American Basketball Association

Infobox sports league
title=American Basketball Association
logo=
pixels=61px
sport=Basketball
founded=1967
teams=12
country=USA
champion=New York Nets
folded=1976
The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional basketball league founded in 1967, and eventually merged, in part, with the National Basketball Association (NBA).

League history

The original ABA was founded in 1967, competing with the well-established National Basketball Association, until reaching an agreement of merger in 1976. Ultimately, 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. A third, the Virginia Squires, 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–as opposed to the NBA's 24-second clock–and use of a three-point field goal arc). Also, the ABA used a colorful red, white and blue ball, instead of the NBA's traditional orange ball. The ABA also had teams, such as Virginia Squires, Carolina Cougars, and the Louisiana Buccaneers that praticed Regionalisation, that is playing games in mutiple arenas in mutiple cities. 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.

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, Kentucky, and Florida). The NBA was focused on the urban areas of the industrial northeast and midwest and showed no interest in placing a team south of Washington, DC.

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.cite web | title=ESPN Classic: Mikan was first pro to dominate the post | url = http://espn.go.com/classic/obit/s/2005/0602/2074322.html | accessdate=2007-12-04] 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 merger of the four ABA teams into the NBA. [cite web |url=http://www.nba.com/history/players/debusschere_bio.html |title=Dave DeBusschere Bio |accessdate=2008-03-09 |work=NBA.com]

List of ABA teams

List of ABA championships

Prominent players of the ABA


*Rick Barry
*Ron Boone
*Larry Brown
*Roger Brown
*Don Buse
*Mack Calvin
*Jim Chones
*Billy Cunningham
*Louie Dampier
*Mel Daniels
*Julius "Dr. J" Erving
*Donnie Freeman
*George "Ice Man" Gervin
*Artis Gilmore
*"'Jerry Harkness
*Connie Hawkins
*Spencer Haywood
*Dan Issel
*Bobby Jones
*Jimmy Jones
*Larry Jones
*Moses Malone
*George McGinnis
*Charlie Scott
*David "Skywalker" Thompson

uccession

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.

ee also

*ABA's All-Time Team
*List of defunct sports leagues
*Loose Balls written by: Terry Pluto
*Semi-Pro: a fictional comedy about the ABA starring Will Ferrell

References

External links

* [http://www.remembertheaba.com Remember the ABA]
* [http://www.abamemorabilia.com ABA Memorabilia]


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