By r4m3v151t0R. sport. At Wednesday, December 18th 2019, 15:45:03 PM.
When the two leagues merged in 1949 it brought the total number of teams to 17 but the new league would quickly start losing teams. After just six years the number of teams had dropped to just 8. Financial troubles plagued the league from the start and this was especially true for the NBL teams that joined during the merger due to them being in smaller markets. The owner of the Fort Wayne Pistons, a former NBL team, named Frank Zollner was key in keeping the NBA financially afloat during this time.
The biggest tragedy of the 1986 draft class was that of number two overall pick Len Bias. The Maryland forward never played a minute of NBA basketball. Bias died of a cocaine overdose just days after being drafted by the Boston Celtics. His death lent a huge shadow over the entire class.
The clock was the brain child of Syracuse Nationals general manager Leo Ferris, a man that the NBA has long forgotten in one of the biggest travesties in the games history. Ferris, is as important to the early days of the NBA as anyone and one could argue that without Ferris there would be no NBA today; and there definitely would be no Atlanta Hawks, or Philadelphia 76ers. The NBA would look much different today without Ferris’s input all those years ago.