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Why the ABA was so great

This list can't do it justice. The ABA was 70's, the uniforms, the hair, all of it. Even though I was young I was somehow able to appreciate it in real time. The league started in 1967 and lasted for ten years before merging into the NBA. A great book to read to learn more is Loose Balls by Terry Pluto.


    1. Time machine

    The Spirits of St. Louis were due to fly from Kentucky to Indianapolis and with the time zone change, the plane landed before it took off so to speak and Marvin Barnes refused to take the flight because he wasn't "going to get in no damn time machine."

    2. The greatest business decision ever made

    The Silna brothers owned the Spirits. They were not one of the four teams taken to the NBA when the leagues merged. The other teams each took a few million in payouts. The Silnas negotiated a piece of the TV revenue in perpetuity. The TV revenue back then was very small, the deal looked like it would pay the Silnas peanuts. It ended up paying them billions until renegotiated a few years ago but they are still getting paid.

    3. The great players

    This list will be incomplete but Julius Erving, Artis Gilmore, David Thompson, George Gervin, Connie Hawkins, Mel Daniels, Darnell Hillman, Charlie Scott and so many others.

    4. Julius Erving

    When he entered the league he was with the Virginia Squires and played for them for two seasons. The owner of the Squires traded him to the New York Nets because it was what the league needed. The league was always in financial trouble. Erving playing in the biggest market was the best shot the league had and the Squires owner accepted that reality.

    5. So many teams coming and quickly going

    Teams folding was a constant through the entire history of the league. There was always a scramble.

    6. Bob Costas

    His first gig out of college was as the play by play announcer for the Spirits

    7. Wilt Chamberlain

    Coached the San Diego Conquistadors, Q's for short.

    8. The 3 point line

    Invented in the ABA.

    9. Dunk contest

    Yup, this was an ABA idea too.

    10. The ball

    They used a red, white and blue ball.

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