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The Basketball Association of America, the organization that eventually became known as the NBA, held its first game on Nov. 1, 1946, in Toronto. The game featured a matchup between the New York Knickerbockers, who are still active in today’s NBA, and the now-defunct Toronto Huskies.
The Knicks and the Huskies faced off at 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night and tickets sold for as little as 75 cents each. The game took place at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens in front of 7,090 fans.
The Knicks won the game by a score of 68-66. Leo Gottlieb was New York’s top scorer with 14 points. Huskies center Ed Sadowski scored a game-high 18 points in a losing effort.
At the end of the 1946-47 season, the Philadelphia Warriors became the fledgling league’s first champions. Warriors players each took home a bonus of about $2,000 for the title win.
The BAA merged with its rival, the National Basketball League, and changed its name to the National Basketball Association, or NBA. The NBA considers the BAA’s history as part of its own records.