Story highlights

One of the NBA's founding teams

Hailed from a city of just 42,000 people

Reached the playoffs in the opening season

Forced out of league after just one year

CNN  — 

It’s a scorching hot day in August – the air is still and sticky; a storm is coming.

I’m waiting outside a towering old building on the banks of Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It’s a city by name, but it feels like a small town.

The imposing concrete fortress above me is a monument to the history of the NBA – a fading memory of very different times.

Inside, the heat is stifling. It’s obvious that they used to play basketball here – the hoops are still hanging at either end of the court – but it’s been a while since a ball went anywhere near them. A long while.