Toronto Mike

First NBA Game Ever Was Right Here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

On November 1, 1946, 75 years ago, the very first National Basketball Association game was held right here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The New York Knicks and the Toronto Huskies tipped off at Maple Leaf Gardens in front of approximately 7000 people in a time well before online casinos.

The Knicks prevailed in a tight contest, beating our Huskies 68-66. Ossie Schectman gets credit for scoring the very first points in NBA history. He played for the Kicks and ended up scoring 11 points in the game. Huskies player Ed Sadowski led all players with 18 points.

How exactly did the Knicks pull this one out of the fire? A pair of field goals by Dick Murphy and a free throw by Tommy Byrnes in the final 2.5 minutes sealed the deal.  The Huskies actually led 61-60 with four minutes to play. And here's a fun fact... the NBA at the time was actually known as the Basketball Association of America, or BAA if you will.

In a fun promotion, everyone taller than 6 foot 8 was admitted to the game free. That was the height of Toronto Huskies centre George Nostrand, the tallest member of the team. I'd love to know how many people took advantage of this promotion.

The Toronto Huskies only played one season in the BAA, going 22–38 before disbanding. Toronto wouldn't be home to another NBA team until 1995 when the Raptors were born.

Author image
About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.