Season by Season
1950 to 1951
NBA's Color Line Is
The NBA went from an unwieldy 17-team league to a more manageable
11 teams in two divisions, with Minneapolis, Rochester and Fort Wayne
reverting to the Western Division. The Eastern Division began the season
with six teams, but Washington, which had lost Coach Red Auerbach a year
earlier, disbanded after going 10-25. The season also marked the first
appearance of black players in the league. Chuck Cooper became the first
black player to be drafted when he was chosen by Boston.
Clifton was the first black
player to sign an NBA
The season also marked the first appearance of black players in the
league. Chuck Cooper became the first black player to be drafted when
he was chosen by Boston; Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton became the
first to sign an NBA contract when he signed with New York, and Earl
Lloyd became the first to play in an NBA regular-season game because
the schedule had his Washington team opening one day before the others.
ROYALS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP IN SEVEN GAMES
Chuck Cooper joined Red Auerbach in Boston.
When Rochester took the first three games of the 1951 Finals, a quick
knockout seemed in order. But the Knicks stormed back, winning three
games by margins of six, three and seven points to send the series to
a seventh and deciding game in Rochester.
The Royals led by as many as 16 points during the first half, but the
Knicks battled back to take a two-point lead with two minutes to go.
With 40 seconds left and the score tied, Davies was fouled on a drive
to the basket and sank two free throws. The Royals hung on for a 79-75
victory, and temporarily interrupted the Minneapolis dynasty.
NBA History Season by Season
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