Season by Season
24-Second Shot Clock Rescues League
1954 to 1955
Two momentous events in NBA history occurred prior to the 1954-55
season. George Mikan, who had been the standard-bearer as the league
gained a foothold in the public consciousness, announced his retirement.
But if anything could overshadow the departure of the game's greatest
player, it was the adoption of the 24-second clock and an accompanying
limit on the number of fouls a team could commit in a quarter. Syracuse
owner Danny Biasone and his GM, Leo Ferris, came up with the shot
clock idea, which along with the team foul limit, created the pro
basketball game we know today.
The shot clock is born.
Scoring shot up immediately, from 79.5 ppg to 93.1. While team scoring
soared, individual point totals did not, with the increased points
seeming to come from across the team. Neil Johnston won another scoring
title by averaging 22.7 ppg, while Bob Cousy averaged 21.2 ppg and
Paul Arizin, back from military service, 21.0.
With Mikan gone, the opportunity was never better for Syracuse, and
the Nationals won what would prove to be their only championship in
that city, defeating Fort Wayne in seven games. In Game 7, Syracuse's
George King made one of two foul shots with 12 seconds left, then
stole the ball to seal a 92-91 victory.
BIASONE 'S INVENTION
RESCUES THE LEAGUE
Danny Biasone will always have a place in NBA history as the man who
invented the shot clock. His name has become synonymous with the clock,
even to generations of basketball fans who never saw the 1950s. It was
one of those rare ideas which worked immediately, completely and permanently.
It accomplished nothing less than the salvation of pro basketball.
"Danny Biasone saved the NBA with the 24-second rule, make no
mistake about that," said former NBA coach and referee Charlie
NBA History Season by Season
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