The Toronto Raptors were Eastern Conference finalists last season and will meet the defending champion Cavaliers in a rematch of sorts Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
But long before the Raptors, Toronto gave pro basketball the Huskies. (And almost the Towers, which is what former Cavs owner Ted Stepien had planned to called his relocated franchise. But thankfully for Cavs fans everywhere, the NBA blocked the move.)
Anyway, the Raptors are honoring their forefathers this season and here’s some quick Huskies history, courtesy of the Raptors themselves:
• The Toronto Huskies were a charter member of the Basketball Association of America. The BAA was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946 with 11 teams and was renamed the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League.
• The inaugural BAA game took place November 1, 1946 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto between the Huskies and the New York Knickerbockers. The Knicks defeated the Huskies 68-66 in front of 7,090, the largest crowd of the season.
• A group of Ontario businessmen paid $75,000 to start the franchise.
• Opening night promotions included a free ticket to anyone taller than Huskies forward George Nostrand (6-foot-10).
• Tickets were initially set between 75 cents and $2.50 at Maple Leaf Gardens. The lowest price was later reduced to 60 cents in order to draw more spectators.
• The team folded in the summer of 1947 after one year of operation. The New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors) remain as the BAA’s remaining charter teams.
• The Raptors wore the Toronto Huskies jersey during the season opener on November 1, 1996 vs. New York as part of the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebrations.