NBA Draft

Like all successes, the 24-second shot clock has many fathers — though one has been forgotten – The Athletic


Welcome to the NBA 75, The Athletic’s countdown of the 75 best players in NBA history, in honor of the league’s diamond anniversary. We also will run features such as this one to complement certain players and moments throughout our series.

The elderly man would sit, often in silence.

“Leo … was bedridden for the past 10 years of his life,” his wife, Beverly, wrote in a letter to a relative in March 2005. “One of his few remaining pleasures was to watch basketball on TV and listen to games on the radio. Whenever the 24-second clock was mentioned, and homage paid, Leo’s name was rarely, if ever, mentioned. I could see the sad, hurt look in his eyes.”

Leo Ferris, who died in 1993 of Huntington’s disease after battling the debilitating illness for more than two decades, had reason to be hurt. At the time that letter was written, his role in helping shape and save the NBA had been all but erased. His consequential life in basketball has been resurrected somewhat in the last few years, but his family continues to wait for the honor it believes he most deserves: induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ferris meets the criteria for selection as a contributor. He co-founded the Buffalo Bisons, while part of the National Basketball League, in 1946 — a franchise that moved to Moline, Ill., in 1949, where it became the Tri-Cities Blackhawks; then to Milwaukee, in 1951, where the nickname was shortened to Hawks; then to St.



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