Raptors spoil Knicks party

Despite the absences of Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes, the Raptors surprised the Knicks after a high-level performance (113-104). It’s Toronto’s 4th straight win!

As Madison Square Garden celebrates 75 years of the first NBA game between the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau’s men start off with a bang, with a furious Julius Randle. The All-Star southpaw is monstrous, and Precious Achiuwa can only see the damage. His teammates caught fire at 3 points with eight successes in the first quarter alone.

Julius Randle is in gluttonous mode (18 points, 4 rebounds already!) But his teammates take their foot off the accelerator a little during the second quarter. Result: the Raptors take advantage, with a very effective duo Gary Trent Jr. (14 points) – OG Anunoby (19 points) and at the break, they are only two possessions behind (57-53).

75 years ago, the very first game in NBA history was in Toronto

On November 1, 1946, nearly 50 years before the arrival of the Raptors, Toronto was the scene of the first game in NBA history. The Huskies, the city’s premier professional basketball team, played this inaugural game against the New York Knickerbockers in front of 7,090 spectators at Maple Leaf Gardens.

At the time, the league was not yet called the National Basketball Association , but the Basketball Association of America (BAA). She would change her name only three years later. Nonetheless, in its records, the NBA considers this game to be its first.

Ossie Schectman of New York scored the first basket. With 18 points, Ed Sadowski, the all-star player and coach of the Huskies, posted the best harvest, but Toronto lost 68-66.

The contrast with today’s NBA is significant. In 1946, the three-dot line did not exist and neither did the 24-second clock. The players were shooting their free throws with both hands. Nobody dunks either since any player who touched the basket was awarded a technical foul.

To watch the game, spectators had to pay between 75 ¢ and $ 2.50. A promotion also allowed fans who passed the Huskies tallest player, George Nostrand, who was 2.07m, to enter the Gardens for free.

Huskies fallen into oblivion

The Toronto Huskies have written an important page in NBA history, but they haven’t seen much success. In fact, the Queen City team was forced to go out of business after just one season due to financial problems.

In 1946, it cost $ 150,000 to interested teams to join. In a matter of months, the Huskies had lost almost $ 100,000 , a huge sum for the time, says Brian Daly, an expert on Canadian basketball history and professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax. .

After losing their inaugural game, the Torontonians lost 37 more times to end the 1946-47 season last in their division with a 22-38 record. The team barely came close to the 3,000 spectators per game mark, he explains.

They weren’t really able to attract casual viewers. To make a sports team work, you must not only attract enthusiasts, but also fans of other sports or even those who are not sports fans, but who like to see a show. I think the people in Toronto underestimated the work it takes to attract (Maple) Leafs fans and the citizens of Toronto , he says.

Media coverage of the team wasn’t much help either, says Curtis J. Phillips, a Canadian basketball specialist based in Alberta. According to him, the Maple Leafs were king in town and no team could match the attention they demanded.

The lack of media attention hurt the team, but it must be said that there was no real national program at the time. The team that won the national championship went to the Olympic Games. There was no coverage from coast to coast. Still, the Huskies have acted as a springboard for the sport. 

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