This week we lost an NBA legend. Not a legend of superstar caliber but a legend none-the-less.
Ossie Schectman is not in the NBA Hall of Fame but he should be, even though he only played one season, see Schectman is the man who scored the first points in NBA history. The night was November 1, 1946 and Schectman’s New York Knicks were playing the Toronto Huskies in the newly formed Basketball Association of America (BAA), the league that would eventually become the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949. Following the tip off, won by the Huskies, a Knicks player grabbed the rebound after the Huskies missed a basket and began a fast break. Three passes later Schectman puts up a layup and goes down in history as the man who scored the first points in NBA history.
Schectman, who only played one season in the BBA before returning to the ABL, passed away Tuesday at the age of 94. His NBA line reads 8.1 ppg. and 2.0 apg. (Rebounds were not calculated at that time). His averages made him the #3 ranked player in the league for both points per game and assists per game during the 1946-47 season, numbers that would have him ranked #131 for points and #87 for assists during the 2012-13 season.
In 1946 there were no basketball cards or mainstream baseball cards so to honor Schectman I am using the design from the 1946 Remar Bread baseball cards. Remar Bakery was bakery opened in 1918 in the Oakland/Alameda area and between 1945 and 1950 they included baseball cards of the Oakland Oaks players in their packages. I added some smudges on the front and back to add some "aging" to the card. Here is a link to images of the original 1946 Remar Bread cards. It was a pain finding out who was the play by play announcer for the 1946 Knicks and what radio station he was on but I finally found the answer in Glickman.