One Less Knickerbocker

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Trivia: Which two teams participated in the NBA’s first game? Bobcats and Thunder? Sorry, that’s incorrect. The answer is the New York Knickerbockers vs. the Toronto Huskies, when they faced off against each other on November 1, 1946.

In a fact that may shock a few, especially with there currently only being two Jews in the entire NBA, there were actually eight Jews on that New York team. Eight! I can barely find eight Jewish guys to play pick up basketball with me on the weekend.

Sadly, one of those eight has died. Hank Rosenstein was 89 when he passed away this week in (surprise, surprise) Boca Raton, Florida. The 6’4 forward later played for the Scranton Miners, where he led to team in scoring in 1951 averaging just under 12 points a game. For all of you confused by that stat, the NBA did not have a shot clock back then, and the league kinda sucked because of it.

Rosenstein was elected to the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

I recommend you read his full obituary from yesterday’s New York Times.

Posted on March 3, 2010

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