1948-49 NBA Season
The BAA clearly had the best arenas in the bigger cities, but the National Basketball League, featuring teams in smaller Midwestern cities, claimed the best players. This changed, however, prior to the 1948 season, when three other NBL teams -- Fort Wayne, Rochester, and Indianapolis -- joined the Lakers in moving to the BAA.
George Mikan led the Lakers. At 6-10 and 245 pounds, he dominated the game with his inside scoring, hook shooting right or left. He shot .416 from the floor while averaging a league-leading 28.3 points per game, earning him the first of three consecutive league scoring titles.
The two teams went on to meet in the Finals. Mikan scored 42 points in Game 1 and, despite breaking his wrist in Game 4, led the Lakers over Auerbach’s Capitols in six games.
“He wore a cast that was a hard as a brick,” recalled Washington’s Horace “Bones” McKinney, who guarded Mikan in the series. “It fit right in with his elbows. It would kill you. And it didn’t bother his shooting a bit.”