Non-baseball trivia question and open thread

As you should know by now, the Braves are America’s oldest professional sports franchise, pre-dating the National League by several years.

Today’s question has two parts:

1. What is the oldest current professional basketball franchise?
2. What is the oldest current NBA team?

The existence of question 2 should make obvious the answer the question 1.

22 thoughts on “Non-baseball trivia question and open thread”

  1. I always thought Cincinnati had the first professional baseball team. Do the Reds not count since they were the Red Legs when they started out?

  2. The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, ceased play after a couple of years. Harry Wright, their manager, wound up organizing another club in Boston, taking the Red Stockings name with him. A later Cincinnati club took that name back (Wright’s team is generally called the Red Caps after the NL started play in 1876) but the Reds didn’t start play until 1882. The only teams from 1876 still around are the Braves and Cubs.

    Nope, Kyle.

  3. Yes, it’s the Pistons. They began play in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. (Like Japanese baseball teams, most clubs of that period had owner/sponsors who might put their names on the club).

    The NBA was formed in 1949 from the merger of the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America. The NBA doesn’t like to talk about the NBL, but it was the older league and more of its teams survived; of the eight teams (out of 15 in 1949) that survived, five were from the NBL.

    Team (Now) First Season League
    Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (Pistons) 1941 NBL
    Rochester Royals (Kings) 1945 NBL
    New York Knickerbockers (Knicks) 1946 BAA
    Philadelphia Warriors (Warriors) 1946 BAA
    Boston Celtics (Celtics) 1946 BAA
    Syracuse Nationals (Sixers) 1946 NBL
    Detroit Gems (Lakers) 1946 NBL
    Tri-Cities Blackhawks (Hawks) 1946 NBL

    The Gems went 4-40 in their one season, then moved to Minneapolis to become the Lakers. The Blackhawks were actually formed during the 1946 season out of the ruins of Buffalo, which folded after 13 games.

  4. I am guessing that the Pistons survived the war because their players had day jobs in a war industry. They were the dominant team during the war years, finishing with the best record in the NBL four years in a row, winning two playoff titles, and taking the national tournament (most teams weren’t in a formal league then) in Chicago three times from 1944-46. But they didn’t win an NBA title until 1989. I am reading about the early years of professional basketball right now, as you might guess.

  5. My first NBA game: 1/27/74 @ The Omni. I was 10.

    It was the CBS Sunday Game of the Week & the Knicks obliterated the Hawks, 111-89. I remember Earl Monroe dribbling through and around the Hawks like they were the Washington Generals. He made guys like Jim Washington look like cinema props.

  6. The BA top 100 just came out the Braves only have four, Salty, Elvis, Lerew, and James. I love the quote by Delmon Young about James. A future MVP can probably tell you more than any scout can.

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