JuniorHoops.com is proud to introduce our enthusiastic basketball community of readers and viewers to memories of the American Basketball Association (ABA) as well as to the basketball league's present state which is one of growth, excitement and great basketball.
For those who are just getting acquainted with the ABA, the original ABA was founded in 1967, competing with the well-established National Basketball Association, until the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.
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. The ABA did switch to the 24 second shot clock for the 1975-76 season – 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 freewheeling style of the ABA eventually caught on with fans. In 1976, its last year of existence, the ABA pioneered the now-popular slam dunk contest at its all-star game in Denver.
Four NBA teams owe their origins to the ABA; New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs. During the course of its existence, the ABA featured dazzling above-the-rim players like Julius (Dr. J") Erving, Connie Hawkins, George ("Ice" Gervin, David Thompson, George McGinnis, Artis Gilmore, Moses Malone, Roger Brown and Dan (the "Horse") Issel.
Each of these electric stars first played professional basketball in the ABA -- with young legs and few limitations. The "frontier spirit" of the ABA also led to a group of memorable characters. The ABA had a coach named "Slick" and players named Whooper, Fatty and Goo. And, who could ever forget Marvin "Bad News" Barnes, "Mr. Excitement" Wendell Ladner, Warren Jabali, and Bage "magnolia Mouth" McCarthy.
Today, our very own, Arizona Scorpions, will play their first games on November 5th and 6th. Come out and support your local ABA team and make history. To visit the team, click here. Enjoy the video below and get to know the ABA of the past as well as the Arizona Scorpions who are now our local ABA future.