Stan Brown, RIP

NBL, BAA, and others

Stan Brown, RIP

Postby rlee » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:33 am

Stan Brown, former pro-hoops player

Philadelphia Daily News

ONE DAY in fall 1946, Stan Brown, considered the best scholastic basketball player in the city, walked into his South Philadelphia home and found the legendary Eddie Gottlieb sitting there.
Gottlieb, considered the man who brought pro basketball to Philadelphia with his South Philadelphia Hebrew Association (Sphas) team in the '20s, was there to make Stan a deal.

Although Stan was only 17 and still a student at South Philadelphia High School, Gottlieb wanted the 6 foot 3, 200-pound forward to turn pro.

Stan had been looking forward to switching to the now-defunct Brown Prep to prepare for college, but money was tight in the family and he couldn't resist Gottlieb's offer.

He recalled in a 1993 interview with the Daily News' Ted Silary that he thought he made $50 a game playing for the Sphas.

Stanley Brown, who later played with the former Philadelphia Warriors, also owned and coached by Gottlieb, then spent his working career as a delivery- truck driver for the old Evening Bulletin for 30 years, died Sunday of a heart attack while recovering from a hip replacement.

He was 80 and lived in Dover, Del., but had lived most of his life in South Philadelphia and the Northeast.

Silary interviewed Stan on the occasion of the drafting of Kobe Bryant by the Charlotte Hornets. Bryant, then also 17, played at Lower Merion High School. Silary wanted to contrast the excitement and media play that Bryant received with Stan's quiet, almost unnoticed entry into the pros.

Bryant was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and remains a star there. Stan Brown went off to play for the Sphas of the American Basketball League, which became the Basketball Association of America and then today's National Basketball Association.

At Southern High, Stan led the school to a second consecutive Public League championship as a junior. He exploded for a 49-point game and set a five-county Philadelphia-area record for most points in league play (337, a 24.1 average).

Asked by Silary why he had left high school for pro ball, Stan said, "Money was tight; my father was very sick, out of work, bedridden.

"It wasn't a lot of money, but it was a lot when you didn't have anything."

The Sphas were coached in those days by Harry Litwack, who would later gain fame as Temple University's basketball coach.

As a pro, Stan played 19 games for the Sphas. His NBA career with the old Warriors consisted of 34 games and 104 points.

With the Warriors, Stan roomed for a while with the legendary Joe Fulks, one of the game's highest-scoring forwards, a pioneer of the jump shot. He was shot to death in an argument in 1976.

As a kid among older players for the Sphas, Stan said he was accepted by his teammates, but the team ran into anti-Semitism on the road.

"At some places with the Sphas - Wilmington, in particular - we'd be called every name in the book," he told Silary.

"We played a lot of exhibitions, sometimes against the [Harlem] Globetrotters. Beat 'em sometimes, too. They didn't like that. They wanted control of the game, but we were there to play."

He said his best year in basketball netted him $3,500.

Stan was born in Northeast Philadelphia to Myer and Edna Brown. The family moved to South Philadelphia when he was 11. He didn't graduate from South Philadelphia High School, but the school later gave him an honorary diploma.

After he retired from the Bulletin, he worked for a time for a mortgage company owned by his son, Scott. Stan and his wife, Loretta, moved to Dover about five years ago.

Besides his wife of 60 years and his son, Stan is survived by a daughter, Myra, and two grandchildren.
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Re: Stan Brown, RIP

Postby MCT » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:06 pm

As a pro, Stan played 19 games for the Sphas. His NBA career with the old Warriors consisted of 34 games and 104 points.

That's not correct; there seems to be some confusion in the article around the relationship between the Sphas and the Warriors. Brown played 19 games for the Philadelphia Warriors of the BAA during the 1947-48 season. He then played another 15 games for the same franchise during the 1951-52 season, by which time it was part of the NBA. This adds up to a grand total of 34 games of "official" NBA experience, since the NBA considers the BAA to be its predecessor and recognizes all stats from the BAA.

According to the ABL section of the APBR web site, Brown played 32 ABL games for the Sphas in 1946-47 (averaging 13.5 ppg), 17 in 1947-48 (14.4 ppg), and 33 in 1948-49 (15.1 ppg). Since ABL seasons were typically 30-35 games (the Sphas played 32 ABL games in 1947-47, 32 in 1947-48, and 34 in 1948-49), it looks like Brown essentially spent the entire 1946-47 and 1948-49 seasons with the Sphas, while splitting 1947-48 between the Sphas and Warriors.

After 1949, the Sphas apparently left the ABL (IINM, they went back to being an independent touring team, and were eventually bought by Abe Saperstein to serve as one of the Globetrotters' travelling opponents). The only further record of Brown on the APBR site is a 9-game stint with Trenton of the ABL during 1949-50 (9.9. ppg). Does anyone know where else Brown played after 1949? I'm guessing that he kept playing somewhere, if he resurfaced with the Warriors a few years later.
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Postby rlee » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:29 am

Stan Brown:

7 games w/ Sunbury Mercs of the EBL in 49-50:

Ed Lerner 27 157 111 425 15.7
Frank Martello 27 146 78 370 13.7
Dave Fox 23 83 140 306 13.3
Gil Swartz 27 112 50 274 10.1
Bart Adams 27 97 64 258 9.6
Jerry Rullo 11 67 42 176 16.0
Stan Brown 7 52 29 133 19.0
Stan Novak 25 34 18 86 3.4
Aaron Tanitsky 3 15 7 37 12.3
Jack Kane 7 10 8 28 4.0
Charles Bellak 2 7 3 17 8.5
Marty Quinn 4 5 2 12 3.0
John Lose 5 1 2 4 0.8
Gorham Getshell 3 0 0 0 0.0
Totals 27 786 554 2126 78.7

Fox, Tanitsky & Getshell were former SPHAS.

Rullo played 95 games in the BAA/NBA between 1946 & 1950, 93 of which were w/ the Warriors.

Stan Brown also played for the SPHAS after they became an exhibition team.
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Globetrotter's foils

Postby luckyshow » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:09 am

I think the patsy opponent strategy started at least in early 1950s, or perhaps 1947 when they began collecting these famous named teams like the NY Celtics, Rens, Sphas, etc. It is surprising they won anytime, perhaps this strategy evolved in these early years...

And it is not discussed much, if at all. They were playing legit games against the LAkers, other legit pro teams, the College All-Stars, etc., at the same time that they were also playing exhibition games against these patsy teams with the famous names (that he now owned)

It is not some nefarious evil, no need to label Saperstein for it. It wasn't done in secret. It was accepted. It was pretty obvious. Maybe that is why there isn't discussions of it. They weren't hiding anything.

It isn't like fans in the crowd started yelling at the refs to call traveling when they were setting up for a field goal or taking a step while spinning the ball on a finger. And that stuff didn't take place in teh serious games.

It might be interesting to find out when it was decided that these patsy opponents wouldn't win anymore. I recall reading Red Klotz's comments on when his Washington Generals won a game. It seemed to be a fluke, when a close game just sort of mistake ended that way.
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Postby Keith Ellis » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:09 pm

You mayn't think it was "evil," Paul, but the Sapersteinian strategy of stooge teams coincided w/ the State Department's stated goal of showcasing the Trotters around the world as a Cold War argument against the Soviets who pointed to Jim Crow laws & Northern segregation as evidence of an unjust society.

By hook or, increasingly, by crook, the Trotters had to win their games because the emerging era of the American Dream demanded it. Uncle Sam, meet dis-Honest Abe. Draped in red-white-&-blue to boot.
Keith Ellis

Postby rlee » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:05 pm

Nice theory but, given the state of international ball 60 years ago, no one was concerned that there were any int'l teams that could contest Sweets, Goose, Marques, Babe, Rookie, Woods, Buie, Grider, Clarence Wilson, Ermer, JC Gipson, Hillard, Garner, Pop, Frank Washington straight up, especially in light of the success the Trotters were having vs the loaded College All-Stars here in the states.

Check out Dave Zinkoff's "Around the World w/ the Harlem Globetrotters" for a detailed descriotion of the Euro visits/tours/games
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Postby rlee » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:18 pm

Keith: How in the world does one define a 40+ year period as "suddenly". I'm sure even you are going to have a hard time w/ that one. (Maybe not, anyhow I await the alchemy. sophistry, wordplay or whatever.)

Int'l ball in 1950 - not that strong - no one, including Ben Green, that I've read supports the thesis that there was any concern in 1950 for God's sake of competitive strength of int'l teams. Better than Arizin, Cousy, Sharman, Garrett, Hagan, Shue, Forte, Twyman, Gola, & their all-america college cohorts? No one thought so. Further evidence, on the Euro tours, the Trotters would typically open up 50-20 or similar leads before they started clowning.

I'm not sure how the previous post somehow misled on this point, but here goes: the post had zero, nothing, rien, nada, zip, zilch, zed to do w/ when playing stooge teams may have started - I'm pretty certain it wouldn't be that hard to research. (Did I say that the point of the post was ALTOGETHER different?). The issue was whether there was collusion w/ the state dept to make sure that the foreign teams didn't beat the Trotters. Never happened & historically one can see why.

I kind of hate when I say, for example, "3+3= 6" & the response is "wait a minute, how can you say that Thursday hasn't been noted as such on the moon since In-n-Out Burger opened".
Last edited by rlee on Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chuck Durante » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:43 pm

Philadelphia basketball pioneer dies at 80

'Loady' Brown, who went straight from high school to pro ball in 1946, lived in Dover

The News Journal

Decades before LeBron James forced the NBA to change its player eligibility rules, Stanley "Loady" Brown skipped college to play professional basketball.

As a junior at Southern High School in Philadelphia, Brown led his team to its second straight Public League championship in 1945, scoring 49 points in the final.

A year later, Brown was playing professional basketball for the Philadelphia Sphas. He went on to play with the Philadelphia Warriors, who would join the NBA in 1949 and are now the Golden State Warriors.

Brown, a South Philadelphia native who moved to Dover about five years ago, died on Sunday at the age of 80. He had been hospitalized to undergo a second hip replacement but suffered a heart attack.

Gabe Egan, who played with Brown at Southern, remembers him as one of the best players in the history of Philadelphia high school basketball. Egan said Brown could have excelled at football and baseball, as well.

"I can say that he was the best player ever to come out of Southern," Egan said. "A great guy. He could shoot with any hand, under the basket, just a great all-around player. I used to guard him in practice, but it was tough. He could throw a football with either hand, but basketball was his sport."

Entering his senior season in 1946, Brown had planned to attend the now defunct Brown Prep to improve his grades.

One day, though, he walked into his South Philly home and was surprised to see Eddie Gottlieb sitting in the living room. Gottlieb was the coach of the Warriors and owner of the Sphas.

Gottlieb wanted to sign Brown. With money being tight for his family, Brown decided that even though he wanted to attend college, he had to make the leap to professional basketball.

That first season, Brown made about $50 per game. His best year earned him $3,500.

"I think he was forced to leave early," Egan said. "His family needed money. He would have been glad to pursue his education and play at the college level, but he had no alternative."

In his first game with the Sphas, Brown scored 11 points against the Patterson Crescents. The 1946 season would be his best. Brown was third in scoring in the American Basketball League at 13.5 points per game.

The ABL was a farm system to the Basketball Association of America, which became the National Basketball Association in 1949.

Brown joined the Warriors in the 1947-48 season, but stuck with the team for only 19 games before being sent back to the Sphas to further develop his game.

His second and final run with the Warriors came in 1951, when he played 15 games. His career in the NBA was short, as he scored only 104 points in 34 games.

But Egan feels Brown should be remembered for the person he was, not the player he wasn't.

"After high school we went out separate ways," Egan said. "We renewed our relationship. We had been in touch right down to the last two weeks. He was a good family man, a hard-working guy, went through a lot of pain.

"As an athlete having played the game, I cannot remember anybody who was good as him in the Public or Catholic League. Everyone I know says the same thing. As a person, he was a good guy. You would consider him an excellent friend. He was just a genuinely nice guy."

As for the nickname "Loady," its origins are unknown.

"He didn't like it," Egan said. "But of course, we all knew him as 'Loady.' "

After his playing days, Brown worked for 30 years as a delivery truck driver for the Philadelphia Bulletin. He and his wife, Loretta, lived in the Philadelphia area before moving to Delaware. Brown spent his later years helping his son, Scott, at his mortgage company.

Memorial services for Brown will be held today at noon at Torbert Funeral Chapel, 1145 E. Lebanon Road in Dover.
Chuck Durante
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Postby rlee » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:34 pm

Who else attended Southern H.S. in Philly?:

Nate Blackwell
Ollie Johnson
Red Klotz
Petey Rosenberg
Lionel Simmons
Bunny Wilson
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Postby rlee » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:59 pm

From "Philly Hoops" by James Rosin:

"By 1946 the SPHAS and the ABL had seen its day as the top pro basketball team & league...But the SPHAS continued to compete in the ABL against teams in Wilmington, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Paterson, Trenton, Brooklyn, Hartford, Wilkes Barre and Scranton.

Frank Stanczak (Sphas Guard, 1948-49): 'During the War Years, most of the SPHAS team was made up of New Yorkers. BUt in the late '40s, our lineup was mostly Philadelphians: Stan Brown, Len Weiner, Aaaron Tanitsky, Bill McCahan, Mendy Snyder & Eddie Lyons.'

"In 1949, a depleted SPHAS group dropped out of the ABL and became an exhibition team. When Red Klotz returned as player-coach, he staged exhibition games with the Globetrotters all over the country. In 1952, Pete Monska succeeded Klotz as coach.

Bob Lojewski (SPHAS forward 1952-54): 'When I joined the SPHAS in '52, there were 3 exhibition teams that played the Trotters. The other 2 were the Wash Generals & Toledo Mercs. We played about 8 games a week & on the weekends we played both afternoon & evening games. I played my 1st SPHA game in MSG. I was about 19, could jump oveer the roof, but knew nothing about the Trotters or their style of play. They put me on Goose and the 1st tie he tried his patented hook shot, I blocked it. He tried it again and I blocked that too. So he turned & spit at me. I was shicked. I couldn't believe it. Here was this established star and he couldn't take the heat. At the time-out, Monska instructed me to give him more room. But Pete wasn't too upset about it. I think he got pleasure out of watching Goose Tatum get his shot stuffed.'

George Dempsey (SPHAS Guard 51-52, Phila Warriors 54-58): When I was with the SPHAS and would cover Goose in the pivot, he did this act where he would place the ball on the floor & we were supposed togo along w/ the act & pretend to look for it too. Ut I never pretended. The minute I saw the loose ball, I would pick it up and dribble down the floor w/ it & that would ruin their act. After I did it a few times, Saperstein told Monska I had to go along w/ the act or I was off the floor. All in all, it was a great experience playing with the SPHAS during their exhibition years. I got to travel all over, was paid well, & it turned out to be a stepping-stone to the NBA.'

"In 1954, the SPHAS disbanded. The little team that couldn't but did survived for 36 years & left a rich legacy in Philly sports history."
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