Sunday, February 20, 2011

History Lesson 2

The very first professional basketball game I attended was as a small child -- the 1960 NBA All-Star Game at Convention Hall in Philadelphia. The East won 125-115, as it damn well should have, seeing as its two centers were Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.

The game was not on a Sunday night. It was a Friday, I believe. But here's the kicker. One thing I remember for sure about that game was that it wasn't on television. Not network, not local, nothing. The All-Star Weekend Showcase was, once upon a time, the only marketing concept the league cared about or could even imagine -- a guaranteed sellout at the gate.

One wonders what professional sports would look like if gate receipts remained the difference between life and death for franchises. It's possible the only league left standing would be the NHL.


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