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Chicago Stags
Chicago Stags logo
Conference Western (1946–49)
Central (1949–50)
Division Western Division
Founded 1946
History 1946–50
Arena Chicago Stadium
Location Chicago, Illinois
Team colors Red, blue, white
Head coach Harold Olsen (1946–1948)
Philip Brownstein (1948–1950)
Championships 0
Conference titles 1

The Chicago Stags were a National Basketball Association team based in Chicago, Illinois.

Franchise history[edit]

The Chicago Stags was founded in June 6, 1946 and folded in September 25, 1950. During their short history, they were able to acquire the draft rights to a young Bob Cousy in a trade with the Tri-Cities Blackhawks (although he never played a game for them). When the Stags folded, a dispersal draft was held to divide their players throughout the league. Cousy was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Despite their short existence in the BAA and NBA, the Stags made their way to the BAA finals in 1947, where they lost to the Philadelphia Warriors.

The beginning of a new league[edit]

In the BAA's inaugural year, there were 11 teams split into two divisions. The Chicago Stags were placed in the Western Division, and after 60 games were even with the St. Louis Bombers at 38-22 each. A tiebreaker game between the two teams on March 31st resulted in the Stags defeating the Bombers in overtime, 73-66, to clinch the division and a first-round bye. Under the initial playoff format, the two division champions faced each other in the semi-finals. The Stags defeated the Washington Capitols, the only team to finish with a better record than the Stags, 4-2, and went on to lose to the Philadelphia Warriors in the finals, 4-1.

1947–1948 season[edit]

The next season, the Stags finished second in their four-team division with a mark of 28–20, one game behind the St. Louis Bombers, and second overall in the league (the total number of teams was down from 11 to 8). In the playoffs, they won a tiebreaking game against the Washington Capitols), advancing to play the Boston Celtics in the quarter-finals. The Stags won, moving into the semi-finals for the second consecutive year. However, they were then defeated by the eventual champions, the Baltimore Bullets.


The next year, each division was instantly made more competitive with more teams, including the Minneapolis Lakers and the New York Knickerbockers. The Stags finished 3rd, 38–22, seven games behind division-winning Rochester Royals. The playoffs were expanded from 6 to 8 teams, and the Stags played the Lakers. They lost again to the eventual champions, the Lakers, 2–0.

The final season[edit]

In the Stags final season, the league consistently continued its growth, forming a third division, and a total of 17 teams. The Stags finished tied for third with the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (and behind the Lakers and Royals), 11 games back, with a 40–28 record, and again lost to the Lakers in the opening round. It marked the end of the NBA in Chicago until the Chicago Packers were enfranchised in 1961.

Players of note[edit]

Season-by-season records[edit]

NBA Champions Conference Champions Division Champions Playoff Berth
Season League Conference Finish Division Finish Wins Losses Win% GB Playoffs Awards
1946–47 BAA Western 1st 39 22 .639 Won BAA Semifinals (Capitols) 4–2
Lost BAA Finals (Warriors) 1–4
1947–48 BAA Western 2nd 28 20 .583 1 Won Division Tiebreaker (Capitols)
Won First Round (Boston) 2–1
Lost BAA Semifinals (Bullets) 0–2
1948–49 BAA Western 3rd 38 22 .633 7 Lost Division Semifinals (Lakers) 0–2
1949–50 NBA Central 3rd 40 28 .588 11 Lost Division Tiebreaker (Pistons)
Lost Division Semifinals (Lakers) 0–2
Regular season record 145 92 .612 1946–1950
Playoff record 8 14 .364 Postseason series record: 3–5


The Chicago Bulls wore replicas of the 1946 Stags uniforms during the 2005–06 NBA season as part of the NBA's "Hardwood Classics" program (they wore them on December 5, 2005, February 22, 2006 and April 16, 2006).[1][2]


  1. ^ "Bulls Celebrate 60th Anniversary of Chicago Stags". Chicago Bulls. December 2, 2005. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Ballantini, Brett (April 17, 2006). "STAG PARTY: BULLS PAY TRIBUTE TO THE CHICAGO STAGS". Chicago Bulls. Retrieved December 22, 2017.


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