Max Kase Signed AUTO Presentation Card NBA Pioneer CCNY Scandal Sportswriter

Max Kase (D. 1974) was an American newspaper writer and editor. He worked for the Hearst newspapers from 1917 to 1966 and was the sports editor of the New York Journal-American from 1938 to 1966. In 1946, he was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the New York Knicks and the Basketball Association of America, predecessor to the NBA. He won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1952 for his work exposing corruption in men's college basketball, primarily the CCNY Point Shaving Scandal.

Kase became convinced that professional basketball could be a success on a national basis. The National Basketball League, formed in 1937, was based in the Midwest and had "limped along" while being "generally ignored" by sports editors.  During the 1930s, Kase had discussions with Walter A. Brown, manager of the Boston Garden, about creating a truly national basketball league with franchises in the country's largest cities. In 1944, Kase organized a basketball exhibition in New York featuring two of the top barnstorming teams. The overflow crowd that turned out for the charity event reinforced Kase's belief that professional basketball could attract a following in New York. Kase continued to press the idea in discussions with Walter A. Brown and even drafted the new league's charter and operating plan.

In his original conception, Kase planned to own and operate the New York basketball franchise. He approached Ned Irish, the president of Madison Square Garden who had successfully promoted college basketball matches at the venue, with a proposal to lease the Garden on open dates for use by Kase's professional basketball team. Irish informed Kase that the Arena Managers Association of America, which owned the sports arenas in the largest cities, had a pact which required Madison Square Garden to own any professional basketball team that played there. However, Irish was persuaded that Kase's idea had merit and, in 1946, Irish became one of the founders of the new Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the original owner of the New York Knicks. Irish later paid Kase several thousand dollars for his role in organizing the new basketball league.

Kase's role in the formation of the BAA, which later became the NBA, has been acknowledged in several accounts of the NBA's history. One author wrote: "The impetus behind the formation of the BAA came mainly from Max Kase ..." Another noted:

The Basketball Association of America, a bastard child, sprang from the unlikely parentage of pro hockey and the Hearst press. Max Kase, sports editor of Hearst's New York Journal-American, conceived the BAA and drew up its charter ... Kase's idea was to fill those empty dates with pro basketball.

After Kase died, Walter Kennedy, the commissioner of the NBA from 1963–1975, said, "His personal involvement in the beginning of the NBA ... and his strong belief that pro basketball was destined to be a major sport were important factors in the growth and success of the NBA."

Offered is a 5.75” x 3.5” custom linen heavy stock card signed in green ink.

Item: 12100

Price: $295.00
Max Kase Signed AUTO Presentation Card NBA Pioneer CCNY Scandal Sportswriter