The First Tip-Off: The Incredible Story of the Birth of the NBA

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October 5, 2008


Electronic book text, 288 pages

Other Formats


0071642412 / 9780071642415

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Main description

"Charley Rosen has undertaken the challenge of documenting the latest and greatest history of the game professionally--and has done so to great success. . . . . When I finished the book it seemed as if I had gone through another season, injuries and all. . . . Rosen skillfully leads readers through the NBA's first steps along its journey toward what it has become today.” --Phil Jackson, from the Foreword

"Rosen, a wonderful sportswriter . . . had forgotten more basketball history than the best fans will ever know." Booklist, on No Blood, No Foul

Go back to a time when basketball players wore knee pads and itchy cotton jerseys. When even the team's leaders were grateful for dry towels, hot showers, and $60 paychecks. When winning was all that mattered.

In this vividly rendered and meticulously researched book, endorsed with a Foreword by Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, sportswriter Charley Rosen takes you on a rollicking tour of the NBA's first season. Filled with rare archival photographs and exclusive interviews, The First Tip-Off brings to life a cast of unforgettable characters--including Chuck Connors, clown prince of the BAA, and Jumping Joe Fulks, ex-Marine turned basketball's first superstar--as Rosen deftly unfolds the dramatic events of that formative season.

It's enough to make you believe once again in the spirit of the sport.

Table of contents

Foreword Phil Jackson
Chapter 1 The First Basket and the First Basketeer
Chapter 2 The First Game
Chapter 3 Genesis
Chapter 4 The Penguin, the Mogul and the Constitution
Chapter 5 The Boston Celtics and the Clown-Prince of the BAA
Chapter 6 The Providence Steamrollers Hit a Road Block
Chapter 7 Paul Birch Fires up the Pittsburgh Ironmen
Chapter 8 Of Money, Time, and Justice
Chapter 9 There’s No “D” in Chicago Stags
Chapter 10 Big Ed Drives the Toronto Huskies to Ruin
Chapter 11 The Evolution and Extinction of the Cleveland Rebels
Chapter 12 The Professor and the St. Louis Bombers
Chapter 13 The Short Flight of the Detroit Falcolns
Chapter 14 The Ethnic Knicks
Chapter 15 Gotty, Jumping Joe, and the Philadelphia Warriors
Chapter 16 The Washington Capitols and The Apprenticeship of Red Auerbach
Chapter 17 The Playoffs
Chapter 18 The First Champions
Chapter 19 Barely Alive

Author comments

Charley Rosen is the author of 13 books and a columnist for He is also a former player and was a head coach at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Copyright 2014 McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC


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