Lloyd breaks the NBA color barrier

Updated: October 17, 2005, 4:35 PM ET
By Larry Schwartz | Special to ESPN.com

Oct. 31, 1950

Six months ago, Chuck Cooper became the first African-American drafted in the NBA, when Red Auerbach used the Boston Celtics' second-round pick to nab the second-team All-American from Duquesne. Then Sweetwater Clifton became the first African-American to sign an NBA contract, inked by the New York Knicks.

Because of the schedule, Earl Lloyd of the Washington Capitols becomes the first to break the color barrier in the NBA, playing today in a 78-70 season-opening loss to Rochester. Lloyd's appearance will beat by one day Cooper's debut with the Celtics.