Return to basketball's salad days, when the boys were green and the
money didn't matter.. .
On November 1, 1946, in the NBA's (then called the BAA) first
game ever, as the visiting New York Knickerbockers defeated the
Toronto Huskies, the first point in the history of the NBA was
scored by the Knicks' Oscar Ossie Schectman. It was the point that
launched more than six million points to come, and Ossie did it,
like all of his team members, for a mere $60 and a passionate love
of the game. Who could have guessed back then that this fledgling
league of 11 ragtag teams would one day grow into the
billion-dollar international phenomenon that it is today?. .
In "The First Tip-Off," veteran basketball writer Charley Rosen
takes you back to the NBA's humble beginnings, when a colorful cast
of characters laid the foundation for the empire that is today's
NBA. With riveting writing, he gives you a prime seat courtside for
every memorable two-handed underhand layup and hook shot of that
first season, when professional basketball struggled to evolve from
grudge matches--where head-butting was encouraged and players
shoved each other, hockey-style, into the chicken-wire fence
wrapped around the court to protect them from lit cigars tossed by
angry fans--to a civilized game of elegance and skill. It wasn't an
easy transformation.. .
In 1946, the players dribbled their way down slippery courts
laid over ice rinks in stadiums that reeked of the previous night's
rodeo. They were tough guys, ex-soldiers back from World War II,
and still-green farm boys, thrilled to be away from home for the
first time. They learned to play ball using wadded-up rags and fire
escapes for baskets. They learnedin fields, in church basements,
and on school rooftops. Rough around the edges, they brought their
homegrown skills to the new league and started something big..
From the Boston Celtics to the Washington Capitols, through
in-depth interviews with surviving players, Rosen brings the
spirits and the stories of these men to life as he weaves a
fascinating and poignant portrait of a league struggling to gain a
foothold in the American consciousness..
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