1946/47: With the birth of the Basketball Association of America using arenas from the NHL, it only seemed natural that one of the charter 11 franchises be placed in Toronto. Dr. James Naismith, who invented the sport of basketball in 1892, was born and raised in Ontario near Canada’s Capital city of Ottawa. While the BAA was the third professional league in North America, it was the first to have real strong financial backing and the first to venture into Canada. Playing at the Maple Leaf Gardens in front of 7,090 fans, the Toronto Huskies would host the New York Knickerbockers in the first-ever game for the Basketball Association of America on November 1st, losing a nail biter 68-66. On that night, anyone taller than George Nostrand, the tallest Husky at 6’8″, was given free admission. Ed Sadkowski began the season as the Huskies player-coach but barely lasted a month as the team got off to a terrible start at 3-9. Players openly questioned, Sadkowski’s coaching style as players split into camps with players rarely speaking to each other. Ed Sadkowski would quit the team and eventually was traded to the Cleveland Rebels. In the meantime, the Huskies continued to be the model of instability with two interim coaches holding the job before Red Rolfe, a four-time baseball all-star with the New York Yankees, who had recently been Yale’s basketball coach was hired for the remainder of the season. The Huskies investors would take a big financial hit, as Toronto was not quite ready to follow basketball leading to dwindling attendance. The Toronto Huskies would finish the season with a dreadful record of 22-38 and would cease operations after just one season. Of the 20 players on the Huskies roster during the season, only five would go on to play ten or more games in the BAA/NBA following the 1946-47 season. Canada would have to wait half a century before the NBA returned with the expansion Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies in 1995.
©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 Toronto Huskies 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 June 10, 2015. Last updated on June 10, 2015 at 11:40 pm ET.