Season by Season
1967 to 1968
Boston Regains Title Behind
The NBA greeted two more expansion franchises, Seattle and San Diego,
which were installed in the Western Division while Detroit moved to
the East. The NBA was now a 12-team league, and played an 82-game
schedule for the first time.
The prosperity that the professional basketball league was enjoying
was not lost on several outside observers, who figured the time was
right for a second, competing professional league. Thus, the ABA was
born, with 11 teams playing a 78-game schedule. Major cities which
had been unable to attract an NBA franchise like Dallas, Denver, Houston
and Oakland now claimed pro teams in the new league. The league gained
credibility with the naming of NBA legend George Mikan as its first
Commissioner, and NBA star Rick Barry's decision to sign with the
new Oakland franchise.
In the NBA, Detroit guard Dave Bing became the first guard to lead the
NBA in scoring since 1948. But the real story was the return of the
Celtics, who came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Eastern Finals
over Philadelphia, then defeated the Lakers to take the NBA Championship
back after a one-year hiatus. Bill Russell had proven a success as a
coach--thanks largely to the presence of Russell the player out on the
CELTICS' HOWELL GAINS INSPIRATION ON ROAD
Bailey Howell, a 6-7, 220-pound forward who was a five-time All-Star
nearing the end of his career, arrived in Boston just in time to see
the Celtics' eight-year reign atop the NBA end. But he was determined
to bring a title back to Boston after Philadelphia's triumph the previous
"Everywhere we went, especially in Philadelphia, they had a chant:
`Boston's dead. Boston's dead. The dynasty is over,'" Howell said.
"Everywhere we went, the fans were real vocal. But it just made
you more determined, really. It helped you to play. When you get some
help like that from opposing fans, it's really a lift."
NBA History Season by Season
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