The Steamrollers were one of the original eleven NBA franchises (when the league was called the Basketball Association of America). The franchise posted an all-time record of 46–122 (.274) before folding after three seasons. The Steamrollers still hold the dubious NBA record for the fewest games won in a season with six, in the 1947 – 1948 season. However, the ...
History of the Steamrollers
The Providence Steamrollers were an NBA team that played in the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) from 1946 to 1949. The team was founded by Al Cervi, a former professional basketball player, and coach previously involved with the Syracuse Nationals. The franchise was based out of Rhode Island’s capital city, Providence, where it enjoyed some success during its brief three-year run in the BAA/NBL.
The Steamrollers made their debut season in 1946-47 as part of the newly formed BAA league, which later merged with NBL to form what is now known as today's NBA. Led by head coach John Zaslowecky, they finished second overall during their inaugural season behind only George Mikan’s Minneapolis Lakers; however, they would fail to make any further progress over subsequent seasons due mainly to financial issues caused by ownership instability and lack of fan support at home games despite having a talented roster featuring players such as future Hall Of Famer Dolph Schayes, Jim Pollard & Ernie Calverley.
Despite not achieving much success on the court or financially off it, the legacy left behind by this short-lived but memorable franchise still lives on today through various tributes like retired jersey numbers being worn throughout different teams around North America or even mentions within conversations about great teams that have come before us. Even though we may never know how far this particular organization could have gone if given more time, we can be sure that its place among esteemed franchises will always remain intact thanks to its remarkable history and contribution towards making basketball what it is today.
1946 - 1949 / Basketball Association of America
1946 - 1949 / Providence Steamrollers
Steamrollers - The Providence Steamrollers were a professional basketball team that played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1946 to 1949. The name “Steamrollers” was derived from the city of Providence's industrial heritage, as steam-powered machinery and mills were once prevalent throughout the area.
When it comes to sports nicknames, few have more exciting origins than that of the Providence Steamrollers. The nickname is believed to be inspired by an old mill near downtown Rhode Island that produced paper products for many years before its closure in 1930 due to financial difficulties caused by the Great Depression. This particular mill had several large rollers used for flattening and smoothing out sheets of paper during production - hence why they became known as "steam rollers."
The team was founded in 1946 when local businessman Eddie O'Brien purchased a franchise from Detroit Pistons owner Fred Zollner with plans on relocating them into his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. After much deliberation over their new moniker, O'Brien eventually named his club after this iconic piece of local history: The Steamroller Mill! As such, he named his new NBA franchise after these powerful machines - thus becoming one of only two teams ever named based on something related directly to their home city’s past industry (the other being Chicago Stags).
While short-lived – lasting just three seasons – those who followed or rooted for them still remember fondly both their brief time spent playing at historic Kinsley Park Stadium and how unique & special it had an NBA squad whose name paid homage to such a significant part of provincial history!
NBA Championships 0
BAA Championship 0
1946 - 1949 / Rhode Island Auditorium
1946 – 1949 / Unknown
*Blue is this team’s history