Here’s a Tuesday afternoon bummer for you, via ESPN New York’s Ian Begley:
Benjamin “Ossie” Schectman, a
Knick who is credited with scoring the 1st basket in the NBA in 1946, has died, the team announced.
As you can see from the above clip of Schectman’s first basket, his hoop wasn’t technically an NBA basket, as the league was still called the Basketball Association of America until 1949. But still, it was for the New York Knicks, who I think you’ve heard about, so it counts. And that means we’ve all lost a little bit of history today, even if Ossie Schectman isn’t a household name. Though I have to imagine, with fastbreak gliding skills like the one he used on that very first basket, maybe he could have been in another time.
But that’s not the only interesting thing about Schectman’s first basket, as the NBA’s official NBA History Twitter feed also passed on this little bit of ol’ timey lore:
Ossie Schectman (1919-2013) First @NBA game: @NYKnicks at Toronto Huskies: If you were taller than the tallest Husky (6-8), you got in free
Schechtman only played a single season for the Knicks, but he scored the first basket in NBA history AND was on hand to witness the first gimmick promotion in league history. Pretty solid career for only playing 54 total games.
RIP Ossie Schectman.