Indianapolis Jets

First Game Played November 1937 Final Game Played March 15, 1949
Logo 1938-1948

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1931-1937: Founded by Frank Kautsky, an Indianapolis grocer, the Indianapolis Kautskys began to play in the National Professional Basketball League and the Midwest Basketball Conference. Among their players was John Wooden, a star at Purdue who would later become the most successful coach in the history of the NCAA Tournament leading UCLA to 10 championships in 12 years.

1937/38: The Indianapolis Kautskys were one of 11 teams in the newly formed National Basketball League. The NBL was a new professional basketball league in the Midwest consisting of cooperate and industrial teams. In their first season in the NBL, the K’s finished in fourth place in the Western Division with a record of 4-9.

1938/39: In their second season in the National Basketball League, the schedule was increased to 26 games as most of the league threaded water around the .500 mark. The Indianapolis Kautskys were no different, posting a record of 13-13.

1939/40: The Indianapolis Kautskys struggled in their third season in the NBL, posting a record of 9-19, which landed them in last place in the Eastern Division, as they had the worst defense in the league allowing a league-high 45.6 points per game.

1941/42: The Indianapolis Kautskys returned to the NBL after taking a season off to retool and played a much more competitively posting a record of 12-11 as they made the playoffs for the first time by finishing fourth in the NBL. In the playoffs, the K’s would make a quick exit losing two games to the Oshkosh All-Stars. Following the season, the Indianapolis Kautskys would go on hiatus until the end of World War II.

1945/46: Upon their return to the NBL, the Indianapolis Kautskys would resemble an expansion team as their three-year hiatus led to a complete transition. The K’s would finish in last place in the Western Division with a record of 10-22.

1946/47: Led by Arnie Risen, the Indianapolis Kautskys were significantly better in their season after the war, as they had their best season since joining the National Basketball League at 27-17. However, they would be stunned in the playoffs, losing in the preliminary round three games to two against the Chicago American Gears.

1947/48: The Indianapolis Kautskys would take a step backward, in their final season in the NBL, posting a record of 24-35. Despite their struggles, the K’s finished fourth in the Western Division and made the playoffs, but were quickly dispatched by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks 3-1 in a best of five series.

1948/49: The Indianapolis Kautskys were among four teams that left the NBL and joined the Basketball Association of America. Since the BAA did not allow cooperate names, the Indianapolis Kautskys became the Indianapolis Jets. The Jets would win their BAA debut beating the St. Louis Bombers 84-80 at the Butler Fieldhouse. However, the Jets would drop their next eight games as Coach Bruce Hale was fired after a 4-13 start. The Jets would not fare much better under the reigns of Burl Firddle as they finished last in the Western Division with a record of 18-42. After just one season in the BAA, the Jets would shut down operations as the BAA merged with the NBL and became the National Basketball Association. The Indianapolis Olympians who were set to replace with the Kautskys in the NBL would instead join the NBA replacing the Jets.

©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Indianapolis Kautskys (Jets) or the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 21, 2015. Last updated on July 21, 2015 at 11:40 pm ET.