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Longshots - The Life & Times Of The American Basketball Association
Longshots - The Life & Times Of The American Basketball Association
Published: 2014/01/05
Channel: TheTrueSportsJunkie
ABA vs. NBA
ABA vs. NBA
Published: 2017/06/28
Channel: Company Man
The History of the ABA Part 1-6
The History of the ABA Part 1-6
Published: 2010/10/06
Channel: TheABAhistory
ABA League Top 10 of 2016
ABA League Top 10 of 2016
Published: 2016/12/31
Channel: ABA liga j.t.d.
Longshots   The Life & Times Of The American Basketball Association
Longshots The Life & Times Of The American Basketball Association
Published: 2014/12/10
Channel: ProfHenryT
American Basketball Association (ABA) Philly Cannons vs Reading Wizards
American Basketball Association (ABA) Philly Cannons vs Reading Wizards
Published: 2016/11/15
Channel: veetodesignd
Top 10 American Basketball Players Playing in China (CBA)
Top 10 American Basketball Players Playing in China (CBA)
Published: 2017/03/09
Channel: Basketball top 10s
USA vs China Exhibition Game Full Highlights
USA vs China Exhibition Game Full Highlights
Published: 2016/07/25
Channel: NBA
1970s: The NBA vs. the ABA
1970s: The NBA vs. the ABA
Published: 2008/06/24
Channel: ginoongkamote
1969 ABA Finals Highlights
1969 ABA Finals Highlights
Published: 2013/03/28
Channel: Hal15Greer
American Basketball Association Championship Finals 2016
American Basketball Association Championship Finals 2016
Published: 2016/03/08
Channel: Laredo Energy Arena
1976 ABA All-Star Game
1976 ABA All-Star Game
Published: 2012/05/25
Channel: TheABAhistory
ABA: Indiana Pacers vs. Denver Rockets
ABA: Indiana Pacers vs. Denver Rockets
Published: 2016/09/06
Channel: thecelebratedmisterk
Austin Boom vs  Texas Fuel, First Half, ABA Basketball League
Austin Boom vs Texas Fuel, First Half, ABA Basketball League
Published: 2015/03/23
Channel: Scott McTeer
Molly Bolin vs Nancy Lieberman WABA 1984 Womens American Basketball Association
Molly Bolin vs Nancy Lieberman WABA 1984 Womens American Basketball Association
Published: 2011/04/23
Channel: mjkazmer
Retired American Basketball Association Players Petition To The NBA For Benefits!
Retired American Basketball Association Players Petition To The NBA For Benefits!
Published: 2017/05/16
Channel: Billy Powell
American Basketball Association (ABA) 2016 Dunk Contest
American Basketball Association (ABA) 2016 Dunk Contest
Published: 2016/04/24
Channel: Independent Rob
Jan 15, 1975 ABA Spirits@Sounds
Jan 15, 1975 ABA Spirits@Sounds
Published: 2011/07/16
Channel: MrProster
Jacksonvile Giants vs DMV Warriors ABA Final 4 2016
Jacksonvile Giants vs DMV Warriors ABA Final 4 2016
Published: 2016/04/07
Channel: Jacksonville Giants
Dennis Murphy
Dennis Murphy's ABA merges with the NBA and its implications
Published: 2012/07/20
Channel: Elliott Haimoff
The History of the American Basketball Association Part 5 - 6
The History of the American Basketball Association Part 5 - 6
Published: 2014/08/03
Channel: Leroy Copesetic Johnson
1972 NBA vs ABA All-Star Game
1972 NBA vs ABA All-Star Game
Published: 2012/05/19
Channel: TheABAhistory
ABA Basketball Highlights - 1971 Dr. J Rookie Season! 1968 and 1970 Finals
ABA Basketball Highlights - 1971 Dr. J Rookie Season! 1968 and 1970 Finals
Published: 2017/03/09
Channel: Darrin Oliphant
The History of the American Basketball Association Part 2 - 6
The History of the American Basketball Association Part 2 - 6
Published: 2014/08/03
Channel: Leroy Copesetic Johnson
The Face of the ABA: Dr J
The Face of the ABA: Dr J
Published: 2013/01/19
Channel: TheCrunchySopa
7/5/2014 American Basketball League FT. LAUDERDALE SHARKS BASKETBALL GAME VS PALM BEACH HURRICANES
7/5/2014 American Basketball League FT. LAUDERDALE SHARKS BASKETBALL GAME VS PALM BEACH HURRICANES
Published: 2014/07/15
Channel: Ft. Lauderdale Sharks
Julius Erving ABA Highlights
Julius Erving ABA Highlights
Published: 2017/06/07
Channel: PockyCandy
Tjuan Benafactor - DUNK (Official music video of the American Basketball Association)
Tjuan Benafactor - DUNK (Official music video of the American Basketball Association)
Published: 2016/07/05
Channel: VydiaUrbanVEVO
UNPROTECTED HOOPS PRESENTS INTIMIDATOR STARRING IN AMERICAN BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (ABA)
UNPROTECTED HOOPS PRESENTS INTIMIDATOR STARRING IN AMERICAN BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (ABA)
Published: 2011/03/27
Channel: UNPROTECTED HOOPS
Prime Joe Caldwell - (Rare Clips from the 1971 ABA ASG)
Prime Joe Caldwell - (Rare Clips from the 1971 ABA ASG)
Published: 2017/03/13
Channel: Wilt Chamberlain Archive
Popular Videos - American Basketball Association & 1975–76 ABA season
Popular Videos - American Basketball Association & 1975–76 ABA season
Published: 2016/12/21
Channel: John Castro
Julius "Dr. J" Erving Looks Back at the 1976 ABA Dunk Contest
Julius "Dr. J" Erving Looks Back at the 1976 ABA Dunk Contest
Published: 2015/02/11
Channel: NBA
St. Pete Tide 1st Tryouts (Drills) 8/20/16 ABA Basketball
St. Pete Tide 1st Tryouts (Drills) 8/20/16 ABA Basketball
Published: 2016/08/24
Channel: St Pete Tide
American Basketball Association Championship Finals - Monday, April 4, 2016
American Basketball Association Championship Finals - Monday, April 4, 2016
Published: 2016/04/03
Channel: Laredo Energy Arena
Julius Erving (35pts) vs. Colonels (1974 ABA Playoffs)
Julius Erving (35pts) vs. Colonels (1974 ABA Playoffs)
Published: 2011/09/03
Channel: LamarMatic
1975 ABA Finals Game 4 Indiana-Kentucky
1975 ABA Finals Game 4 Indiana-Kentucky
Published: 2014/09/12
Channel: mike goodpaster
DC
DC's Filipino American Basketball Association
Published: 2013/04/13
Channel: Ben Penserga
Breakin
Breakin' The Glass, The American Basketball League - part 1.wmv
Published: 2010/02/19
Channel: BobR1955
1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest
1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest
Published: 2011/12/05
Channel: DoublEater
History of the ABA
History of the ABA's Carolina Cougars Produced/Narrated by Greg Kerr
Published: 2017/03/20
Channel: Greg Kerr
American Basketball Association
American Basketball Association
Published: 2012/02/26
Channel: magazinefairy
The History of the American Basketball Association Part 3 - 6
The History of the American Basketball Association Part 3 - 6
Published: 2014/08/03
Channel: Leroy Copesetic Johnson
Hoosier History Part 1 - The Indiana Pacers of the ABA
Hoosier History Part 1 - The Indiana Pacers of the ABA
Published: 2011/05/25
Channel: Roger Brown Jr.
2016 ABA All-Star Game: Team Dr. J vs Team Gervin
2016 ABA All-Star Game: Team Dr. J vs Team Gervin
Published: 2016/04/24
Channel: Baltimore Hawks
1974 ABA Playoff Game - COLONELS vs NETS (1 of 2)
1974 ABA Playoff Game - COLONELS vs NETS (1 of 2)
Published: 2012/05/15
Channel: TheABAhistory
ABA Pro Basketball: San Diego Surf vs Nevada Senators
ABA Pro Basketball: San Diego Surf vs Nevada Senators
Published: 2017/01/14
Channel: Mitchel Marmelstein
Miami Midnites vs South Florida Gold ABA Basketball 3/3/16
Miami Midnites vs South Florida Gold ABA Basketball 3/3/16
Published: 2016/03/04
Channel: Miami Midnites
Julius Erving (31pts/19rebs) vs. Nuggets (1976 ABA Finals/Last ABA Game)
Julius Erving (31pts/19rebs) vs. Nuggets (1976 ABA Finals/Last ABA Game)
Published: 2012/03/10
Channel: LamarMatic
A.B.A. Great - Dr. J
A.B.A. Great - Dr. J
Published: 2011/11/28
Channel: TheABAhistory
Kentucky Outlook- Remembering the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA
Kentucky Outlook- Remembering the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA
Published: 2012/04/19
Channel: WKU PBS
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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American Basketball Association (ABA)
American Basketball Association (shield).gif
Logo ABA
Sport Basketball
Founded 1967
Ceased 1976
No. of teams 11
Country United States of America
Last
champion(s)
New York Nets (2nd title)
Most titles Indiana Pacers (3 titles)

The original American Basketball Association (ABA) was a major-league professional basketball league founded in 1967. The ABA ceased to exist with the American Basketball Association–National Basketball Association merger in 1976, leading several teams to join the National Basketball Association and the introduction of the 3-point shot in the NBA.

League history[edit]

The ABA was conceived at a time stretching from 1960 through the mid-1970s when numerous upstart leagues were challenging, with varying degrees of success, the established major professional sports leagues in the United States. Basketball was seen as particularly vulnerable to a challenge; its major league, the National Basketball Association, was the youngest of the Big Four major leagues, having only played 21 seasons to that point, and was still fending off contemporary challenging leagues (it had been less than five years since the American Basketball League (ABL) shut down). According to one of the owners of the Indiana Pacers, its goal was to force a merger with the more established league. Potential investors were told that they could get an ABA team for half of what it cost to get an NBA expansion team at the time. When the merger occurred, ABA officials said their investment would more than double.[1]

The ABA distinguished itself from its older counterpart with a more wide-open, flashy style of offensive play, as well as differences in rules—a 30-second shot clock (as opposed to the NBA's 24-second clock, though the ABA did switch to the 24 second shot clock for the 1975–76 season) and use of a three-point field goal arc, pioneered in the earlier ABL. Also, the ABA used a colorful red, white and blue ball, instead of the NBA's traditional orange ball. The ABA also had several "regional" franchises, such as the Virginia Squires and Carolina Cougars, that played "home" games in several cities.

The ABA also went after four of the best referees in the NBA: Earl Strom, John Vanak, Norm Drucker and Joe Gushue, getting them to "jump" leagues by offering them far more in money and benefits. In Earl Strom's memoir Calling the Shots, Strom conveys both the heady sense of being courted by a rival league with money to burn—and also the depression that set in the next year when he began refereeing in the ABA, with less prominent players performing in inadequate arenas, in front of very small crowds. Nevertheless, the emergence of the ABA boosted the salaries of referees just as it did the salaries of players.

The freewheeling style of the ABA eventually caught on with fans, but the lack of a national television contract and protracted financial losses would spell doom for the ABA as an independent circuit. In 1976, its last year of existence, the ABA pioneered the now-popular slam dunk contest at its all-star game in Denver.

The league succeeded in forcing a merger with the NBA in the 1976 offseason. Four ABA teams were absorbed into the older league: the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs. Two other clubs, the Kentucky Colonels and the Spirits of St. Louis, were disbanded upon the merger, with each getting a buyout: the Colonels received a one-time buyout that owner John Y. Brown, Jr. used to purchase the NBA's Buffalo Braves, while the Spirits owners negotiated a cut of the other ABA teams' television revenues in perpetuity. This deal netted the ownership group of the Spirits over $300M through nearly four decades due to a large increase in television revenues. In 2014, the NBA and the Spirits ownership agreed to phase out future payments in exchange for a one-time payment of $500M, making the total value for the deal over $800M.[2] The seventh remaining team, the Virginia Squires, received nothing, as they had ceased operations shortly before the merger.

One of the more significant long-term contributions of the ABA to professional basketball was to tap into markets in the southeast that had been collegiate basketball hotbeds (including North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky). The NBA was focused on the urban areas of the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast. At the time, it showed no interest in placing a team south of Washington, D.C.

Commissioners[edit]

NBA great George Mikan was the first commissioner of the ABA, where he introduced both the 3-point line and the league's trademark red, white and blue basketball.[4] Mikan resigned in 1969. Dave DeBusschere, one of the stars of the New York Knicks championship teams, moved from his job as Vice President and GM of the ABA's New York Nets in 1975 to become the last commissioner of the ABA and facilitate the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.[5]

Teams[edit]

Of the original 11 teams, only the Kentucky Colonels and Indiana Pacers remained for all nine seasons without relocating, changing team names, or folding. However, the Denver Larks/Rockets/Nuggets, a team that had been assigned to Kansas City, Missouri, moved to Denver without playing a game in Kansas City due to the lack of a suitable arena. In addition to the four surviving ABA teams, seven current NBA markets have ABA heritage: Utah, Dallas, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Memphis, and Charlotte all had an ABA team before the NBA arrived. The Louisville, Kentucky-Indiana market, former home of the ABA Kentucky Colonels, is considered a top contender for the next NBA expansion or relocation, and in fact the then Vancouver Grizzlies had Louisville as one of its four "finalists" for a new home before choosing Memphis in 2001. The Colonels led the ABA in attendance five of the ABA's nine seasons, with regular sellouts of 16,600+ fans at Louisville's Freedom Hall, since replaced by the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center.[6]

List of ABA championships[edit]

Year Western Division champion Games Eastern Division champion Playoffs MVP
1967–68 New Orleans Buccaneers 3–4 Pittsburgh Pipers Connie Hawkins C, Pittsburgh
1968–69 Oakland Oaks 4–1 Indiana Pacers Warren Jabali G, Oakland
1969–70 Los Angeles Stars 2–4 Indiana Pacers Roger Brown F/G, Indiana
1970–71 Utah Stars 4–3 Kentucky Colonels Zelmo Beaty C, Utah
1971–72 Indiana Pacers 4–2 New York Nets Freddie Lewis G, Indiana
1972–73 Indiana Pacers 4–3 Kentucky Colonels George McGinnis F/C, Indiana
1973–74 Utah Stars 1–4 New York Nets Julius Erving F, New York
1974–75 Indiana Pacers 1–4 Kentucky Colonels Artis Gilmore C, Kentucky

With the ABA cut down to seven teams by the middle of its final season, the league abandoned divisional play.

Year Winner Games Runners-up Playoffs MVP
1975–76 New York Nets 4–2 Denver Nuggets Julius Erving F, New York

Prominent players[edit]

For more information, see ABA All-Time Team.[7]

Season leaders[edit]

* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Scoring leaders[edit]

Season Player Team(s) Games
played
Points PPG
1st
1967–68
Hawkins, ConnieConnie Hawkins* Pittsburgh Pipers 70 1875 26.8 BEST PPG
2st
1968–69
Barry, RickRick Barry* Oakland Oaks 35 1190 34.0
3st
1969–70
Haywood, SpencerSpencer Haywood* Denver Rockets 84 2519 30.0
1970–71
Issel, DanDan Issel* Kentucky Colonels 83 2480 29.9
1971–72
Scott, CharlieCharlie Scott Virginia Squires 73 2524 34.6 BEST POINT
1972–73
Erving, JuliusJulius Erving* Virginia Squires 71 2268 31.9
1973–74
Julius Erving* (2) New York Nets 84 2299 27.4
1974–75
McGinnis, GeorgeGeorge McGinnis* Indiana Pacers 79 2353 29.8
1975–76
Julius Erving* (3) New York Nets 84 2462 29.3

Rebounding leaders[edit]

Season Player Team(s) Game
played
Offensive
rebounds
Defensive
rebounds
Total
rebounds
RPG
1967–68
Daniels, MelMel Daniels* Minnesota Muskies 78 502 711 1213 15.6
1968–69
Mel Daniels* (2) Indiana Pacers 76 383 873 1256 16.5
1969–70
Spencer Haywood* Denver Rockets 84 533 1104 1637 19.5
1970–71
Mel Daniels* (3) Indiana Pacers 82 394 1081 1475 18.0
1971–72
Gilmore, ArtisArtis Gilmore* Kentucky Colonels 84 421 1070 1491 17.8
1972–73
Artis Gilmore* (2) Kentucky Colonels 84 449 1027 1476 17.6
1973–74
Artis Gilmore* (3) Kentucky Colonels 84 478 1060 1538 18.3
1974–75
Nater, SwenSwen Nater San Antonio Spurs 78 369 910 1279 16.4
1975–76
Artis Gilmore* (4) Kentucky Colonels 84 402 901 1303 15.5

Assists leaders[edit]

Season Player Team(s) Games
played
Assists APG
1967–68
Brown, LarryLarry Brown* New Orleans Buccaneers 78 506 6.5
1968–69
Larry Brown* (2) Oakland Oaks 77 544 7.1
1969–70
Larry Brown* (3) Washington Caps 82 580 7.1
1970–71
Melchionni, BillBill Melchionni New York Nets 81 672 8.3
1971–72
Bill Melchionni (2) New York Nets 80 669 8.4
1972–73
Bill Melchionni (3) New York Nets 61 453 7.4
1973–74
Smith, AlAl Smith Denver Rockets 76 619 8.1
1974–75
Calvin, MackMack Calvin Denver Nuggets 74 570 7.7
1975–76
Buse, DonDon Buse Indiana Pacers 84 689 8.2

Steals leaders[edit]

Season Player Team(s) Games
played
Steals SPG
1973–74
McClain, TedTed McClain Denver Rockets 84 250 2.98
1974–75
Taylor, BrianBrian Taylor New York Nets 79 221 2.80
1975–76
Don Buse Indiana Pacers 84 346 4.12

Blocks leaders[edit]

Season Player Team(s) Games
played
Blocks BPG
1973–74
Jones, CaldwellCaldwell Jones San Diego Conquistadors 79 316 4.00
1974–75
Caldwell Jones (2) San Diego Conquistadors 76 246 3.24
1975–76
Paultz, BillyBilly Paultz San Antonio Spurs 83 253 3.05

Awards[edit]

Succession[edit]

In 1999, a new league calling itself the ABA 2000 was established. The new league uses a similar red, white and blue basketball as the old ABA, but unlike the original ABA, it does not feature players of the same caliber as the NBA, nor does it play games in major arenas nor on television as the original ABA did.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 180. ISBN 0-679-43293-0. 
  2. ^ Burke, Monte. "The NBA Finally Puts An End To The Greatest Sports Deal Of All Time". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  3. ^ Sports Encyclopedia
  4. ^ "ESPN Classic: Mikan was first pro to dominate the post". Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  5. ^ "Dave DeBusschere Bio". NBA.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  6. ^ Official ABA Guides, 1967–1976.
  7. ^ RememberTheABA.com ABA All-Time Team Page (as selected at 30 year ABA anniversary event)

External links[edit]

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