Click here to Skip to main content
NBA HISTORY
Joe Fulks
Joe Fulks averaged 23.9 points a game in the three seasons of the BAA.
NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

Season review: 1946-47


Posted Mar 2 2013 11:02PM

NEXT SEASON

In the first season of the BAA, he precursor to the modern-day NBA, a new professional star emerged. Joe Fulks, a 6-foot-5 forward from Kentucky, averaged 23.2 ppg, an astonishing amount considering most games were won by teams scoring in the 70s and 80s and nearly seven points per game more than any other player in the league. In fact, no team averaged more than 80 points a game.

Field goal percentages were in the 30 percent range, and Ernest Calverley of the Providence Steamrollers led the league with 3.4 assists per game. Other stars in the fledgling league were Washington's Bob Feerick and Bones McKinney, Detroit's Stan Miasek and Chicago's Max Zaslofsky.

The 60-game regular season belonged to the Washington Capitols, coached by Red Auerbach to a 49-11 record, including a 29-1 mark at home. But in the playoffs, Chicago shocked the Capitols behind the play of Max Zaslofsky and center Chuck Halbert to advance to The Finals. Philadelphia, coached by Eddie Gottlieb, who had the most extensive pro background of anyone in the BAA, defeated St. Louis and New York to advance to The Finals. Fulks, Howie Dallmar and Angelo Musi led Philadelphia past Chicago as the Warriors won the first league title 4-1.

The debut season closed with neither a bang nor a whimper. The new league was acknowledged, with small items on the local teams appearing in newspapers. Television was still in the future, and radio broadcasts were hardly universal.

Still, the franchises did play in major arenas, such as Boston Garden, Madison Square Garden and Chicago Stadium, with most of the teams sharing the buildings with hockey teams. The Finals games in Philadelphia were sellouts, and members of the victorious Warriors pocketed about $2,000 per man in prize money -- almost half a season's pay for most.

46-47.jpg
Playoffs

Quarterfinals
New York defeated Cleveland (2-1)
Philadelphia defeated St. Louis (2-1)

Semifinals
Chicago defeated Washington (4-2)
Philadelphia defeated New York (2-0)

NBA Finals
Philadelphia defeated Chicago (4-1)

Season leaders

PPG -- Joe Fulks, Philadelphia Warriors (23.2)
FG% -- Bob Feerick, Washington Capitols (.401)
FT% -- Fred Scolari, Washington Capitols (.811)
Assists -- Ernie Calverley, Providence Steam Rollers (3.4)

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoSekou Smith on the Central Division
Sekou Smith talks about the new competitive balance in the Central Division.
photoRose Answers Questions
Derrick Rose answers questions from reporters following a USA Basketball practice.
photoMichele Roberts Interview
The new NBPA Executive Director, Michele Roberts, joins GameTime to talk about her new role.
photoLooking Back at Alonzo Mourning Promo
Get a preview of the NBA TV special, "Looking Back at Alonzo Mourning."
photoUSA Basketball Camp Report
Matt Winer and Steve Smith report from Las Vegas on the USA Basketball team.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.