Embedded Player On this day in 1950, Earl Lloyd became the first African-American to play in an National Basketball Association game, when he took to the court for the Washington Capitols. He played seven games for the Capitols before the team folded in 1951. Earl was later picked up by the Syracuse Nationals, and then by Detroit Pistons. He retired in 1960. Today Robert Siegel talks to Lloyd about his career, as the NBA kicks off its season tonight.