Bobby Plump and the Early Days of the NBA

Last month, Marketwatch had a piece on Bobby Plump. Plump is the guy the Jimmy Chitwood character from Hoosiers is based on. Something on the second page of the article caught my eye:

(I)n 1958, he turned down the National Basketball Association to play in the National Industrial Basketball League, featuring teams sponsored by Caterpillar Inc., Safeway Inc. and other corporate giants. If he’d signed with an NBA team, he’d have made $4,000 a year. Instead, he signed with the Phillips 66ers for $6,200.

Maybe some hoops historians know the answer to this. How common was it for teams in the Industrial League to pay more than the NBA for players? Does this mean Wilt, Russell, the Big O and others from that era weren’t necessarily playing against the highest level of competition? Anyways, that something to chew on for April 18th, 2012.



Filed under basketball

2 responses to “Bobby Plump and the Early Days of the NBA

  1. Rally

    I don’t know about the 60’s. But before that, Bob Kurland was probably the 2nd greatest center after Mikan, and he didn’t play in the NBA. He’s in the HOF for his college career.

    • Jon

      Thanks. Looking at Whiskeypedia, it says he worked for Phillips while playing for their team. Not sure, but the cynic in me is coming out. It thinks that this might be a sort of shamateurism that was practiced in baseball in the pre-NA days.

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