In 1960, the NBA was at a pivotal point in its history as it continued to grow in popularity and reach. The question on everyone’s mind was, “How many teams were in the NBA in 1960?” Back then, the league was still in its early stages, and it had a total of just eight teams. These teams were the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Syracuse Nationals, Philadelphia Warriors, St. Louis Hawks, Minneapolis Lakers, Detroit Pistons, and Cincinnati Royals. Each team brought their own unique style of play to the court, setting the stage for the fierce competition and rivalries that would develop over the years. So, let’s take a trip back in time and explore the NBA’s formative years and the eight teams that helped shape the league we know today.
The NBA in 1960
The NBA, also known as the National Basketball Association, has a rich history and has gone through significant changes since its formation. In 1960, the NBA was still in its early years, but it had already experienced expansion and growth in terms of the number of teams.
NBA Expansion History
The NBA has a fascinating expansion history that has contributed to its growth and popularity. It all started with the merger of two professional basketball leagues – the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball League (NBL).
Number of Teams in the NBA in 1960
By the year 1960, the NBA had a total of 8 teams. These teams were the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia Warriors, Syracuse Nationals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Minneapolis Lakers, St. Louis Hawks, and Cincinnati Royals. These teams laid the foundation for the NBA and set the stage for future expansions and developments.
Formation of the NBA
To understand the NBA in 1960, it is essential to explore its formation and the events that led to its creation. It all began with the establishment of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1946.
Basketball Association of America (BAA)
The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was formed to capitalize on the growing popularity of basketball and to create a professional basketball league. In its inaugural season in 1946-47, the BAA consisted of 11 teams, including the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia Warriors, and St. Louis Bombers.
National Basketball League (NBL)
Simultaneously, the National Basketball League (NBL) was in operation and had its own set of teams. The NBL was formed in 1937 and included teams such as the Fort Wayne Pistons, Minneapolis Lakers, and Syracuse Nationals.
Merger of BAA and NBL to form NBA
Recognizing the benefits of joining forces, the BAA and NBL decided to merge in 1949, forming the National Basketball Association (NBA). This merger allowed for greater competition, a larger talent pool, and an opportunity to expand the professional basketball landscape.
Early Years and Team Growth
Following the formation of the NBA, the league embarked on its early years, building upon the foundation laid by the BAA and NBL. During this time, the league experienced team growth and saw the addition of several new franchises.
NBA Teams in Inaugural Season
The inaugural season of the NBA in 1946-47 included 11 teams. These teams were the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia Warriors, St. Louis Bombers, Providence Steamrollers, Toronto Huskies, Chicago Stags, Cleveland Rebels, Detroit Falcons, Pittsburgh Ironmen, and Washington Capitols.
Growth of the NBA
In the 1950s, the NBA continued to grow, both in terms of popularity and the number of teams. This period saw several new franchises being added to the league, expanding its reach and fan base.
NBA Teams in the 1950s
By the end of the 1950s, the NBA had a total of 17 teams. In addition to the original teams from the inaugural season, new teams such as the Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Baltimore Bullets, and Philadelphia Warriors joined the NBA ranks.
Adding New Teams
1960 was a significant year for the NBA, as it saw the addition of new teams to the league. These new additions helped shape the NBA landscape and set the stage for future expansions.
St. Louis Hawks
The St. Louis Hawks were one of the teams added to the NBA in 1960. Previously known as the Milwaukee Hawks, the franchise relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, and became an integral part of the NBA during this time.
Another new team added in 1960 was the Chicago Packers. The Packers were a short-lived franchise that played only one season before relocating and becoming the Baltimore Bullets.
The Chicago Zephyrs, now known as the Washington Wizards, were also introduced in 1960. These additions further expanded the NBA’s presence into new cities and regions.
In addition to the St. Louis Hawks, Chicago Packers, and Chicago Zephyrs, the NBA added two more teams in 1960 – the Dallas Chaparrals (now the San Antonio Spurs) and the Los Angeles Lakers. These expansion teams brought the total number of teams in the NBA to 10 by the end of the 1960 season.
In conclusion, in 1960, the NBA had 8 teams that formed the foundation of the league. Over the years, the NBA experienced growth through mergers, additions, and relocations, paving the way for the league’s expansion and popularity that we see today. The NBA’s history in 1960 serves as a testament to the league’s resilience and ability to adapt to changing times, setting the stage for its continued success in the years to come.