As we watched the Golden State Warriors romp to their second NBA title in three years, we remembered that the Warriors actually won the first title in NBA history. (Boy, what good memory do we have!) We bet that team had a bunch of Jews on it, because this one certainly didn't...
Turns out that we were right. (Well, not exactly right; the then-Philadelphia Warriors title in 1946-47 came in the BAA, which evolved into the NBA in 1949. Splitting hairs here.) There were at least three Jews on that championship team: Jerry Fleishman, Ralph Kaplowitz, and Petey Rosenberg.
What's more, the Warriors were coached by Eddie Gottlieb, also a Jew. He led the team for a decade, and then became its owner. Gottlieb helped introduce a number of rules that modernized the league and is a member of Basketball Hall of Fame. The NBA Rookie of the Year trophy is named after him. Clearly, a rather important figure in basketball history.
But the Warriors Jewish ties go beyond that. Turns out that its three Jews and even some goyishe players came from a pre-BAA team that Gottlieb also coached and owned: the Philadelphia Sphas (which stood for South Philadelphia Hebrew Association). And we already devoted a whole profile to them! (Did we say that we have a good memory?)