Eddie Gottlieb attended South Philadelphia high school. He then attended college and briefly taught school, but his life-long passion was for the game of basketball. In 1918, he helped organize a basketball team for the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association, a neighborhood social club. The team broke off its affiliation with the club after one season but kept the SPHAS acronym for the next three decades. The SPHAS dominated the Philadelphia League in the mid-twenties winning three consecutive titles. In 1926, Gottlieb disbanded the SPHAS and  took the reigns of new Philadelphia franchise in the American Basketball League. After after two seasons of mediocre results and substantial financial losses, the team folded. In 1929, Gottlieb revived the SPHAS and entered the team  in the Eastern Basketball League where they won three more consecutive titles. In 1933, the Sphas joined the resurrected ABL and won the championship three of the first four seasons. Overall, the Sphas won seven of thirteen ABL titles between the 1933 and 1946. When the BAA was formed in 1946, Gottlieb, the only owner with a strong basketball background, had an enormous advantage that showed up in the standings the first few years. His team, (now called the Warriors) won the first BAA title in 1946-47 and returned to the finals the following season, but was defeated by the Baltimore Bullets. Gottieb remained as an active coach until the end of the 1954-55 season. Ironically, the Warriors won their second NBA title the following season. In 1962, Gottlieb sold the team to a group which transferred the franchise to San Francisco. Even after he sold his team, Gottlieb remained an influential figure in the NBA. He served as chairman of NBA Rules committee for 25 years, and drew up the NBA schedule right up until the time of his death in 1979. Gottlieb was a tenacious, at times stubborn person, but he was always a man of great personal integrity. His career in basketball reflected the professional game’s progression from teams sponsored by social clubs, to depression-era barnstorming teams, to weekend professional leagues, through the tentative first years of the BAA in the forties, to the birth of the superstar era with Wilt Chamberlain. Gottlieb was at the center of it all for over 60 years.


EDDIE GOTTLIEB Height: 5:07 Weight: 165 College: Pennsylvania School of Pedagogy
Edward Gottlieb Born: Sep 15, 1898 Died: Dec 7, 1979 Hometown: South Philadelphia, Pa.
Year Team League     GA FGM  FTM   FTA  PCT.  AST  PTS AVG
1917-18 Philadelphia YMHA ALP 15 12 6 30 2.0
1918-19 Philadelphia SPHAS ALP 5 3 3 0 9 1.8
1919-20 Philadelphia SPHAS ALP 13 8 11 27 2.1
1920-21 Philadelphia SPHAS ALP 8 11 5 18 .278 3 27 3.4
1921-22 Philadelphia SPHAS Indep
1922-23 Philadelphia


PBL 12 5 0 10 0.8
1923-24 Philadelphia SPHAS PBL 10 4 4 13 .308 12 1.2
1924-25 Philadelphia SPHAS Indep
1928-29 Philadelphia SPHAS Indep
1941-42 Philadelphia ABL 1 0 0 0 0.0
Major League Totals 23 9 4  13 .308 .3 22 1.0
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