Monday, February 6, 2017

Professional Basketball League of America (PBLA)

With basketball increasing greatly in popularity in post-war America, the NBL, BAA and ABL were the top professional leagues in the country. The NBL was beginning to have financial troubles, despite having the country's best talent. George Mikan, arguably the biggest basketball star in the country, was a member of the Chicago American Gears of the NBL. Sensing the eminent demise of the NBL and angry at not being named the league's persident, Gears owner Maurice White wanted to decided to start his own league, with a larger geographic scope, to siphon from the other leagues and stand alone. Dropping out from the NBL, the Gears were joined by fifteen new teams to form the Professional Basketball League of America. It was a bold move, for White was the owner of all 16 teams as well as the league itself. It turned out to be so much more than he could handle. Planning on a longer 74-game schedule, with some games to be played in neutral sites to try to drum up more interest, the league quickly found themselves underwater as attendance was very poor and travel and administrative costs mounting. Just three weeks into the inaugural season, the league ceased operations.

I chose the PBLA to be the next league I researched, for the simple reason that it was a three-week failed league, and its demise really solidified and began to centralize professional basketball in one league. Other smaller leagues began to collapse, and gave way to the success of the NBA.

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