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TIME Magazine, December 20, 1954 p. 56:|
24 Seconds to Shoot
One hero— and villian— of the professional basketball arenas this season is a small board with blinking lights, set close to the playing area at each end of the court, in plain view of the players, officials, spectators and TV cameras. When a team gets possession of the ball, the board flashes the number 24. The the numbers dwindle downward, changing every second. This warns the team in possession that it must try for a basket before 24 seconds have elapsed. Otherwise, it loses the ball to the opposing team.
This new rule, adopted for the 1954-55 season, has made the pro game a better, faster, more exciting sport. In other years, "freezing" the ball in the late stages was the bane of the game. A team that found itself a few points ahead near the end would simply pass the ball around from player to player, without trying for a basket... the game would dissolve in a dreary welter.
Under the new rule, in some games this year a team that was behind in the last quarter has managed to pull out to win. All of the National Basketball Association coaches say that they like the 24-second rule, but some college coaches (freezing is still very much a part of the college game) are eyeing it with misgivings. Also, college crowds want victory, no matter by what means, or how boringly.
Other reasons why the pro game looks different this season:
— The powerful Minneapolis Lakers, who won six N.B.A. championships in seven years, are now just a good journeyman team (in second place in the N.B.A.'s western division). Reason: the retirement of 6 ft. 10 in. George Mikan, widely considered to be the greatest basketball player in history. Big George is vice president and general manager of the Lakers and a part-time lawyer; at 30, he says he has played his last N.B.A. game...
TIME Magazine, March 9, 1962, p. 74:|
Against the New York Knicks in a National Basketball Association game at Hershey, Pa., the Philadelphia Warriors' towering Wilt Chamberlain had a hot night in chocolateville. He dumped in 31 points in one quarter and 59 in a half. With teammates feeding him the ball at every chance, the 7-ft. 1-in. center overall sank 36 baskets in 63 tries, added 28 points at the foul line. His game-end total of 100 points was an N.B.A. record, and so was the 168-147 score by which the Warriors won.