Ned Irish, 1991
A former director of Madison Square Garden Enterprises, he played a major role in the creation of the N.B.A. in 1946 as the founder of the New York Knicks. He first gained prominence in New York's basketball circles in 1934 when, as basketball director at the Garden, he introduced the college basketball doubleheader to the multi-purpose arena. That move proved immensely popular and paved the way for the sport's entrance into larger venues across the country.