Congratulations to all the participants in the 2006 NBA Playoffs and especially to the Miami Heat! Down two games to none, they fought back and won four in a row, defeating the Dallas Mavericks and taking home Miami's first-ever National Basketball Association Championship.
It came down to the final two contenders: the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, and it was the first visit to the NBA Finals for either team. To get there, Miami had to get past the Eastern Conference top-seeded Detroit Pistons, while Dallas needed to knock off the #2 seed in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns. They each accomplished that in six games.
'Ultimately there's failure for 29 teams and success for one team, and that's pretty much how you judge it,' said coach Flip Saunders just after his Pistons' elimination from the Playoffs. But NBA fans may not agree; they have been treated to some outstanding basketball all year long, and the 2006 NBA Playoffs have seen plenty of do-or-die seven-game series and hard-fought, come-from-behind wins that show what professional sports is meant to be like! Our prediction? That's easy: you'll want tickets to be right there as the Mavs and the Heat go after their first National Basketball Association Championship!
James Naismith invented the modern game of Basketball in 1891, while working at the Y.M.C.A. College at Springfield, Massachusetts. Triangle magazine in Springfield, MA first published the rules for basketball in 1892, and 18 students from the Springfield YMCA played the first official basketball game later that year. The University of Chicago played its first college basketball game, defeating the Chicago YMCA Training School 19-11, in 1894.
The first college basketball game was played in 1895, as Minnesota State School of Agriculture defeated the Porkers of Hamline College, 9-3. The first five-player college basketball game was played in 1896 in Iowa City, Iowa. The University of Chicago defeated the University of Iowa by a score of 15-12. Intercollegiate basketball was played for the first time when Wesleyan University defeated Yale 4-3, in New Haven, Connecticut.
Basketball was first introduced to the Olympics in 1936 by the Berlin Organization Committee. The first Men's College Basketball Championship was held in 1939, when the University of Oregon beat Ohio State 46-33. The first televised college basketball games were broadcast in 1940, by New York City station W2XBS from Madison Square Garden. In those games, Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-to-37, and New York University beat Georgetown, 50-to-27.
The Basketball Association of America (BAA) was comprised of 11 teams in two divisions: Boston Celtics, Chicago Stags, Cleveland Rebels, Detroit Falcons, New York Knickerbockers, Philadelphia Warriors, Pittsburgh Ironmen, Providence Steamrollers, St Louis Bombers, Toronto and Washington Capitols in 1946.
Baltimore Bullets joined the BAA in 1947, but four other teams dropped out: Cleveland Rebels, Detroit Falcons, Pittsburgh Ironmen and Toronto Huskies (8-teams, 2 divisions). In 1948, four teams from the more established National Basketball League (NBL) were added to the BAA: Ft Wayne Pistons, Indianapolis Jets, Minneapolis Lakers and Rochester Royals (12-teams, 2 divisions).
The National Basketball Association was formed in 1949. It was a combination of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League. The six remaining NBL franchises -- Anderson (IN) Packers, Denver Nuggets, Indianapolis Olympians, Sheboygan (WI) Redskins, Syracuse Nationals, Tri-Cities Blackhawks and Waterloo (IA) Hawks -- joined along with the new Indianapolis Olympians, and the BAA becomes the National Basketball Association. The Providence Steamrollers and the Indianapolis Jets dropped out (17-teams, 3 divisions). Six teams dropped out in 1950: Anderson Packers, Chicago Stags, Denver Nuggets, Sheboygan Redskins, St Louis Bombers and Waterloo Hawks (11 teams, 2 divisions). In 1951 the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, who divided home games between Moline and Rock Island (IL) and Davenport (IA), moved to Milwaukee and become the Hawks. The Washington Capitols disbanded before the end of 1950-51 season (10 teams, 2 divisions). The Indianapolis Olympians dropped out in 1953 (9 teams, 2 divisions). The Baltimore Bullets dropped out in 1954 (8 teams, 2 divisions). NBA adopts the 24-second shot clock & 6 team-foul rule.
The Milwaukee Hawks moved to St Louis in 1955, and in 1957 the Ft Wayne Pistons moved to Detroit, while the Rochester Royals moved to Cincinnati. In 1960, the Minneapolis Lakers move to Los Angeles, and in 1961, the Chicago Packers joined the NBA as an expansion team (9 teams, 2 divisions). American Basketball League starts play.
In 1962, the Chicago Packers are renamed the Zephyrs, and the Philadelphia Warriors move to San Francisco. In 1963, the Chicago Zephyrs moved to Baltimore and become the Bullets, and the Syracuse Nationals move to Philadelphia and become the 76ers. Chicago Bulls joined the league as an expansion team in 1966 (10 teams, 2 divisions).
The American Basketball Association was formed in 1967. San Diego Rockets and Seattle SuperSonics joined league as an expansion teams (12 teams, 2 divisions). In 1968, Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns join league as an expansion teams (14 teams, 2 divisions). St Louis Hawks move to Atlanta. 1st ABA basketball championship began.
Buffalo Braves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers join league as an expansion teams in 1970 (17 teams, 4 divisions). In 1971, San Diego Rockets move to Houston and San Francisco Warriors move to Oakland and become Golden State Warriors. The National Basketball Association modified its four-year eligibility rule to allow for college basketball hardship cases.
Cincinnati Royals move to The Midwest, divide home games between Kansas City (MO) and Omaha (NE), and become Kings in 1972. Baltimore Bullets move to Landover (MD) and become Capital Bullets in 1973. In 1974, New Orleans Jazz join league as an expansion team (18 teams, 4 divisions) and Capital Bullets renamed Washington Bullets. KC-Omaha Kings settle in Kansas City in 1975.
In 1976, four teams from the ABA merge with the NBA: Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets and San Antonio Spurs (22 teams, 4 divisions). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is named NBA MVP. 9th & final ABA championship: NY Nets beat Denver Nuggets, 4 games to 2. NBA & ABA agree to merge.
New York Nets move from Uniondale (NY) to Piscataway (NJ) (later East Rutherford) and become New Jersey Nets in 1977. Buffalo Braves move to San Diego and become Clippers in 1978. First 6 teams of Women's Pro Basketball League (WBL) granted-IA, NJ, Milwaukee, Chicago, Minnesota & Dayton.
In 1979, the New Orleans Jazz moved to Salt Lake City and became the Utah Jazz. The Dallas Mavericks joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1980 (23 teams, 4 divisions), and the San Diego Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984. The Kansas City Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985. In 1986 NCAA adopted the 3-point college basketball rule and the National Federation of High School adopted the college 3 point shot (21 feet) in 1987. The Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat joined the NBA as an expansion teams in 1988 (25 teams, 4 divisions).In 1989 the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic joined the NBA as expansion teams (27 teams, 4 divisions). Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies join the NBA as an expansion teams in 1995 (29 teams, 4 divisions). Washington Bullets become Washington Wizards in 1997.