National Basketball League (United States)

National Basketball LeagueNBLToledo Jim White ChevroletsMidwest Basketball Conference1941–421938–391939–401940–411942–431943–44
The National Basketball League (NBL) was a professional men's basketball league in the United States established in 1937.wikipedia
1,024 Related Articles

Basketball Association of America

BAABasketball Association of America (BAA)professional basketball
After the 1948–49 season, its twelfth, it merged with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) to create the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Following its third season, 1948–49, the BAA and the National Basketball League (NBL) merged to create the National Basketball Association (NBA).

National Basketball Association

NBANBA.comBasketball Association of America
After the 1948–49 season, its twelfth, it merged with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) to create the National Basketball Association (NBA).
It changed its name to the National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL).

George Mikan

Mikan
The final period of note during the NBL's existence centered on George Mikan and the emergence of the big man in basketball.
George Lawrence Mikan Jr. (June 18, 1924 – June 1, 2005), nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Leroy Edwards

Lefty EdwardsLeroy "Cowboy" Edwards
They won two titles, they were led by a rugged 6' 4" (1.93 m) center named Leroy "Cowboy" Edwards. Edwards was a consensus NCAA "All American" and Helms Foundation "College Player of the Year" as a member of the 1934–35 University of Kentucky Wildcats. He left Kentucky after two years to pursue a professional basketball career, which was unheard of at the time. He led the NBL in scoring for three consecutive seasons, 1937-1940. He set numerous NBL and professional basketball scoring records and is generally credited with the introduction of the "3 second rule" in basketball which is still in existence today. Edwards played in all 12 NBL seasons with the Oshkosh All-Stars, and retired just prior to its merger with the BAA to form the NBA.
He was an NCAA All-American at the University of Kentucky and also one of the most lauded professional players in the United States' National Basketball League's history.

Sheboygan Red Skins

Sheboygan RedskinsSheboyganRed Skins
Challenging the Zollner Pistons and Oshkosh for supremacy were the Sheboygan Red Skins. Five former NBA teams also trace their history back to the NBL: the Anderson Packers, Denver Nuggets, Indianapolis Jets (as the Kautskys), Sheboygan Red Skins and Waterloo Hawks played in the NBL/BAA/NBA.
Their three league associations were chronologically the National Basketball League (NBL), National Basketball Association (NBA, charter member, one year of play), and the National Professional Basketball League (a single season organization).

Fred Zollner

Fred and Janet Zollner
The Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons—so nicknamed because they were owned by Fred Zollner, whose company made pistons for engines—were led by tough veteran Bobby McDermott.
Fred Zollner (January 22, 1901 – June 21, 1982) was called "Mr. Pro Basketball" as the founder and owner along with his sister Janet of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (now the Detroit Pistons) and a key figure in the merger of National Basketball League and Basketball Association of America into the National Basketball Association in 1949.

Al Cervi

Cervi
They lost to Oshkosh in the 1941 finals, beat Fort Wayne for the title in 1943 but lost to the Zollner Pistons in 1944 and 1945, and were swept in the 1946 finals by the league's newest member, the powerhouse Rochester Royals, who boasted Hall of Famers Al Cervi, Bob Davies and Red Holzman.
Alfred Nicholas Cervi (February 12, 1917 – November 9, 2009) was an American professional basketball player and coach in the National Basketball League (NBL) and National Basketball Association (NBA).

Leo Fischer

Chicago newspaper sports editor Leo Fischer acted as president of the NBL from 1940–44.
He also served on the boards of charitable organizations and headed the National Basketball League in the early 1940s before it merged with another professional organization to become the National Basketball Association that continues to exist today.

Oshkosh All-Stars

All-StarsOshkosh
The first dynasty centered on the Oshkosh All-Stars and their center Leroy "Cowboy" Edwards.
Founded in 1929 by Lonnie Darling, the team was a member of the National Basketball League, a forerunner to the NBA, from 1937 until 1949.

Dayton Rens

Rens
That franchise was awarded to a famous barnstorming team, the New York Rens, composed entirely of African Americans, to play out the season in Dayton, Ohio, as the Dayton Rens.
The Dayton Rens were a member of the USA National Basketball League (NBL) for the 1948-49 season and were the only all-black team to play in a European-American league.

Basketball

basketball playermen's basketballhigh school basketball
The National Basketball League (NBL) was a professional men's basketball league in the United States established in 1937.
Three seasons later, in 1949, the BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Los Angeles Lakers

Minneapolis LakersL.A. LakersLakers
The NBL's third era was dominated by Mikan, the 6'10" (2.08 m), three-time NCAA "All-American" center from DePaul University in Chicago. As a rookie, he led the Chicago American Gears to the 1947 NBL title, but before the next season, owner Maurice White pulled his team out of the league and formed his own 24-team circuit called the Professional Basketball League of America. That venture quickly failed, and Mikan was signed by the NBL's Minneapolis Lakers, where he teamed with the versatile Jim Pollard to win the 1948 championship.
The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League (NBL).

Sacramento Kings

Cincinnati RoyalsRochester RoyalsKansas City Kings
They lost to Oshkosh in the 1941 finals, beat Fort Wayne for the title in 1943 but lost to the Zollner Pistons in 1944 and 1945, and were swept in the 1946 finals by the league's newest member, the powerhouse Rochester Royals, who boasted Hall of Famers Al Cervi, Bob Davies and Red Holzman.
They joined the National Basketball League in 1945 as the renamed Rochester Royals., winning that league's championship in their first season, 1945-46.

Detroit Pistons

Fort Wayne PistonsDetroitFort Wayne Zollner Pistons
The Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons—so nicknamed because they were owned by Fred Zollner, whose company made pistons for engines—were led by tough veteran Bobby McDermott. The middle years saw the emergence of the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, who were later instrumental in the survival of the NBA during its infancy.
The team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League (NBL) where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945.

Bobby McDermott

Robert McDermottBob McDermott
The Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons—so nicknamed because they were owned by Fred Zollner, whose company made pistons for engines—were led by tough veteran Bobby McDermott.
He went back to the ABL and was again the league's scoring leader, returned to the Celtics for another season, then settled down for a while with the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons of the National Basketball League in 1941.

Waterloo Hawks

WaterlooWaterloo (basketball, defunct)Waterloo (Iowa) Hawks
Five former NBA teams also trace their history back to the NBL: the Anderson Packers, Denver Nuggets, Indianapolis Jets (as the Kautskys), Sheboygan Red Skins and Waterloo Hawks played in the NBL/BAA/NBA.
The Waterloo Hawks were a National Basketball League and National Basketball Association team based in Waterloo, Iowa.

Chicago American Gears

Chicago GearsAmerican GearsGears
The NBL's third era was dominated by Mikan, the 6'10" (2.08 m), three-time NCAA "All-American" center from DePaul University in Chicago. As a rookie, he led the Chicago American Gears to the 1947 NBL title, but before the next season, owner Maurice White pulled his team out of the league and formed his own 24-team circuit called the Professional Basketball League of America. That venture quickly failed, and Mikan was signed by the NBL's Minneapolis Lakers, where he teamed with the versatile Jim Pollard to win the 1948 championship.
The Chicago American Gears were a National Basketball League (NBL) team who played from 1944 to 1947.

Philadelphia 76ers

Syracuse NationalsPhiladelphia76ers
Two more teams were part of the merger that created the NBA in 1949: the Buffalo Bisons/Tri-Cities Blackhawks (now the Atlanta Hawks), and the Syracuse Nationals (now the Philadelphia 76ers).
In 1946, Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, and the Syracuse Nationals became the largely Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse.

Bob Davies

Davies
They lost to Oshkosh in the 1941 finals, beat Fort Wayne for the title in 1943 but lost to the Zollner Pistons in 1944 and 1945, and were swept in the 1946 finals by the league's newest member, the powerhouse Rochester Royals, who boasted Hall of Famers Al Cervi, Bob Davies and Red Holzman.
Davies helped lead the Royals to an NBL title in 1946, and was named MVP of the NBL for the 1946–47 season.

Bill Jones (basketball, born 1914)

Bill Jones
Toledo signed several black players to start the season, including Bill Jones, who had starred at the University of Toledo, but the team lost its first four games and folded due to financial difficulties.
He played in all five games for the National Basketball League's Toledo Jim White Chevrolets before the team disbanded early into the 1942–43 season.

Red Holzman

Red HoltzmanWilliam "Red" HolzmanHolzman
They lost to Oshkosh in the 1941 finals, beat Fort Wayne for the title in 1943 but lost to the Zollner Pistons in 1944 and 1945, and were swept in the 1946 finals by the league's newest member, the powerhouse Rochester Royals, who boasted Hall of Famers Al Cervi, Bob Davies and Red Holzman.
Holzman was discharged from the Navy in 1945 and subsequently joined the NBL Rochester Royals, which won the NBL championship in Holzman's first season.

National Industrial Basketball League

NIBL
Instead, they remained in the National Industrial Basketball League (NIBL), which in 1961 became the National AAU Basketball League (NABL).
The league was founded by the industrial teams (teams sponsored by the large companies and made up of their employees) belonging to the National Basketball League (NBL) that did not join the National Basketball Association when the NBL merged with the Basketball Association of America.

Jim Pollard

The NBL's third era was dominated by Mikan, the 6'10" (2.08 m), three-time NCAA "All-American" center from DePaul University in Chicago. As a rookie, he led the Chicago American Gears to the 1947 NBL title, but before the next season, owner Maurice White pulled his team out of the league and formed his own 24-team circuit called the Professional Basketball League of America. That venture quickly failed, and Mikan was signed by the NBL's Minneapolis Lakers, where he teamed with the versatile Jim Pollard to win the 1948 championship.
Pollard began his professional basketball career in 1947 after signing with the Minneapolis Lakers while the team was a part of the National Basketball League.

1949–50 NBA season

1949–501949–50 season1949
The NBL also created the Indianapolis Olympians for the 1949–50 NBA season.
The 1949–50 NBA season was the inaugural season of the National Basketball Association, which was created in 1949 by merger of the 3-year-old BAA and 12-year-old NBL.

National Alliance of Basketball Leagues

NABLNational AAU Basketball LeagueAAU Basketball League
Instead, they remained in the National Industrial Basketball League (NIBL), which in 1961 became the National AAU Basketball League (NABL).
The National Alliance of Basketball Leagues (NABL) (founded 1961) is the descendant of the industrial-based basketball clubs that formed into the National Basketball League (NBL) in the early 1930s.