Chicago Stags
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Chicago Stags
Chicago Stags
Chicago Stags logo
DivisionWestern (1946-1949)
Central (1949-1950)
HistoryChicago Stags
ArenaChicago Stadium
LocationChicago, Illinois
Team colorsRed, blue, white
Head coachHarold Olsen (1946-1948)
Philip Brownstein (1948-1950)
Division titles1 (1947)

The Chicago Stags were a National Basketball Association team based in Chicago from 1946 to 1950.


1946-47 season

In the BAA's inaugural year, the Chicago Stags were placed in the Western Division, and after 60 games were tied with the St. Louis Bombers at 38-22 each. A tiebreaker game between the two teams on March 31, 1947, resulted in the Stags defeating the Bombers in overtime, 73-66, to clinch the division and a first round bye. Under the initial playoff format, the two division champions faced each other in the Semifinals. The Stags defeated the Washington Capitols, the only team to finish with a better record than the Stags, 4-2, and went on to lose to the Philadelphia Warriors in the BAA Finals, 4-1.

1947-48 season

The next season, the Stags finished second in their division with a 28-20 record, one game behind the St. Louis Bombers, and second overall in the league. In the playoffs, they won a tiebreaker game against the Washington Capitols, advancing to play the Boston Celtics in the First Round. The Stags won, moving into the Semifinals for the second consecutive year. However, they were defeated by the eventual champions, the Baltimore Bullets.

1948-49 season

The next year, the Stags finished third, 38-22, seven games behind division-winning Rochester Royals. The playoffs were expanded from six to eight teams, and the Stags played the Minneapolis Lakers in the Division Semifinals where they lost 2-0.

1949-50 season

In their final season, the Stags finished tied for third with the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons with a 40-28 record, and again lost to the Lakers in the Division Semifinals. It marked the end of the NBA in Chicago until the Chicago Packers were joined in 1961.

On April 25, 1950, Bob Cousy was drafted by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks but did not sign with the team. Cousy wanted $10,000 and Blackhawks owner Ben Kerner countered with $6,000 in negotiations. Cousy was then sold to the Stags in a trade.[1] When the Stags folded, a dispersal draft was held on October 5, 1950 to divide their players throughout the league. Cousy was drafted by the Boston Celtics.[2]

The Stags were one of seven teams that quickly left the NBA: the Anderson Packers, Sheboygan Red Skins and Waterloo Hawks jumped to the NPBL, while the Chicago Stags, Denver Nuggets and St. Louis Bombers folded. The league went from 17 teams to 11 before the 1950-51 season started, and midway through the season, the Washington Capitols folded as well, bringing the number of teams in the league down to 10.[3]

The NBA would return to Chicago twice, first with the Packers/Zephyrs (now the Washington Wizards) from 1961 to 1963 and since 1966 with the Bulls.


The Stags played at Chicago Stadium, which was located at 1800 West Madison Street and was demolished in 1995 to make way for the United Center; it later served as the home court of the Bulls from 1966 to 1994.[4]

Notable players

Basketball Hall of Famers

Chicago Stags Hall of Famers
No. Name Position Tenure Inducted
19 Andy Phillip G 1947-1950 1961
Name Position Tenure Inducted
Harold Olsen Head Coach 1946-1949 1959

Season-by-season records

NBA champions Division champions Playoff berth
Season League Division Finish Wins Losses Win% GB Playoffs Awards
1946-47 BAA Western 1st 39 22 .639 -- Won BAA Semifinals (Capitols) 4-2
Lost BAA Finals (Warriors) 1-4
1947-48 BAA Western 3rd 28 20 .583 1 Won Division Tiebreaker (Capitols)
Won First Round (Boston) 2-1
Lost BAA Semifinals (Bullets) 0-2
1948-49 BAA Western 3rd 38 22 .633 7 Lost Division Semifinals (Lakers) 0-2
1949-50 NBA Central 3rd 40 28 .588 11 Lost Division Tiebreaker (Pistons)
Lost Division Semifinals (Lakers) 0-2
Regular season record 145 92 .612 1946-1950
Playoff record 8 14 .364 Postseason series record: 3-5


The Chicago Bulls, the city's current NBA team, 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 5, 2005, February 22, 2006 and April 16, 2006).[5][6]


  1. ^ "Ben Kerner NBA & ABA Basketball Executive Record -".
  2. ^ "Bob Cousy Stats".
  3. ^ "1949-50 NBA Season Summary".
  4. ^ "History of the Chicago Stags".
  5. ^ "Bulls Celebrate 60th Anniversary of Chicago Stags". Chicago Bulls. December 2, 2005. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Ballantini, Brett (April 17, 2006). "STAG PARTY: BULLS PAY TRIBUTE TO THE CHICAGO STAGS". Chicago Bulls. Retrieved 2017.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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