Notable Pro Basketball Events & Achievements Chronology, 1960-75


  • In a game against the Celtics, 6’8″ Syracuse Nationals’ (“Nats”) Dolph Schayes becomes the first pro basketball player to hit the 15,000-point mark (photo nearby); Nats win 126-108 (January 13).
  • Philadelphia Warriors’ Wilt (“the Stilt”) Chamberlain sets Madison Square Garden record with 58 points against Knicks (February 22).
  • Beginning with championships in 1957 & 1959 with the recruitment of Bill Russell, the Boston Celtics establish their dominance of the era to 1969, interrupted only in 1967 with a loss to arch-rival Philadelphia.  In 1960, Boston defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games to maintain the NBA championship.
  • Los Angeles Lakers’ star forward Elgin Baylor sets record of 71 points in a victory at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks (November 16).
  • Wilt Chamberlain breaks Bill Russell’s rebound record of 51 set in 1959 with 55 (November 25).


  • The American Basketball League adopts a 3-point “long” field goal at a line 22 feet from the basket.
  • Dolph Schayes ends an incredible “iron man” performance of 706 straight games played with the Nats since 1952.


  • The Warriors’ Wilt Chamberlain bests Elgin Baylor’s 71-point record from 1960 by two in a game against the Chicago Packers (January 2); two months later, Chamberlain scores a never-equaled 100 points in the highest scoring game in basketball history to date – 316 points: Warriors vs. Knicks, 169-147 – that held until 1970 (Hershey Arena, March 2); Chamberlain also led the NBA in rebounds, averaging 26 a game.
  • Celtics take fourth straight NBA title, beating Lakers in overtime, 110-107 (April 19).


  • Syracuse Nationals move to Philadelphia, which lost its NBA franchise the previous year when the Warriors moved to San Francisco.
  • Warriors crush New York Knicks, 118-89; Wilt Chamberlain sets record for consecutive field goals with 18.


  • St. Louis Hawks’ Bob Pettit becomes highest scorer in NBA history with 19,215 in February; surpasses 20,000 in November; passed by Chamberlain with almost 21,000 in February 1966.
  • Celtics gain sixth NBA title, with 4-1 victory over Warriors; Bill Russell voted most valuable player (Boston, April 27).


  • Philadelphia 76ers buy Chamberlain for over $300,000 plus three players.

    Logo, 1968

  • John Havlicek shines as the Celtics squeak by the 76ers, 110-109 to play the Lakers for the championship, which the Celtics win 4-1 – their 7th straight crown.


  • NBA awards a franchise to the Chicago Bulls, which joins the Western Division and realigns the League: along with Chicago, the West includes Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Detroit; the East is Baltimore, Cincinnati, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York.
  • Celtics coach Arnold (Red) Auerbach announces his retirement at age 48 (March 13); Bill Russell named successor (April 19); Celtics win over Lakers – eighth title in a row; 9th in 10 years (April 29).


  • Seattle and San Diego awarded the 11th and 12th team franchises as part of an NBA expansion program to add eight teams over four years (January 12).
  • 76ers top Warriors at the San Francisco Cow Palace for the NBA title (April 25).


  • Milwaukee and Phoenix gain franchises, bringing 22-year-old professional league to a total of 14 teams (January 23).
  • Lead by the playing coach, center Bill Russell, and John Havlicek, the Celtics defeat Lakers 4-2 for NBA crown (Los Angeles, May 4).
  • 76ers trade away Chamberlain to the Lakers for 3 men and an undisclosed amount of cash (July).


  • In seven games, Celtics capture an unbelievable 11th title in 13 years – despite Lakers’ Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and the recently-acquired Wilt Chamberlain (May).


  • Willis Reed emerges as MVP in the East-West All-Star Game; Oscar Robertson appears for tenth time (January 21).
  • NBA completes expansion to 18 teams, adding franchises in Cleveland, Houston, Portland, and Buffalo (February).
  • Bucks trounce 76ers, 156-120, in playoff game – leading Philadelphia by an astounding 52 points at the end of the third period (March 31).
  • The New York Knickerbockers (“Knicks”) emerge as a basketball power with Willis Reed and Walt Frazier; defeat Lakers in seven games, to win their first title since franchise founding; Knicks championship completes New York’s sports trifecta with victories by the Jets in football and the Mets in baseball.
  • NBA (est. 1946) and ABA (est. 1967) agree to merge subject to approval of Congress (similar to action of NFL & AFL in 1966); merger completed 1976.


  • Hal Greer of the 76ers joins Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West (all of Los Angeles), Oscar Robertson of the Bucks and former St. Louis star Bob Pettit in the 20,000 point club (January 30).
  • Milwaukee sweeps Baltimore for championship title with Lew Alcindor emerging as key (May 1)
  • NBA revises its long-standing “four-year rule,” permitting college players to join the League for financial or family hardship before the players’ college class had graduated; sparked by the ABA’s Denver Rockets’ signing University of Detroit’s Spencer Haywood after sophomore year in 1969 (June 24).
  • Competing sports: Lakers set consecutive victory record with 27, eclipsing previous tally of 26 in baseball set in 1916 by the New York Giants (December 22).
  • Julius Irving seeks “hardship” entry into professional basketball from the University of Massachusetts, joins Virginia Squires; starts influential & important rise as “Dr. J.”


  • The Lakers’ Chamberlain hits 30,000 regular season career points in a game against the Phoenix Suns (February 16).
  • Former Royal, Celtic, and Buck, 6 foot 8 inch Wayne Embry becomes the first black general manager in major league sports, leading the Milwaukee Bucks (March).
  • Cincinnati Royals move to Kansas City (March).
  • Los Angeles Lakers win their first-ever championship 4-1 over the Knicks, after the most successful season any team has ever had in NBA history, with 69 regular season wins (May).


  • Knicks regain title crown, dethrone Lakers 4-1; Willis Reed stars (May 10).
  • NBA and players sign first basic agreement in League history setting minimum salaries ($20,000), pensions, arbitration rules (March).
  • Indiana Pacers win their third ABA title, this time against the Kentucky Colonels (May).


  • John Havlicek joins elite club: makes his 20,003rd career point (January).
  • Celtics win title in 7 games over Bucks; Dave Cowens matches Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor)(May).
  • 19-year-old Moses Malone chooses a seven-year deal with the ABA’s Utah Stars over attending the University of Maryland (August).


  • Kentucky Colonels win ABA championship over the Indiana Pacers; Golden State Warriors win NBA crown over the Washington Bullets as Associations prepare to merge in 1976.


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