After the National Basketball Association started to become the dominant sport due to the Boston Celtic’s domination in the 1960s, the NBA started to expand even more. Their initial expansion looked like a shrinkage when the Basketball Association of America absorbed the National Basketball League and its teams. Then due to legal and political pressures, the two leagues renamed themselves the National Basketball Association, better known as the NBA.
The hidden expansion was when the National Basketball Association trimmed down the number of franchises in their league because there were so many small teams in towns with paltry populations and inadequate arenas for a league that was looking to hold these spectacular games in the large metro areas, and not only did they want them in large metro areas, but they wanted them in the larger cities’ premier arenas. In that case alone, the NBA expanded because they trimmed away their non-profitable areas, and they then took their trimming and they spread them out to their major franchises. This actually made the league more money so they could reinvest in gathering more quality players in other cities that they could see a potential for growth and dedicated fans.
The Boston Celtics was the team that really turned the NBA into something mainstream media couldn’t get enough of. The Celtics started to make their mark in 1957 when they were able to sign Bill Russell who ended up becoming one of the most legendary centers in the history of the game of Basketball. His talent was combined with fellow teammate Bob Cousy and legendary, brilliant coach, Red Aurbach. The trio of talent went into the 60s with a talented supporting cast and won every championship of the decade except for one year, and because of their initial dominance that started in 1957 with the acquiring of Russell, the Celtics won a total of 11 championships with eight in a row in the 1960s. To thiis day, they still hold the record for the most championships in that amount of time, and they also hold the record for the most championships to be won in a row. The success of the Celtics put the National Basketball Association in the spotlight more than ever.
All of those wonderful tidbits of history have helped to pave the way for owners to make history like Bruce Levenson. Bruce shocked the sport’s world when he made the largest profit ever off the buying and selling of the Atlanta Hawks. People must wonder sometimes if the greatness of the NBA’s history will be paved by the owners and the players equally because of Levenson’s historical sale.
In addition to the National Basketball Associations expansion of talent and star power with the Boston Celtics, that time period saw the emergence of a man that stood over 7 feet tall by the name of Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt played for a popular and growing franchise called the Golden State Warriors. Wilt’s contribution to the talent and media expansion was an all time scoring record of 100 points in a single game, and he also still holds a rebound record of an astounding 55 rebounds. The NBA in the 1960s and 70s exploded.