From Slow Time to Show Time

Long before the National Basketball Association morphed into today’s multi billion dollar international conglomerate that trails only FIFA in global scope it struggled to survive in outposts like Fort Wayne Indiana, Providence, Rochester and Syracuse.

One of the reasons the league struggled was the preponderance of low scoring games prompted by teams running out the clock for minutes at a time. Of note was a Lakers/Pistons game in November 1950 where Ft Wayne defeated Minneapolis by a score of 19-18.

Desperate for a solution to this dilemma Syracuse owner Danny Biasone and his General Manager Leo Ferris came up with the brilliant idea of a shot clock. The timing of twenty four seconds was first drawn up on a napkin as the two met to brainstorm at Biasone’s bowling alley.

Introduced in the 1954-55 season the shot clock utterly changed the game and literally saved the NBA.

The clock on display is the one that traveled with the Celtics to their pre-season exhibition games in the fifties and sixties and was often hauled in the trunk of Red Auerbach’s car.

About the Curator’s Corner

Richard Johnson’s “Curator’s Corner” is  where you will find videos featuring Richard and Sports Museum Executive Director, Rusty Sullivan, discussing Boston sports history, as well as blog posts written by Richard himself.

Consider the formidable obstacles confronting Willie O’Ree in 1958 as he contemplated the possibility of his being the first black player to skate in the National Hockey League (NHL).
I'll never forget the first photo I ever saw of John Havlicek out of uniform. It was taken while he attended the first game of the 1967 World Series at Fenway Park
The dream call for any curator is one in which a donor not only offers a priceless artifact but also shares a wonderful story. Such was the case twenty years ago when a north shore woman called to offer the donation of the net in which Bobby Orr scored the most famous goal in Bruins and possibly hockey history.