SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The NBA is celebrating its 75th season this year, and many Syracuse residents don’t know that a staple of the league was born right here in Central New York. The loud shot clock buzzer is a sound that basketball fans have come to associate with the game itself, but most fans don’t know that the device was invented in Syracuse. The original shot clock is housed in Falcone Library at Le Moyne college, something that library director Inga Barnello said is a point of pride for locals.
“The native sports fans know. And then when they did the monument downtown it makes people more aware,” Barnello said. “In Armory Square they have a duplicate kind of thing… so no it’s a sense of pride for sports fans, oh yeah.”
The first ever shot clock was invented in 1953 by Danny Biasone, vice president and founding member of the Syracuse Nationals. Biasone’s invention helped push the game to transition from a slower, more methodical one, to the high-energy product that fans know today.
The device was first implemented in the NBA in 1954 which means from then on, teams only had 24 seconds to make a basket. And at the time fans weren’t sure if that would affect the game for good or for ill, but one longtime Syracuse resident who has seen the NBA post-shot clock as well as pre-shot clock, and is confident that the Syracuse invention changed the league for the better.
“And so it just revolutionized the game. I don’t know if the NBA would have survived if they didn’t put the shot clock in,” Joe Barnello said.
Barnello grew up going to Syracuse Nationals games, seeing NBA legends like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Roberston all play in Syracuse. In downtown Armory Square stands the replica shot clock, a constant reminder of the impact that Central New York has had on the sport of basketball.