If you have noticed my recent posts, you might have already figured
out I've been doing some research into late 50s, early 60s NBA
history. Focusing on the Lakers in particular. I'm doing it just
because I'm a fan & on my own time.
I have been sifting through what news I could find, and am starting
to get a rough idea on how things worked for the 1959-60 season - but
if one of you was particularly knowledgeable in this area - perhaps
you would be willing to be of immense help to me.
From what I can figure out teams opened the season with a 12-man
roster, but were allowed to carry more than that if the individuals
were returning from service with the military. Those returning
military members would not count against the roster limit for the
first 30 or 60 days (?) after their return.
Evidently, by November 7, teams had to cut down to an 11-man roster.
By midnight on December 15, they had to have their roster reduced to
What complicates things is that it seemed they had a number
of "lists" that allowed them to circumvent this limit - or so it
would seem to me right now. I don't know if there actually were
separate lists. But i've seen references to an "injured list,"
an "inactive list" and a "farmed out list." Perhaps there was just
one, and players were placed on it for one of the above reasons.
It seems that a player could be placed on the "injured" or
inactive "list" for 5 days. This would allow them (Detroit in
particular in 1959) to have more time to settle on who to cut to
reach that 10-man roster. Perhaps that 5 day limit was only in
effect whe the team was technically over the roster limit, but I'm
not 100% sure on that at the moment.
Also, if a player cleared waivers, then it would seem teams could
place them on their inactive list. Thats what appeared to happen
with Boo Ellis of the Lakers who was released, but retuned about a
month later from being farmed out to the Wilkes-Barre Barons. Ed
Fleming was fully waived at that time because he would not allow
himself to be farmed out as Ellis had.
In any case I am trying to piece through the NBA of that era and am
hoping someone has some of this esoteric kind of knowledge and could
help me figure it out faster.
I am also trying to get as good, accurate and complete a set of box
scores for the Lakers that season as possible. for now i am
gathering and compiling what I can by hunting through old
newspapers. I know finding good box scores is an overall problem for
anyone looking back on that era. None of the box scores I have come
across include data on rebounds and assists - though I know those
stats were kept.
Long post, and I appreciate if you've simply taken the time to read
through it. I'd be overjoyed if there were some insight you could
share on specifics.