The Capitols’ 81.7 win percentage in the BAA’s inaugural season was the highest in the NBA until surpassed by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1966 – 1967.
The Washington Capitols are also noteworthy for two long win streaks during their short history. In 1946, the Capitols won 17 straight games — a single season streak that remained the NBA’s longest until 1969. The 15–0 start of the 1948 – 1949 team was the best in NBA history until the Golden State Warriors broke it in 2015 – 2016 by starting 24-0, though the Houston Rockets had previously tied the Capitols’ record in 1993 – 1994.
Red caught the eye of Washington millionaire Mike Uline, who hired him to coach the Washington Capitols in the newly founded Basketball Association of America (BAA), a predecessor of the NBA.
In the 1946 – 1947 BAA season, Auerbach led a fast break-oriented team built around early BAA star Bones McKinney and various ex-Navy players to a 49–11 win–loss record, including a standard-setting 17-game winning streak that stood as the single-season league record until 1969. In the playoffs, however, they were defeated by the Chicago Stags in six games.
The next year the Capitols went 28–20 but were eliminated from the playoffs in a one-game Western Division tie-breaker. In the 1948 – 1949 BAA season, the Caps won their first 15 games and finished the season at 38–22. The team reached the BAA Finals, but were beaten by the Minneapolis Lakers, who were led by Hall-of-Fame center George Mikan. In the next season, the BAA and the rival league National Basketball League merged to become the NBA, and Auerbach felt he had to rebuild his squad. However, owner Uline declined his proposals, and Auerbach resigned.
The team was founded in 1946 as a charter BAA team; it became a charter NBA team in 1949. It folded on January 9, 1951 (with a 10–25 record).
1949 – 1951 / National Basketball Association
1946 – 1949 / Basketball Association of America
1946 – 1951 / Washington Capitols
Capitols – Being located in Washington D.C. a great nickname is always going to be the “Capitols.” Notice the spelling on the word Capitols.
NBA Championships 0
BAA Championship 0
1947 – 1951 / Uline Arena
1946 – 1951 / Unknown
*Blue is this team’s history