January 14, 1964 is the most important day in NBA history.
(Video below courtesy Mike Trudell at Lakers.com)
That day the best players in the game, including Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, barricaded themselves in Boston Garden locker rooms before the NBA’s 14th annual All-Star Game - refusing to play.
Before the season NBA players had demanded to commissioner Walter Kennedy that NBA owners recognize their newly-created players union. As part of that recognition, the owners were to set up a pension plan for the players, who also attempted to direct the league to require each team to staff a medical trainer while also cutting down on unreasonable travel and game schedules.
Kennedy and the owners completely ignored the demands, only to have the players refuse to play in the NBA’s first-ever nationally-televised all-star game a few months later.
And I do mean refuse. They were serious.
So what happened? Let Jerry West tell you: Read more…