Eastern Basketball League president Bill Scheffer saw the culmination of ten years of work in October of 1920 when the representatives of four professional leagues signed an agreement to form a National Commission. Thomas Breslin, of the Pennsylvania State Basketball League, was elected president and Scheffer was elected treasurer. Each league posted a $200 good faith bond that they would honor the three-part agreement to standardize rules, eliminate signings of players under contract to another team, and participate in a post-season World Series to determine a single professional champion. The meeting between old antagonists was remarkably harmonious. Everyone agreed the new Commission was an excellent concept and vital to the game’s future. Unfortunately teams began abusing the agreement almost immediately, and by midseason it was shattered. The fatal flaw in the pact was the lack of control that league officials exercised over their members. Financially most of the organizations were fragile. If a team defied the league president on a particular issue, there was little he could do about it. Expelling the violator, especially if it was a popular club, could trigger the collapse of the entire league.
The EBL shuffled franchises, with Bridgeport and De Neri dropping out to be replaced by Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey, but neither new team was a factor at any time during the season. The defending champion Camden Skeeters returned with their starting five intact and added valuable Lou Sugarman, but the Skeeters were frustrated in their quest for another championship despite leading the league with twenty-nine victories. The Eastern League’s split-season format left them out of the playoffs when they finished in second place, a single game behind the winners of both halves.
The first-half ended in a dead heat between Reading and Trenton. Bruising center Horse Haggerty led Reading’s traditionally stingy defense while Frank Boyle and Ernie Reich provided just enough scoring to keep the Bears’ frequently sputtering offense from stalling. Trenton featured New York City veterans Eddie White, George Norman, local favorite Maurice Tome, plus two freshly minted hometown products, Tom Barlow and Teddy Kearns. Barlow was a fiercely competitive performer with a volatile temper that would make him almost as famous as he was for his considerable skill as a player. His distain of referees became legendary and many refused to officiate games in which he played. Early in his first EBL season, he slugged famed referee Herman Baetzel and drew a one-month suspension. Before the start of the second half, Germantown beefed up its roster, which until then had consisted of the brilliant Nat Holman and little else. They signed George Glasco, a young speedster, and Stretch Meehan, a 6’7″, 235-pound behemoth to control the taps and provide rebounding muscle. Only Reading’s 6’4″ Horse Haggerty could compete physically with Meehan, while the rest of the league centers were totally overwhelmed. With a stronger supporting cast, Holman was turned loose to exhibit his superb scoring abilities and led Germantown to 16 victories in 20 games and the second-half title. In a single game playoff for the first-half title, the Reading Bears surprised the favorite Trenton Bengals 27-19 on a neutral court in Philadelphia. The Bears happiness was short-lived, however, when Germantown thrashed them in two straight championship games 30-14 and 30-25 to capture the EBL title.