Parent page: Facts about the National Basketball Association
Although Canada does not have many teams in the NBA, it has still played a crucial role in the history of the NBA.
It was in 1946 when the first-ever NBA game was played. Back then, the league was called BAA, which was the Basketball Association of America. The game’s original date was to be the 2nd of November, but a major hockey game had been scheduled for the same day as well. The game was thus pushed back to the Friday before.
The Toronto Huskies and the New York’s Knickerbockers would be the teams that birth the now NBA. This was a well-thought idea which turned out to be quite profitable. However, it was not so productive for Toronto.
A lot of effort was directed to selling tickets, which worked for the first game, but after that, not much of an improvement was noted. To make it worse, the Toronto team lost to their rivals, which affected their funding and later on the entire franchise. This loss affected basketball in Canada for over 50 years.
Larry Tanenbaum and other big names in American basketball like Wilt Chamberlain tried to revive different teams in Canada with no much success. Only in 1995 was there a notable success when the NBA fostered the Toronto Raptors and later on the Vancouver Grizzlies, who did not last for long.
In as much as Canada seems to be left behind when it comes to American basketball, if it was not for the BAA game, the NBA might not have been born. There are chances for the country to have more NBA teams in the coming seasons and rumours about the same are in circulation. The only hope is that this time, the teams will sustain their place and have a lasting future.