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Chicago Stags
Conference Western (1946-49)
Central (1949-50)
Division Western Division
Founded 1946
History Folded in 1950
Arena Chicago Stadium
City Chicago, Illinois
Team colors Red, white and blue
Owner(s)
General manager
Head coach Harold Olsen (1946-1948)
Philip Brownstein (1948-1950)
D-League affiliate none
Championships 0
Conference titles 1 (1947)
Division titles
Official website

The Chicago Stags were a National Basketball Association team based in Chicago, Illinois.

Franchise history

The Chicago Stags were founded in 1946 and folded in 1950. Despite their short history, they were able to acquire the draft rights to a young Bob Cousy in a trade with the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (although he never played a game for them). When the Stags folded, a dispersal draft was held to divide up their players around the league. Cousy was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Despite their short existence in the BAA and NBA, the Chicago Stags were rather successful in league play, making their way to the BAA finals in 1947 only to lose to the Philadelphia Warriors.

The beginning of a new league

In the BAA's inaugural year, there were 11 teams split into 2 divisions. The Stags were placed in the Western Division, and won the division by one game, finishing 39-22 over the 38-23 St. Louis Bombers. They finished second in the regular season standings, only behind the 49-11 Washington Capitols. In the playoffs, they received a first-round bye, only to play the Capitols in the semi-finals. Chicago won the series 4-2, and proceeded to play into the finals. There they played the Philadelphia Warriors, who easily won 4-1.

1947-1948 Season

The next season, however, the Stags were not as competitive. They finished second in their division (which was down to 4 teams). They finished 28-20, finishing only 1 game behind the St. Louis Bombers, and second overall in the league (the total number of teams was down from 11 to 8). In the playoffs they played a tiebreaker (after tying with the Washington Capitols). They won that game by 4 points, and advanced to play the Boston Celtics in the quarter-finals. They won, moving into the semi-finals for the second consecutive year. However, they were then trounced by the eventual champions, the Baltimore Bullets.

1948-1949

The next year, each division was instantly made more competitive with more teams, including the Minneapolis Lakers and the New York Knickerbockers. The Stags finished 3rd, 38-22, seven games behind division-winning Rochester Royals. The playoffs were expanded from 6 to 8 teams, and the Stags played the Lakers. They lost again to the eventual champion Lakers, 2-0.

The final season

In Chicago's final season, the league consistently continued its growth, forming a third division, and a total of 17 teams. The Stags finished tied for third with the Fort Wayne Pistons (and behind the Lakers and Royals), 11 games back, with a 40-28 record, and again lost to the Lakers in the opening round.

Players of note

  • Max Zaslofsky (1947-1948 Scoring Leader of BAA) G
  • Stan Miasek
  • Chuck Gilmur
  • Gene Vance #12 G
  • Andy Phillip
  • Jim Seminoff
  • Paul Huston
  • Tom Joyce G
  • Mickey Rottner F
  • Ben Schadler
  • Chick Halbert C
  • Jack Toomay
  • Gene Rock
  • Johnny Jorgensen
  • Kenny Sailors
  • Doyle Parrack

Season-by-season records

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, % = Win–Loss %

Season W L  % Playoffs Results
Chicago Stags (BAA)
1946-47 39 22 .639 Won BAA Semifinals

Lost BAA Finals

Chicago 4, Washington 2
Philadelphia 4, Chicago 1
1947-48 28 20 .583 Won Division Tie

Won 1st Round Lost Semifinals

Chicago 1, Washington 0
Chicago 2, Boston 1
Baltimore 2, Chicago 0
1948-49 38 22 .633 Lost Division Semifinals Minneapolis 2, Chicago 0
Chicago Stags (NBA)
1949-50 40 28 .588 Lost Division Tie

Lost Division Semifinals

Fort Wayne 1, Chicago 0
Minneapolis 2, Chicago 0

Aftermath

The Chicago Bulls wore replicas of the 1946 Stags uniforms during the 2005-06 NBA season as part of the NBA's "Hardwood Classics" program. (They wore them on December 5th, February 22, and April 16).

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