to the NBA, the American Basketball Association is formed. (The ABA would go on to develop some of the most exciting players in pro basketball, including Julius Erving, George Gervin, David Thompson, Connie Hawkins, Artis Gilmore, George McGinnis, Roger Brown and Moses Malone)
1976 The NBA expands to include the ABA’s surviving franchises. (the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets and San Antonio Spurs)
1992 Professional basketball players are allowed in the Olympics and the “Dream Team” (featuring Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson) is born.