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8.21.2008

ABA Interludes

ABA Odds & Ends

UTAH STARS


Once were: Anaheim Amigos, Los Angeles Stars.

Biggest names: Moses Malone, Ron Boone, Zelmo Beatty, coach Bill Sharman.

Biggest moment: Fans stormed the court at the sold-out Salt Palace after Utah beat Kentucky in 1971 ABA Finals.

KENTUCKY COLONELS

Biggest names: Dan Issel, Louie Dampier, Artis Gilmore.

Biggest moment: Signed Gilmore in bidding war with NBA.

NEW YORK NETS

Once were: New Jersey Americans

Biggest names: Julius Erving, Rick Barry, Billy Paultz, coach Lou Carnesecca.

Biggest moment: In a rare nationally-televised game, beat Denver in Game 6 of ABA Finals to win the final league title.

VIRGINIA SQUIRES

Once were: Oakland Oaks, Washington Capitals

Biggest names: Dr. J, Iceman, Charlie Scott, Rick Barry.

Biggest moment: Teamed George Gervin with Julius Erving for half a season in 1973.

CAROLINA COUGARS

Once were: Houston Mavericks.

Later were: Spirits of St. Louis.

Biggest names: Joe Caldwell, Billy Cunningham, Marvin Barnes (St. Louis), Moses Malone (St. Louis).

Biggest moment: In November 1974, St. Louis started rookies Maurice Lucas and Marvin Barnes, with rookie broadcaster Bob Costas calling the game on KMOX.

INDIANA PACERS

Biggest names: Mel Daniels, George McGinnis, coach Slick Leonard.

Biggest moment: Moved into Market Square Arena in 1974, ensuring more big crowds and a bright future.

PITTSBURGH CONDORS

Once were: Pittsburgh Pipers, Minnesota Pipers

Biggest names: Connie Hawkins.

Biggest moment: Signing hometown hero Hawkins, who had been blackballed by the NBA over an unproven college scandal.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Once were: Dallas Chaparrals

Biggest names: George Gervin, Swen Nater.

Biggest moment: Drew over 6,000 fans to their San Antonio debut and in that first year, 1973-74, outdrew the NBA's Houston Rockets, creating the momentum to get San Antonio included in the NBA expansion.

DENVER ROCKETS/NUGGETS

Biggest names: Spencer Haywood, Bobby Jones, David Thompson, coach Larry Brown.

Biggest moment: Signed Spencer Haywood out of Detroit University. Haywood, the first collegian to turn pro before his senior season, was the ABA MVP as a rookie in 1970.

MIAMI FLORIDIANS

Once were: Minnesota Muskies

Biggest names: Mack Calvin.

Biggest moment: Scantily-clad ballgirls drew some interest.

MEMPHIS PROS/TAMS/SOUNDS

Once were: New Orleans Buccaneers

Later were: Baltimore Claws (never played a game).

Biggest names: Doug Moe and Larry Brown (with New Orleans).

Biggest moment: Charlie Finley bought the Memphis franchise in 1971, on the brink of his Oakland A's success. Alas, Finley didn't help.

SAN DIEGO CONQUISTADORS/SAILS

Biggest names: Caldwell Jones, coaches K.C. Jones, Wilt Chamberlain.

Biggest moment: In 1974 lost by only 294 votes a referendum to build a new arena in suburban San Diego.

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