In this edition of Throw Back Thursday we honor the great tradition of the American Basketball Association! The NBA wouldn’t be what it is today if it didn’t incorporate some of the ABA’s best teams, players, and style. All basketball fans young and old, reminisce with us, while we bring back our favorite teams of the past!
Denver Rockets – The Rockets were a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA) when it was founded in 1967. Success came quickly when future Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood was drafted in 1969, leading Denver to the Western Division Finals. In 1974, knowing the leagues would merge; the Rockets changed their name to the Nuggets.
Memphis Tams – The ABA came to Memphis in 1970 and nicknamed their team the Tams in 1972. The mascot name is an acronym for Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Professional basketball in Memphis would fold with the ABA in 1976 and wouldn’t return until 2001.
Texas Chaparrals - The Chaparrals played home games in Dallas, Fort Worth, and as far away as Lubbock. Originally based out of Dallas in 1967, the team rebranded themselves as the Texas Chaparrals, in an attempt to attract a larger fan base. In 1973 the Chaparrals were leased to a group in San Antonio and renamed the Spurs.
Utah Stars – When the ABA reached its pinnacle during the early 1970’s the Utah Stars emerged as one of the league top teams. The Stars appeared in two ABA Championships and beat the Kentucky Colonels in 1971 to take home the crown. Despite averaging over 8,500 fans per game the Stars folded with the ABA-NBA merger.
Minnesota Muskies – The Muskies had a very short yet successful stint in the new American Basketball Association. In their only season in Minnesota the Muskies won 50 games and reached the Eastern Division Championship. The team was sold the following year and moved to Miami.
New Jersey Americans – The Americans were one of the founding teams in the upstart ABA. Initially playing their home games in Teaneck, New Jersey they changed the mascot to Nets in 1968 before moving to New York. In 1976, the Nets were one of four ABA teams to merge into the NBA.
At Prep Sportswear we love reuniting fans with their favorite teams of the past. Check out our Vintage Sports Team Shop for a wide variety of retro gear!