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