The Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major   ice hockey   arenas in the   HYPERLINK "" \o "Northeastern United States" Northeastern and   Midwestern United States   and Canada. On November 1, 1946, in   Toronto , Canada, the   Toronto Huskies   hosted the   New York Knickerbockers   at   Maple Leaf Gardens , in a game the NBA now regards as the first played in its history. [6]   The first basket was made by   HYPERLINK "" \o "Ossie Schectman" Ossie Schectman   of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the   American Basketball League   and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play primarily in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not significantly better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the   Harlem Globetrotters . For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets   moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, and the 1948 NBL champion   Minneapolis Lakers   won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948-49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional. [7]
Following the 1948-49 season, the BAA took in the remainder of the NBL: Syracuse, Anderson, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan, Denver, and Waterloo. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed from the BAA to the National Basketball Association in spite of having the same BAA governing body including Podoloff . [7]   The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities , [8]   as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories . In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953-54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the   New York Knicks ,   Boston Celtics ,   Philadelphia Warriors ,   Minneapolis Lakers ,   Rochester Royals ,   Fort Wayne Pistons ,   Tri-Cities Blackhawks , and   Syracuse Nationals , all of which remain in the league today. The process of contraction saw the league's smaller-city franchises move to larger cities. The Hawks shifted from the   Tri- Cities to   Milwaukee   in 1951, and then to   St. Louis   in 1955. The Rochester Royals moved from   Rochester, New York , to   Cincinnati   in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from   Fort Wayne, Indiana , to   Detroit   in 1957.