The 1949–50 NBA season was the inaugural season of the National Basketball Association, which was created in 1949 by merger of the 3-year-old BAA and 12-year-old NBL. The postseason tournament (the 1950 NBA playoffs) at its conclusion, ended with the Minneapolis Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the Syracuse Nationals 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.
|1949–50 NBA season|
|League||National Basketball Association|
|Number of games||68|
|Number of teams||17|
|Top draft pick||Howie Shannon|
|Picked by||Providence Steamrollers|
|Top seed||Syracuse Nationals|
|Top scorer||George Mikan (Minneapolis)|
|Eastern champions||Syracuse Nationals|
|Eastern runners-up||New York Knicks|
|Central champions||Minneapolis Lakers|
|Central runners-up||Fort Wayne Pistons|
|Western champions||Anderson Packers|
|Western runners-up||Indianapolis Olympians|
- The Indianapolis Jets and Providence Steamrollers folded after the 1948–49 season, leaving the BAA with 10 teams. Excluding the Jets, three of those teams had joined the BAA from the National Basketball League (NBL) one year before.
- Six NBL franchises – (Anderson, Denver, Sheboygan, Syracuse, Tri-Cities, and Waterloo) and one expansion team (Indianapolis Olympians) – joined with the ten surviving BAA teams to create the National Basketball Association with 17 teams.
|Team||1948–49 coach||1949–50 coach|
|Fort Wayne Pistons||Curly Armstrong||Murray Mendenhall|
|Washington Capitols||Red Auerbach||Bob Feerick|
In this inaugural NBA season only, the ten surviving teams from 1948–49 BAA season played a heavy schedule of games with each other and a light schedule with the seven NBL participants in the merger that created the league, and vice versa.
|x-New York Knicks||40||28||.588||13||19–10||18–16||3–2||20–6|
Syracuse played a heavy schedule of 44 games against Western Division teams: on average just over seven games each, same as they played each other (35 to 37 games against five Western rivals). The Western Division teams were generally weaker on the court; none of the teams there won half of its games played outside the division. Yet Syracuse won at the same 80% rate against the East and Central (16–4) as they did against the West (35–9).
|x-Fort Wayne Pistons||40||28||.588||11||28–6||12–22||–||14–10|
|St. Louis Bombers||26||42||.382||25||17–14||7–26||2–2||4–20|
To define first and third place, the Lakers played one game against the Royals, while the Stags played one against the Pistons, preliminary to the 1950 NBA playoffs.
The five Central Division teams and five Eastern teams beside Syracuse — that is, the ten former BAA teams – uniformly played 68 games: six games in each pairing among themselves (54) and two games each against each of the Western teams and Syracuse (14).
|x-Sheboygan Red Skins||22||40||.355||17||17–14||5–22||0–4||15–20|
The six Western Division teams and Syracuse—that is, the seven NBL participants in the merger—uniformly played two games each against every one of the ten BAA 1949 teams, the East and Central teams except Syracuse (20 games each). They played seven or nine games in each pairing among themselves (at least 42 games).
- x – clinched playoff spot
|Division Semifinals||Division Finals||NBA Semifinals||NBA Finals|
|(Division Final winners were re-seeded based on their regular season win-loss record.)|
* Division winner
Bold Series winner
|Points||George Mikan||Minneapolis Lakers||1,865|
|Assists||Dick McGuire||New York Knicks||386|
|FG%||Alex Groza||Indianapolis Olympians||.478|
|FT%||Max Zaslofsky||Chicago Stags||.843|
Note: Prior to the 1969–70 season, league leaders in points and assists were determined by totals rather than averages.
General source: 1949–50 NBA Season Summary basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 31, 2010.