The team’s original nickname was a nod to Chicago’s meatpacking industry; their home arena, the International Amphitheater, was next door to the Union Stock Yards. However, it was extremely unpopular since it was the same nickname used by the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, bitter rivals of the Chicago Bears.
In October 1961: The Packers play their first regular season game, losing to the New York Knicks 120–116 at Madison Square Garden. The Packers are coached by Jim Pollard and led by rookie forward Walt Bellamy, who averages 31.6 points and 19 rebounds per game in his first season.
In November 1961: The Packers win their first game, defeating the Cincinnati Royals 108–104 at home. The Packers play their home games at the International Amphitheatre.
In March 1962: The Packers finish their inaugural season with a 18–62 record, ranking last in the Western Division and missing the playoffs. Bellamy is named the NBA Rookie of the Year and makes the All-NBA First Team. He also sets a rookie record with 59 points in a game against the Lakers on March 31.
at the end of 1962, The Chicago Packers changed their name to the Zephyrs after their first season because they wanted a more distinctive name that was not associated with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. The name Zephyrs was chosen after a fan contest and referred to a passenger train that ran between Chicago and Denver. The team also changed ...
History of the Packers
The Chicago Packers have a long and storied history in the NBA. Founded in 1961, they were one of the original expansion teams that joined the league as part of an effort to increase competition among existing franchises. The team was initially known as the Zephyrs before being renamed after their owner, Dick Klein's hometown of Chicago. Throughout its first decade, it struggled to succeed on the court but acquired two future Hall-of-Famers—Bob Love and Chet Walker—in 1967, which helped turn things around for them.
In the 1969–70 season, under head coach Larry Costello’s guidance, they won their division title with a 48–34 record behind stellar play from Bob Love (25 points per game) and Chet Walker (20 points per game). They went on defeat Baltimore Bullets 4 games to 2 in Eastern Division Finals before facing off against Los Angeles Lakers in the 1970 NBA Finals, where they, unfortunately, lost 4 rounds straight despite putting up a brave fight throughout the series due largely thanks to contributions from Bob Love who averaged 28 points during playoffs run that year alone earning him All-Star selection following season despite his team not making the postseason at all back then.
Despite not having much playoff success since then until the late 90s when Michael Jordan led the Bulls dynasty to take over the whole city, Chicago Packers remain a beloved local franchise by many fans across the Windy City area thanks primarily due both historical significance & memorable moments such Golden Era squad provided them with throughout years. From iconic players like Bob Love & Chet Walker to legendary coaches like Larry Costello or even great front-office personnel responsible for bringing young stars like Scottie Pippen into the folding way back when - there is no shortage of reasons why this particular organization has stayed such close hearts so many basketball fanatics within the region today.
Chicago – Baltimore – Washington D.C.
1961 – Present / National Basketball Association
1997 – Present / Washington Wizards
1974 – 1997 / Washington Bullets
1973 – 1974 / Capital Bullets
1963 – 1973 / Baltimore Bullets
1962 – 1963 / Chicago Zephyrs
1961 – 1962 / Chicago Packers
Packers – The Chicago Packers have been among the most successful and recognizable teams in the history of the NBA. As a result, their nickname has become iconic as well. But where did this unique moniker come from?
It all began when the team was founded in 1961 by Dick Klein, who named his squad after his hometown of Chicago's beloved Green Bay Packers football team. The idea behind the name was to create an association between two great sports franchises that would help both teams gain recognition and success on a national level.
At first glance, it may seem odd for an NBA franchise to take its name from a professional football club – especially since basketball had only recently started gaining traction! However, Klein saw the potential for growth with such an unconventional move: he wanted fans across America to recognize and identify with the new basketball team just as they were familiar with Green Bay’s winning ways on Sundays during fall season games.
Fortunately for him (and us!), this strategy worked out perfectly - today, we know “the Pack” simply as one of the best-known names in all sports! From Michael Jordan leading them into championships throughout the 90s until now – thanks largely due Dick Klein’s vision back then - it is clear how important having such strong branding can be even decades later!
NBA Championships 0
2018 - Present / Capital One Arena
2007 – 2017 / Verizon Center
1997 – 2006 / MCI Center
1994 – 1997 / US Airways Arena
1973 – 1993 / Capital Centre
1963 – 1973 / Baltimore Civic Center
1962 – 1963 / Chicago Coliseum
1961 – 1962 / International Amphitheatre
2010 – Present / Ted Leonsis
2009 – 2010 / Estate of Abe Pollin and Ted Leonsis
1999 – 2009 / Abe Pollin and Ted Leonsis
1964 – 1999 / Abe Pollin
1961 – 1964 / David Trager
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
10 / Earl “The Pearl” Monroe
11 / Elvin Hayes
25 / Gus Johnson
41 / Wes Unseld
45 / Phil Chenier
*Blue is this team’s history