Early Basketball Leagues History
On December 21, 1891, James Naismith of the YMCA, published rules for a new game, asking his class to play a match in the Armory Street court: 9 versus 9, using a soccer ball and two peach baskets. The peach baskets were closed, and balls had to be retrieved manually, until a small hole was put in the (read more)
League formed when disgruntled Harlem Globetrotters owner did not receive a Los Angeles NBA franchise.
League attempted to become as a successor league to the National Basketball League that folded a year earlier.
The Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to become the NBA that still exists today.
Brought basketball to major cities (unlike ABL/NBL) via vacant hockey arenas. Eventually merged with NBL to create NBA.
Owner of Champion Chicago Gears team pulled out of NBL to form his own league with star George Mikan.
Formed as the official "professional" incarnation of the MBC. Eventually merged with the BAA to become the modern NBA.
Teams arranged their own schedules under ruse as an “amateur” league. Later restructured as pro and became NBL.
ABL returned by creating new league constructed of best teams from EBL2 and MBL2. Folded due to NBA dominance.
Based in New York, as the Great Depression and ABL1 collapse forced basketball into regional leagues.
Based in the Midwest, as the Great Depression and ABL1 collapse forced basketball into regional leagues.
Based in Philadelphia, as the Great Depression and ABL1 collapse forced basketball into regional leagues.
Based in the East, as the Great Depression and ABL1 collapse forced basketball into regional leagues.
Based in Michigan/Ohio, as the Great Depression and ABL1 collapse forced basketball into regional leagues.
Signed independent Celtics to jumpstart league. ABL struck back, stealing the Celtics, effectively killing the new league.
Organized from independent pro teams. Celtics dominated, so league forced breakup, and strategy backfired.
Formed from the strongest independent clubs in New York. Crumbled after several teams joined the ABL
Formed in attempt to compete with the MBL after demise of the Eastern (EBL) and Interstate (IBL) Leagues
Formed when NYSL suspended operations for a year. By 1923, there were 4 pro basketball leagues, and the IBL could not compete.
Formed when NYSL suspended operations for a year. In 1921, two franchises left for the EBL, and the PSL folded
Several teams left the HRL to form the NYSL. Eventually, players moved to the growing Metropolitan League.
Rose from the ashes of the PBL. After many years as the premier pro league, eventually fell to the success of the MBL.
Tried to compete with established CBL. League president was not re-elected, so several teams withdrew to form NYSL.
The most ambitious pro basketball organization prior to 1910. Eventually collapsed due to competition from the EBL and NYSL.
Blossomed when the NBL folded. Eventually collapsed as the Central League offered higher player salaries.
Formed by split of MSBL. Known as Massachusetts League in 1902. Folded under high salaries being paid by PBL
Formed by split of MSBL. Known as Western Massachusetts League in final year before teams moved to the NEL.
Consisted of teams in small towns within a 25 mile radius of Worcester. Later split into NEL and MCBL.
The first professional basketball league was centered in Philadelphia and stretched from NYC to Delaware.