The Metropolitan Basketball League, which had been a patchwork affair last season, returned for the 1932-33 season stronger and better organized under John O’Brien’s guidance. The defending champion Brooklyn Visitation were dogged by illness, injuries and defections in the new season, and were never a serious factor in either half of the split season format. Meanwhile, most of the interest in the league switched to the Brooklyn Jewels, who had performed with distinction in their pro debut the past season.
As the St.John’s “Wonder Five” Mac Kinsbrunner, Allie Schuckman, Matty Begovich, Rip Gerson, and Mac Posnack, had compiled an 86-8 mark over four years, largely because of their defensive abilities. In their final college season (1930-31), the “Wonder Five” limited opponents to an average of just 21 points a game. As pros, the Jewels’ tight man-to-man defense remained their trademark as they captured first place in the first-half of the split-season format.
In the second-half the Jersey Reds finally got their powerful offense untracked. Gaza Chizmadia, Howie Bollerman, and Rip Collins were all capable scorers who performed well under the leadership of veteran playmaker George Glasco. The Reds finished strongly to tie the Jewels and force a single-game playoff for second-half honors. For all their success, the Brooklyn Jewels were not always a popular team because of their conservative style of play, earmarked by a nagging tendency to go into a stall whenever they got a lead of more than a few points. The tactic backfired on them in the playoff game for second-half title, when the Jewels went scoreless in the final period and then lost in double overtime to the Reds.
The loss forced the Jewels into a best-of-three game playoff for the season championship. Hampered by the loss of team captain Rip Collins to an injury, the Reds put up little opposition, and the Jewels captured the Metropolitan title with two convincing victories.