American Basketball Association
Infobox sports league
title=American Basketball Association
champion=New York Nets
folded=1976The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional
basketballleague founded in 1967, and eventually merged, in part, with the National Basketball Association(NBA).
The original ABA was founded in 1967, competing with the well-established
National Basketball Association, until reaching an agreement of mergerin 1976. Ultimately, four ABA teams were absorbed into the older league: the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacersand San Antonio Spurs. Two other clubs, the Kentucky Colonelsand the Spirits of St. Louiswere 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 goalarc). 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 Buccaneersthat 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 televisioncontract and protracted financiallosses would spell doom for the ABA as an independent circuit. In 1976 (its last year of existence), the ABA pioneered the now-popular slam dunkcontest at its all-star gamein 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.
George Mikanwas the first commissioner of the ABA, where he introduced both the 3-point line and the league's trademarkred, 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
*Julius "Dr. J" Erving
*George "Ice Man" Gervin
*David "Skywalker" Thompson
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.
ABA's All-Time Team
List of defunct sports leagues
Loose Ballswritten by: Terry Pluto
Semi-Pro: a fictional comedy about the ABA starring Will Ferrell
* [http://www.remembertheaba.com Remember the ABA]
* [http://www.abamemorabilia.com ABA Memorabilia]
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