The ABA – American Basketball Association
The ABA (American Basketball Association) began play in 1967-68 and existed for nine full seasons from 1967 to 1976. During that time, the ABA fought a bitter war with the established National Basketball Association (the NBA) for players, fans, and media attention. The ABA, which introduced the three-point basket, a multi-colored ball and the All-Star Game Slam Dunk Contest, finaly folded in June 1976.
Four of the strongest ABA teams (the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs) joined the NBA and survived. The NBA also adopted the three-point basket (in 1979-80) and the All-Star Game Slam Dunk Contest. The older league, however, refused to take in the ABA ball. The other remaining ABA teams (such as the Kentucky Colonels, the Spirits of St. Louis, and the Virginia Squires) vanished, along with the ABA itself. However, the ABA is still vividly remembered by its loyal fans. The ABA was the “outlaw” league with the psychedelic red, white and blue basketball and huge afros. It was the “lively” league that adopted the three-point shot — the exciting “home run” of basketball — as its own. It was the “frontier” league that brought (or returned) modern professional basketball to hoops-crazy cities like Indianapolis, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Charlotte/Greensboro, Louisville, Norfolk, and Denver. The ABA also had a All Star Game. This game was an Eastern Division vs. Western Division contest from 1968-75. League membership had dropped to seven teams by 1976, the ABA’s last season, so the team in first place at the break (Denver) played an All-Star team made up from the other six clubs. Some of the information provided on the ABA is courtesy of Remember the ABA.