Skip to main content

The first NBA game ever played

November 1st, 1946, Toronto. The New York Knickerbockers played the Toronto Huskies in front of 7,090 people at Maple Leaf Gardens. Quite the crowd considering basketball was practically unknown at the time. The Knicks won 68-66 in a game that had no shot clock, and a jump shot was considered an unnecessary risk.

It's interesting to find out how certain things that seem set in stone were a result of random decision making. The owners decided not to play the game in two 20min halves (as the popular college basketball was played at the time), but to play four 12 minute quarters, making the game 8 minutes longer. Why did they decide to make that change? This would prolong the entire experience to two hours, a timeframe owner thought was the minimum to justify the ticket price.

First NBA game ever poster

Thrills - spills -action - speed refer to the seating plan, so that means that floor seats (or the closest thing to it) were $2.50 back in the day. The ticket price that had to be justified. To attract fans, Toronto Huskies had ads in newspapers that portrayed their tallest player George Nostrand who was 6'8'' and asked ''Can you top this?''. Anyone taller than Nostrand got free entrance to the game.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The team that won the first NBA championship that season were...The Warriors. Talk about history repeating itself.

Facts in this story sourced from NBA.com 

Kaith Van Horn

“I think he was pretty satisfied with what he had” – Keith Van Horn could have been a great player but chose not to become one

Based on Byron Scott’s description, Keith had what it takes and he often “worked hard” during team practices and gym workouts. However, he “never went the extra mile.”

American actor Ben Stiller

“I’ll be in my mid-60s by the time this team rebuilds” - Ben Stiller on being a New York Knicks fan

Stiller summed up the experience of being a Knicks fan: “Who would want this pain? Who would want to feel that frustration?”

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

The difference between Michael Jordan's and LeBron James' diet and workout regime

Michael Jordan and LeBron James' diets are similar to each other but the way they recover and workout is different.

Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird

"Score meant very little, but a lot of talking going on, a lot of fun." - Larry Bird learned trash-talking from black men working at a local hotel

In the process, Bird developed a genuine off-the-court relationship with most of them, particularly a guy whom he called “Slim.”

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant

Brian Windhorst on Kevin Durant potentially holding out — “I can see it. That’s what we’re headed towards”

Several recent developments turned Durant's potential holdout from unlikely to very possible.

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings goes off on the state of the NBA - “It’s only a couple of guys in the NBA that love the game”

Jennings' opinions are certainly divisive, but it's clear that without change the NBA would get stale, and that's why it's necessary to continue exploring ways to evolve the game