Posted Feb 27 2013 9:13AM
Howie Dallmar was one of only four players to total more than 100 assists in 1946-47, the first season of the National Basketball Association (actually, the league was called the Basketball Association of America back then; it would not become the NBA until 1949, after it absorbed the final teams from the rival National Basketball League).
It was a basket by the 6-4 guard, and not an assist, that would prove decisive in clinching the league's first championship for the Philadelphia Warriors.Dallmar had been hobbled by callused feet throughout the championship series against the Chicago Stags, who had won 39 games compared to Philadelphia's 35 during the regular season. After the Warriors, led by league scoring champion Joe Fulks, raced to a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, Dallmar wasn't supposed to be a factor in Game 5 at the old Philadelphia Arena on Market Street.
"No one expected him to play," said Eddie Gottlieb, coach of the Warriors, who kept Dallmar out of the starting lineup so he could rest his feet. "But he sat there, pestering me to let him in. When it came down to that point where I thought we might win the game, I sent him in, and he was the ultimate difference."
While Fulks was again the big gun with 34 points for Philadelphia, it was a basket by Dallmar with less than a minute to play that broke an 80-80 tie and propelled the Warriors to an 83-80 victory and the title.
"I scored the winning basket, which gave me a total of two points for the game. it was from the outside and I think it bounced about four times before it went it," recalled Dallmar, who like the rest of his teammates received $2,000 and a ring with a diamond chip in it for winning the championship.
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