The game of basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-American physician, in December 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts to condition young athletes during cold months. It consisted of peach baskets and a soccer style ball. Naismith lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
Stacey Augmon gained the nickname "Plastic Man" due to his athletic ability to "stretch". When he was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the ninth pick of the 1991 NBA Draft, Bill Walton famously said "Russell begat Kareem, Kareem begat Magic, and so Magic has begat the Plastic Man."
The first professional basketball league was founded in 1898. Six teams took part in the National Basketball League, and the first champions were the Trenton Nationals, followed by the New York Wanderers, the Bristol Pile Drivers and the Camden Electrics. The league was abandoned in 1904.
In 1984, the league renamed the trophy to honor outgoing NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien. O'Brien, who served as commissioner from 1975-84, was previously the Postmaster General under Lyndon Johnson and a chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Cousy was initially drafted as the third overall pick in the first round of the 1950 NBA draft by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, but after he refused to report, he was picked up by Boston. Cousy had a very successful career with the Celtics, playing on six championship teams, being voted into 13 NBA All-Star Games, and winning the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 1957.