During the summer of 1933, Metropolitan Basketball League president John O’Brien recruited the Eastern Basketball League’s two best teams, the Philadelphia Sphas and Trenton Moose, to join with five clubs from his league, the Jersey (Union City) Reds, Brooklyn Visitation, Brooklyn Jewels, Bronx American and Hudson Lisas, to form a reorganized version of the American Basketball League. O’Brien’s new creation had few similarities to the ambitious mid-twenties ABL with franchises stretching from New York to Chicago. The new version consisted solely of teams in the one-hundred mile New York to Philadelphia corridor. The ABL of 1933 was a product of the Depression. Gone were the large salaries, and “big-league” atmosphere. The majority of the best players in the old ABL were either from New York or Philadelphia. In 1933, the best players in professional basketball were still mostly from the two metropolitan areas, they were simply playing in lesser circumstances. The league changed the format of the game, replacing two twenty-minute halves with three fifteen-minute periods.
Following the merger of the NBL and BAA to form the NBA in 1950, the league was unable to compete and suspended operations after the 1952-53 season.