American Basketball Association
Overview
 
The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 league founded in 1967. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.
The original ABA was founded in 1967, competing with the well-established National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

, until the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. According to The NBA Encyclopedia, its long-term goal was to force a merger with the more established league.
Encyclopedia
The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 league founded in 1967. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.

League history

The original ABA was founded in 1967, competing with the well-established National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

, until the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. According to The NBA Encyclopedia, its long-term goal was to force a merger with the more established league. ABA officials told potential owners 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.

Ultimately, four ABA teams were absorbed into the older league: the New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

, Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...

, Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

, and San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

. Two other clubs, the Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...

, and the Spirits of St. Louis
Spirits of St. Louis
The Spirits of St. Louis were one of two teams still in existence at the end of the American Basketball Association that did not survive the ABA-NBA merger. They were a member of the ABA in its last two seasons, 1974–75 and 1975–76, while playing their home games at the St...

, were disbanded upon the merger. A third, the Virginia Squires
Virginia Squires
The Virginia Squires were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association from 1970 until just before the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.-In Oakland :...

, had folded less than a month earlier, missing out on the opportunities that a merger might have provided.

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
Shot clock
A shot clock is used in some sports to quicken the pace of the game. It is normally associated with basketball, but has also found use in sports such as snooker, professional lacrosse, water polo, and korfball....

 (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
Three-point field goal
A three-point field goal is a field goal in a basketball game, made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc radiating from the basket...

 arc
Arc (geometry)
In geometry, an arc is a closed segment of a differentiable curve in the two-dimensional plane; for example, a circular arc is a segment of the circumference of a circle...

. 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
Carolina Cougars
Carolina Cougars was a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association that existed from late 1969 through 1974. The Cougars were originally a charter member of the ABA as the Houston Mavericks in 1967. The Mavericks moved to North Carolina in late 1969 after two unsuccessful...

, that played "home" games in several cities.

The ABA also cleverly went after four of the best referees in the NBA: Earl Strom
Earl Strom
Earl "Yogi" Strom was a professional basketball referee for 29 years in the National Basketball Association and for three years in the American Basketball Association . Strom is credited as the greatest referee in the history of the NBA and was known for his flamboyant style and ability to...

, John Vanak
John Vanak
John Vanak was a referee in the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association.In 1969, when the upstart American Basketball Association was raiding the NBA for talent, Vanak, along with three other top NBA "lead" referees — Joe Gushue, Earl Strom and Norm Drucker - jumped...

, Norm Drucker
Norm Drucker
Norm Drucker was a major influence in professional basketball officiating for over thirty-five years.He refereed in the National Basketball Association from 1953 to 1969...

 and Joe Gushue
Joe Gushue
Joe Gushue was a highly respected referee in the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association.In 1969, when the upstart American Basketball Association was raiding the NBA for talent, Gushue, along with three other top NBA "lead" referees—John Vanak, Earl Strom, and Norm...

, 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 lesser players performing in inadequate arenas, in front of very small crowds. But 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
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 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
Slam dunk
A slam dunk is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both hands over the rim. This is considered a normal field goal attempt; if successful it is worth two points. The term "slam dunk" was...

 contest at its all-star game
All-star game
An all-star game is an exhibition game played by the best players in their sports league, except in the circumstances of professional sports systems in which a democratic voting system is used...

 in Denver
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

.

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

  • George Mikan
    George Mikan
    George Lawrence Mikan, Jr. , nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball Association...

     1967–1969
  • James Gardner
    James Gardner
    James or Jim Gardner is the name of:* James Gardner , musician and composer* James Gardner , American journalist and news anchor* James A...

     1969 (interim
    Interim
    Interim is an album by British rock band The Fall, compiled from live and studio material and released in 2004. It features the first officially released versions of "Clasp Hands", "Blindness" and "What About Us?" — all of which were later included on the band's next studio album Fall Heads Roll —...

    )
  • Jack Dolph 1969–1972
  • Bob Carlson 1972–1973
  • Mike Storen
    Mike Storen
    Mike Storen is an American sports executive, perhaps best known for his tenure as commissioner of the American Basketball Association.Storen started in professional sports management in 1963, after serving in the United States Marine Corps, as promotions director for the Baltimore Bullets of the...

     1973–74
  • Tedd Munchak 1974–75
  • Dave DeBusschere
    Dave DeBusschere
    David Albert DeBusschere was an American NBA and major league baseball player and coach in the NBA. In 1996, DeBusschere was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history....

     1975–76


NBA great George Mikan
George Mikan
George Lawrence Mikan, Jr. , nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball Association...

 was the first commissioner of the ABA, where he introduced both the 3-point line and the league's trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 red, white and blue basketball. Mikan resigned in 1969. Dave DeBusschere
Dave DeBusschere
David Albert DeBusschere was an American NBA and major league baseball player and coach in the NBA. In 1996, DeBusschere was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history....

, 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.

Teams

Of the original 11 teams, only the Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...

 and Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

 remained for all nine seasons without relocating or changing team names.
  • Anaheim Amigos
    Anaheim Amigos
    The Anaheim Amigos/Los Angeles Stars were an American Basketball Association team based in Southern California. They were the Amigos during their first season in Anaheim and later moved to Los Angeles to become the Stars...

     (1967–1968; charter member of ABA; supplanted by Los Angeles Stars)
  • Baltimore Claws
    Baltimore Claws
    The Baltimore Claws was an American basketball team which was supposed to appear in the 1975-76 season in the American Basketball Association. The team collapsed before the season started, playing only three exhibition games in its brief history.-Background:...

     (1975; folded prior to start of final ABA season and ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Baltimore Hustlers (1975; renamed Baltimore Claws
    Baltimore Claws
    The Baltimore Claws was an American basketball team which was supposed to appear in the 1975-76 season in the American Basketball Association. The team collapsed before the season started, playing only three exhibition games in its brief history.-Background:...

    )
  • Carolina Cougars
    Carolina Cougars
    Carolina Cougars was a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association that existed from late 1969 through 1974. The Cougars were originally a charter member of the ABA as the Houston Mavericks in 1967. The Mavericks moved to North Carolina in late 1969 after two unsuccessful...

     (1969–1974; supplanted by Spirits of St. Louis
    Spirits of St. Louis
    The Spirits of St. Louis were one of two teams still in existence at the end of the American Basketball Association that did not survive the ABA-NBA merger. They were a member of the ABA in its last two seasons, 1974–75 and 1975–76, while playing their home games at the St...

    )
  • Dallas Chaparrals
    Dallas Chaparrals
    The Dallas Chaparrals were a charter member of the American Basketball Association, later becoming the San Antonio Spurs and joining the NBA.The team suffered from poor attendance and general disinterest in Dallas...

     (1967–1970; 1971–1973; charter member of ABA; moved and became San Antonio Spurs
    San Antonio Spurs
    The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

    )
  • Denver Larks (1967; renamed Denver Rockets)
  • Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets
    The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...

     (1974–present; formerly Denver Rockets; joined NBA in ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Denver Rockets (1967–1974; charter member of ABA; became Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets
    The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...

    )
  • The Floridians (1970–1972; folded in 1972)
  • Houston Mavericks
    Houston Mavericks
    The Houston Mavericks were a charter member of the American Basketball Association. They played in the upstart league's first two seasons, from 1967 to 1969. Their home arena was the Sam Houston Coliseum...

     (1967–1969; charter member of ABA; supplanted by Carolina Cougars
    Carolina Cougars
    Carolina Cougars was a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association that existed from late 1969 through 1974. The Cougars were originally a charter member of the ABA as the Houston Mavericks in 1967. The Mavericks moved to North Carolina in late 1969 after two unsuccessful...

    )
  • Indiana Pacers
    Indiana Pacers
    The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

     (1967–present; charter member of ABA; joined NBA in ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Kansas City
    Kansas City (ABA)
    Kansas City, Missouri was granted a charter franchise in the American Basketball Association in February 1967.On February 2, 1967, the ABA was created. One of the charter teams announced that day was an unnamed Kansas City franchise. The Kansas City team was awarded for $35,000 to James B...

     (1967)
  • Kentucky Colonels
    Kentucky Colonels
    The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...

     (1967–1976; charter member of ABA; folded as part of ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Los Angeles Stars (1968–1970; supplanted by Utah Stars
    Utah Stars
    The Utah Stars was an American Basketball Association team based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.Under head coach Bill Sharman the Stars were the first major professional basketball team to use a pre-game shootaround.-History:...

    )
  • Louisiana Buccaneers (1970; renamed New Orleans Buccaneers
    New Orleans Buccaneers
    New Orleans Buccaneers was a charter member of the American Basketball Association. After three seasons in New Orleans, Louisiana the franchise moved to Memphis, Tennessee where it became the Pros, Tams and Sounds for four years before an abortive move to Baltimore in 1975.-Origins:With the...

    , but became Memphis Pros
    Memphis Pros
    Memphis Pros were an American Basketball Association team during the 1970-1971 and 1971-1972 seasons.-Origins:The New Orleans Buccaneers were a charter member of the ABA and played for three seasons, 1967-1970, winning the Western Division championship in 1969...

     before season began)
  • Memphis Pros
    Memphis Pros
    Memphis Pros were an American Basketball Association team during the 1970-1971 and 1971-1972 seasons.-Origins:The New Orleans Buccaneers were a charter member of the ABA and played for three seasons, 1967-1970, winning the Western Division championship in 1969...

     (1970–1972; supplanted by Memphis Tams
    Memphis Tams
    The Memphis Tams were an American Basketball Association team during the 1972-1973 and 1973-1974 seasons. The team had previously been the New Orleans Buccaneers for three seasons before moving to Memphis, Tennessee where it became the Memphis Pros from 1970 through 1972. The team later became...

    )
  • Memphis Sounds
    Memphis Sounds
    Memphis Sounds was the final name of a franchise in the American Basketball Association. The team had begun as the New Orleans Buccaneers, and after three seasons in New Orleans, Louisiana moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where it had occasionally played some home games in the past to reasonable crowds...

     (1974–1975; supplanted by Baltimore Hustlers)
  • Memphis Tams
    Memphis Tams
    The Memphis Tams were an American Basketball Association team during the 1972-1973 and 1973-1974 seasons. The team had previously been the New Orleans Buccaneers for three seasons before moving to Memphis, Tennessee where it became the Memphis Pros from 1970 through 1972. The team later became...

     (1972–1974; supplanted by Memphis Sounds
    Memphis Sounds
    Memphis Sounds was the final name of a franchise in the American Basketball Association. The team had begun as the New Orleans Buccaneers, and after three seasons in New Orleans, Louisiana moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where it had occasionally played some home games in the past to reasonable crowds...

    )
  • Miami Floridians
    Miami Floridians
    The Miami Floridians, later in their history known simply as The Floridians, were a professional basketball franchise in the original, now-defunct American Basketball Association. The Miami Floridians played in the ABA from 1968 through 1970 when they became simply The Floridians...

     (1968–1970; supplanted by The Floridians)
  • Minnesota Muskies
    Minnesota Muskies
    The Minnesota Muskies were a charter member of the American Basketball Association, born with the league's creation on February 2, 1967. L.P. Shields and Fred Jefferson bought in to create the franchise for $30,000...

     (1967–1968; charter member of ABA; supplanted by Miami Floridians
    Miami Floridians
    The Miami Floridians, later in their history known simply as The Floridians, were a professional basketball franchise in the original, now-defunct American Basketball Association. The Miami Floridians played in the ABA from 1968 through 1970 when they became simply The Floridians...

    )
  • Minnesota Pipers (1968–1969; supplanted by Pittsburgh Pipers)
  • New Jersey Americans (1967–1968; charter member of ABA; supplanted by New York Nets)
  • New York Nets
    New Jersey Nets
    The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

     (1968–present; joined NBA in ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • New Orleans Buccaneers
    New Orleans Buccaneers
    New Orleans Buccaneers was a charter member of the American Basketball Association. After three seasons in New Orleans, Louisiana the franchise moved to Memphis, Tennessee where it became the Pros, Tams and Sounds for four years before an abortive move to Baltimore in 1975.-Origins:With the...

     (1967–1970; charter member of ABA; supplanted by Memphis Pros
    Memphis Pros
    Memphis Pros were an American Basketball Association team during the 1970-1971 and 1971-1972 seasons.-Origins:The New Orleans Buccaneers were a charter member of the ABA and played for three seasons, 1967-1970, winning the Western Division championship in 1969...

    )
  • Oakland Americans
    Oakland Oaks (ABA)
    The Oakland Oaks were a charter member of the original American Basketball Association. Formed in February 1967 as the Oakland Americans, the team changed its name to the Oaks prior to play that fall. Playing in the ABA during the 1967-68 and 1968-69 seasons, the team colors were green and gold.The...

     (1967; renamed Oakland Oaks
    Oakland Oaks (ABA)
    The Oakland Oaks were a charter member of the original American Basketball Association. Formed in February 1967 as the Oakland Americans, the team changed its name to the Oaks prior to play that fall. Playing in the ABA during the 1967-68 and 1968-69 seasons, the team colors were green and gold.The...

    )
  • Oakland Oaks
    Oakland Oaks (ABA)
    The Oakland Oaks were a charter member of the original American Basketball Association. Formed in February 1967 as the Oakland Americans, the team changed its name to the Oaks prior to play that fall. Playing in the ABA during the 1967-68 and 1968-69 seasons, the team colors were green and gold.The...

     (1967–1969; charter member of ABA; supplanted by Washington Caps
    Washington Caps
    The Washington Caps were an American Basketball Association team from 1969 through 1970. The franchise had previously been the Oakland Oaks. From 1970 through 1976 the team played as the Virginia Squires.-Origins:...

    )
  • Pittsburgh Condors
    Pittsburgh Condors
    The Pittsburgh Condors were a professional basketball team in the original American Basketball Association. Originally called the Pittsburgh Pipers, they were a charter franchise of the ABA...

     (1970–1972; folded in 1972)
  • Pittsburgh Pioneers
    Pittsburgh Condors
    The Pittsburgh Condors were a professional basketball team in the original American Basketball Association. Originally called the Pittsburgh Pipers, they were a charter franchise of the ABA...

     (1970; renamed Pittsburgh Condors
    Pittsburgh Condors
    The Pittsburgh Condors were a professional basketball team in the original American Basketball Association. Originally called the Pittsburgh Pipers, they were a charter franchise of the ABA...

    )
  • Pittsburgh Pipers (1967–1968; 1969–1970; charter member of ABA; supplanted by Minnesota Pipers in 1968 and Pittsburgh Condors
    Pittsburgh Condors
    The Pittsburgh Condors were a professional basketball team in the original American Basketball Association. Originally called the Pittsburgh Pipers, they were a charter franchise of the ABA...

     in 1970)
  • San Antonio Gunslingers
    San Antonio Spurs
    The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

     (1973; renamed San Antonio Spurs
    San Antonio Spurs
    The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

    )
  • San Antonio Spurs
    San Antonio Spurs
    The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....

     (1973–present; joined NBA in ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • San Diego Conquistadors
    San Diego Conquistadors
    The San Diego Conquistadors, nicknamed the "Q's", were an American Basketball Association team based in San Diego, California. They were the only expansion team in the history of the ABA. The team played from 1972 to 1975. They were replaced in the ABA by the San Diego Sails.-San Diego...

     (1972–1975; expansion team; supplanted by San Diego Sails
    San Diego Sails
    The San Diego Sails were an American Basketball Association team based in San Diego, California; the team played an incomplete season only, beginning the 1975-1976 ABA season but folding before its completion.-San Diego Conquistadors:...

    )
  • San Diego Sails
    San Diego Sails
    The San Diego Sails were an American Basketball Association team based in San Diego, California; the team played an incomplete season only, beginning the 1975-1976 ABA season but folding before its completion.-San Diego Conquistadors:...

     (1975; folded in ABA's final season before ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Spirits of St. Louis
    Spirits of St. Louis
    The Spirits of St. Louis were one of two teams still in existence at the end of the American Basketball Association that did not survive the ABA-NBA merger. They were a member of the ABA in its last two seasons, 1974–75 and 1975–76, while playing their home games at the St...

     (1974–1976; folded in ABA-NBA merger)
  • Texas Chaparrals (1970–1971; supplanted by Dallas Chaparrals
    Dallas Chaparrals
    The Dallas Chaparrals were a charter member of the American Basketball Association, later becoming the San Antonio Spurs and joining the NBA.The team suffered from poor attendance and general disinterest in Dallas...

    )
  • Utah Rockies
    Utah Rockies
    Utah Rockies was the name under which the Spirits of St. Louis were to play during the ultimately aborted 1976–77 American Basketball Association season....

     (1976; folded as part of ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Utah Stars
    Utah Stars
    The Utah Stars was an American Basketball Association team based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.Under head coach Bill Sharman the Stars were the first major professional basketball team to use a pre-game shootaround.-History:...

     (1970–1975; folded in ABA's final season before ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Virginia Squires
    Virginia Squires
    The Virginia Squires were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association from 1970 until just before the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.-In Oakland :...

     (1970–1976; folded at conclusion of ABA's final season but before ABA-NBA merger
    ABA-NBA merger
    The ABA–NBA merger was the merger of the American Basketball Association with the National Basketball Association, which after multiple attempts over several years finally occurred in 1976.- Origins of ABA-NBA competition :...

    )
  • Washington Caps
    Washington Caps
    The Washington Caps were an American Basketball Association team from 1969 through 1970. The franchise had previously been the Oakland Oaks. From 1970 through 1976 the team played as the Virginia Squires.-Origins:...

     (1969–1970; supplanted by Virginia Squires
    Virginia Squires
    The Virginia Squires were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association from 1970 until just before the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.-In Oakland :...

    )

List of ABA championships

{|{| class="wikitable"
|-
! Year
! Western Division champion
! Games
! Eastern Division champion
! Playoffs MVP
|-
| 1967–68
| New Orleans Buccaneers
New Orleans Buccaneers
New Orleans Buccaneers was a charter member of the American Basketball Association. After three seasons in New Orleans, Louisiana the franchise moved to Memphis, Tennessee where it became the Pros, Tams and Sounds for four years before an abortive move to Baltimore in 1975.-Origins:With the...


|3–4
| Pittsburgh Pipers
| Connie Hawkins
Connie Hawkins
Cornelius L. Hawkins is a former National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association player, Harlem Globetrotter and New York City playground legend...

 C, Pittsburgh
|-
| 1968–69
| Oakland Oaks
Oakland Oaks (ABA)
The Oakland Oaks were a charter member of the original American Basketball Association. Formed in February 1967 as the Oakland Americans, the team changed its name to the Oaks prior to play that fall. Playing in the ABA during the 1967-68 and 1968-69 seasons, the team colors were green and gold.The...


|4–1
| Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


| Warren Jabali
Warren Jabali
Warren Jabali is a retired American basketball player. He played professionally in the American Basketball Association from 1968 to 1975.-Early career:...

 G, Oakland
|-
|1969–70
|Los Angeles Stars
|2–4
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|Roger Brown F/G, Indiana
|-
|1970–71
|Utah Stars
Utah Stars
The Utah Stars was an American Basketball Association team based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.Under head coach Bill Sharman the Stars were the first major professional basketball team to use a pre-game shootaround.-History:...


|4–3
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|Zelmo Beaty
Zelmo Beaty
Zelmo "Big Z" Beaty is a former American basketball player.A 6'9" center from Prairie View A&M, Beaty was selected with the third pick of the 1962 National Basketball Association Draft by the St. Louis Hawks. Beaty was named to the inaugural NBA All-Rookie Team in 1963, and played a total of...

 C, Utah
|-
|1971–72
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|4–2
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|Freddie Lewis
Freddie Lewis
Frederick L. Lewis is a retired American basketball player. He played professionally in the National Basketball Association and now defunct American Basketball Association from 1966 to 1977....

 G, Indiana
|-
|1972–73
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|4–3
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|George McGinnis
George McGinnis
George F. McGinnis is a retired American professional basketball player, most notably with the Indiana Pacers of the American Basketball Association . He was drafted into the ABA from Indiana University in 1971...

 F/C, Indiana
|-
|1973–74
|Utah Stars
Utah Stars
The Utah Stars was an American Basketball Association team based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.Under head coach Bill Sharman the Stars were the first major professional basketball team to use a pre-game shootaround.-History:...


|1–4
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|Julius Erving
Julius Erving
Julius Winfield Erving II , commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a retired American basketball player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim....

 F, New York
|-
| 1974–75
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|1–4
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore is a retired American Hall of Fame basketball player who played in the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association...

 C, Kentucky
|-
|}

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

{|{| class="wikitable"
|-
! Year
! Winner
! Games
! Runners-up
! Playoffs MVP
|-
|1975–76
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|4–2
|Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...


|Julius Erving
Julius Erving
Julius Winfield Erving II , commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a retired American basketball player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim....

 F, New York
|-
|}

Season leaders

{| class="wikitable"
|-
| style="background-color:#FFFF99; border:1px solid #aaaaaa; width:6em"| *
|Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
|-
|}

Scoring leaders

{| class="wikitable sortable" style="font-size:95%;"
!Season
!Player
!Team(s)
!Games
played
!Points
Point (basketball)
Points in basketball are used to keep track of the score in a game. Points can be accumulated by making field goals or free throws ....


!PPG
Points per game
Points per game, often abbreviated PPG, is the average number of points scored by a player per game played in a sport, over the course of a series of games, a whole season, or a career. It is calculated by dividing the total number of points by number of games. The terminology is often used in...


|-
|
1967–68

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| *
|Pittsburgh Pipers
|70
|1875
|26.8
|-
|
1968–69

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| *
|Oakland Oaks
Oakland Oaks
Oakland Oaks may refer to:*Oakland Oaks , a minor league baseball team that played in the Pacific Coast League from 1903 to 1955*Oakland Oaks , a professional ice hockey team that played in the Pacific Coast Hockey League from 1948 to 1949...


|35
|1190
|34.0
|-
|
1969–70

|
|Denver Rockets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...


|84
|2519
|30.0
|-
|
1970–71

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| *
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|83
|2480
|29.9
|-
|
1971–72

|
|Virginia Squires
Virginia Squires
The Virginia Squires were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association from 1970 until just before the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.-In Oakland :...


|73
|2524
|34.6
|-
|
1972–73

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| *
|Virginia Squires
Virginia Squires
The Virginia Squires were a basketball franchise in the former American Basketball Association from 1970 until just before the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.-In Oakland :...


|71
|2268
|31.9
|-
|
1973–74

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| * (2)
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|84
|2299
|27.4
|-
|
1974–75

|
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|79
|2353
|29.8
|-
|
1975–76

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| * (3)
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|84
|2464
|29.3
|-
|}

Rebounding leaders

{| class="wikitable sortable" style="font-size:95%;"
!Season
!Player
!Team(s)
!Game
played
!Offensive
rebounds
!Defensive
rebounds
!Total
rebounds
Rebound (basketball)
A rebound in basketball is the act of successfully gaining possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds in basketball are a routine part in the game, as all possessions change after a shot is successfully made...


!RPG
|-
|
1967–68

|
|Minnesota Muskies
Minnesota Muskies
The Minnesota Muskies were a charter member of the American Basketball Association, born with the league's creation on February 2, 1967. L.P. Shields and Fred Jefferson bought in to create the franchise for $30,000...


|78
|502
|711
|1213
|15.6
|-
|
1968–69

| (2)
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|76
|383
|873
|1256
|16.5
|-
|
1969–70

|
|Denver Rockets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...


|84
|533
|1104
|1637
|19.5
|-
|
1970–71

| (3)
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|82
|394
|1081
|1475
|18.0
|-
|
1971–72

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| *
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|84
|421
|1070
|1491
|17.8
|-
|
1972–73

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| * (2)
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|84
|449
|1027
|1476
|17.6
|-
|
1973–74

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| * (3)
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|84
|478
|1060
|1538
|18.3
|-
|
1974–75

|
|San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....


|78
|369
|910
|1279
|16.4
|-
|
1975–76

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| * (4)
|Kentucky Colonels
Kentucky Colonels
The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels. The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did...


|84
|402
|901
|1301
|15.5
|-
|}

Assists leaders

{| class="wikitable sortable" style="font-size:95%;"
!Season
!Player
!Team(s)
!Games
played
!Assists
Assist (basketball)
In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist...


!APG
|-
|
1967–68

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| *
|New Orleans Buccaneers
New Orleans Buccaneers
New Orleans Buccaneers was a charter member of the American Basketball Association. After three seasons in New Orleans, Louisiana the franchise moved to Memphis, Tennessee where it became the Pros, Tams and Sounds for four years before an abortive move to Baltimore in 1975.-Origins:With the...


|78
|506
|6.5
|-
|
1968–69

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| * (2)
|Oakland Oaks
Oakland Oaks
Oakland Oaks may refer to:*Oakland Oaks , a minor league baseball team that played in the Pacific Coast League from 1903 to 1955*Oakland Oaks , a professional ice hockey team that played in the Pacific Coast Hockey League from 1948 to 1949...


|77
|544
|7.1
|-
|
1969–70

|style=background-color:#FFFF99| * (3)
|Washington Caps
Washington Caps
The Washington Caps were an American Basketball Association team from 1969 through 1970. The franchise had previously been the Oakland Oaks. From 1970 through 1976 the team played as the Virginia Squires.-Origins:...


|82
|580
|7.1
|-
|
1970–71

|
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|81
|672
|8.3
|-
|
1971–72

| (2)
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|80
|669
|8.4
|-
|
1972–73

| (3)
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|61
|453
|7.4
|-
|
1973–74

|
|Denver Rockets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...


|76
|619
|8.1
|-
|
1974–75

|
|Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...


|74
|570
|7.7
|-
|
1975–76

|
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|84
|689
|8.2
|-
|}

Steals leaders

{| class="wikitable sortable" style="font-size:95%;"
!Season
!Player
!Team(s)
!Games
played
!Steals
Steal (basketball)
In basketball, a steal occurs when a defensive player legally causes a turnover by his positive, aggressive action. This can be done by deflecting and controlling, catching, or batting to a teammate a pass or dribble of an offensive player...


!SPG
|-
|
1973–74

|
|Denver Rockets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...


|84
|250
|2.98
|-
|
1974–75

|
|New York Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...


|79
|221
|2.80
|-
|
1975–76

|
|Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...


|84
|346
|4.12
|-
|}

Blocks leaders

{| class="wikitable sortable" style="font-size:95%;"
!Season
!Player
!Team(s)
!Games
played
!Blocks
Block (basketball)
In basketball, a block , not to be confused with blocking, occurs when a defensive player legally deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player. The defender must not touch the offensive player's hands or otherwise a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur while the shot...


!BPG
|-
|
1973–74

|
|San Diego Conquistadors
San Diego Conquistadors
The San Diego Conquistadors, nicknamed the "Q's", were an American Basketball Association team based in San Diego, California. They were the only expansion team in the history of the ABA. The team played from 1972 to 1975. They were replaced in the ABA by the San Diego Sails.-San Diego...


|79
|316
|4.00
|-
|
1974–75

| (2)
|San Diego Conquistadors
San Diego Conquistadors
The San Diego Conquistadors, nicknamed the "Q's", were an American Basketball Association team based in San Diego, California. They were the only expansion team in the history of the ABA. The team played from 1972 to 1975. They were replaced in the ABA by the San Diego Sails.-San Diego...


|76
|246
|3.24
|-
|
1975–76

|
|San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They are part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ....


|83
|253
|3.05
|-
|}

Succession

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

  • List of defunct sports leagues
  • Loose Balls written by Terry Pluto
    Terry Pluto
    Terry Pluto is an award-winning sportswriter who primarily writes columns for The Plain Dealer, and formerly for the Akron Beacon Journal about Cleveland sports and religion. He has been named Ohio Sportswriter of the Year eight times...

  • Semi-Pro
    Semi-Pro
    Semi-Pro is a 2008 American sports screwball comedy film from New Line Cinema. The film was directed by Kent Alterman and stars Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin and Maura Tierney. The film was shot in Los Angeles near Dodger Stadium , in Detroit and in Flint, Michigan...

    , a comedy about the ABA starring Will Ferrell
    Will Ferrell
    John William "Will" Ferrell is an American comedian, impressionist, actor, and writer. Ferrell first established himself in the late 1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, and has subsequently starred in the comedy films Old School, Elf, Anchorman, Talladega...

    , of the fictional Flint Tropics
  • World Hockey Association
    World Hockey Association
    The World Hockey Association was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. It was the first major competition for the National Hockey League since the collapse of the Western Hockey League in 1926...

    , another league that intended to compete with its professional counterpart, the NHL

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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