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CAGE CHRONICLES
Winter 2000 APBR NEWSLETTER
Vol. I, No. I

In This Issue:
Introduction - Robert Bradley
U.S. Dream Teams - Al Hoffman
Basketball Trivia - Al Hoffman
The Name's the Same - John Grasso
How Good was the ABA - A Statistical Analysis - Dave Quinn
Letters from Nat Holman and Elmer Ripley - John Hogrogian
Where the ABA Players Came From - Robert Bradley & Dave Quinn
Historical Timeline of the Buffalo Braves - Robert Bradley

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the first edition of the Association for Professional Basketball Research Newsletter. For now the newsletter will be published quarterly, but bimonthly is our goal if interest warrants it.

If you'd like to send submissions for inclusion in our next newsletter or any suggestions, please send them to me at bradleyrd13@hotmail.com.

On to the latest APBR news:

Our membership has increased to 280 members, most of which have joined through the Internet. Unfortunately, some of the e-mail addresses provided are now dead. To help alleviate this problem I'm now asking for new members' residential addresses when they join. While this may discourage some members who would like to retain a certain degree of anonymity, the still have to option of signing up for the APBR's e-mail list if this is the case.

A second meeting of the members who live in Phoenix will take place on Saturday, November 4. If you have any interest in attending, let me know.

And finally, I'd like to thank everyone who's contributed to the site. There have been to many to name individually, but I'd like to mention a few.

Arthur Hundhausen, who became the APBR's second member, has been a great help, and his Remember the ABA site really opened my eyes to what the possibilities might be for a basketball history web site.

John Grasso has been invaluable in researching the early years of professional basketball, simply because I don't have the access to the resources that he does living here in the Southwest. John's willingness to spend the time researching the old timers, and to double-check information dating as far back as 1898 has enabled us to provided more information and to ensure greater accuracy.

And also, Roger Meyer, John Hogrogian, John Holcomb, J. Michael Kenyon, Bijan Bayne, Al Hoffman, Steve Brainerd, Jack Black, Bob Chaikin, Chris Anderson, Cort Reynolds, John Duxbury, Marc Foster, John Guy, Mel Bailey, Bernie Reuhle, Dick Pfander, Charles Johnson, David Bender, Steve Dimitry, Mark Estep, Dave Quinn, Al Kirk, Dave Litterer, Pat Premo, Dylan Sides, John Z. Smith and Mark Pollak who all contributed greatly to the content of the site.

Robert Bradley
October, 2000


U.S. DREAM TEAMS
Contributed by Al Hoffman

Somehow the topic of NBA players in the Olympics came up and we ended up speculating on what the U.S. teams might have looked like if they had always been eligible. Here's what we came up with. We might be a little off on the playing days of the first couple of teams but it was fun to think about. If our college players were pounding the world during most of this period then imagine what some of these teams would have done!

1988 - Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Alvin Robertson, Byron Scott, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins & James Worthy

1984 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Mo Cheeks, Julius Erving, Dennis Johnson, Magic Johnson, Bernard King, Moses Malone, Sidney Moncrief, Ralph Sampson, Isiah Thomas & Buck Williams.

1980 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, World B. Free, George Gervin, Dan Issel, Dennis Johnson, Magic Johnson, Marques Johnson, Maurice Lucas, Moses Malone & Paul Westphal

1976 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Rick Barry, Julius Erving, Artis Gilmore, Elvin Hayes, Pete Maravich, Bob McAdoo, George McGinnis, Ralph Simpson, David Thompson & JoJo White.

1972 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dave Bing, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, John Havlicek, Spencer Haywood, Dan Issel, Bob Love, Charlie Scott & Jerry West.

1968 - Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Connie Hawkins, Jerry Lucas, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell & Jerry West.

1964 - Elgin Baylor, Walt Bellamy, Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Gus Johnson, Sam Jones, Jerry Lucas, Bob Pettit, Oscar Robertson, Guy Rodgers, Bill Russell & Jerry West.

1960 - Paul Arizin, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Richie Guerin, Cliff Hagan, Bob Pettit, Bill Russell, Kenny Sears, Bill Sharman, Gene Shue & Jack Twyman.

1956 - Paul Arizin, Bob Cousy, Neil Johnston, Clyde Lovellette, Ed Macauley, Slater Martin, Dick McGuire, Bob Pettit, Dolph Schayes, Paul Seymour, Bill Sharman & Maurice Stokes.

1952 - Paul Arizin, Nat Clifton, Bob Cousy, Bob Davies, Larry Foust, Ed Macauley, Dick McGuire, George Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen, Andy Phillip, Jim Pollard & Bobby Wanzer.

1948 - Carl Braun, Ernie Calverly, Al Cervi, Nat Clifton, Bob Feerick, Joe Fulks, Marques Haynes, Buddy Jeannette, Bobby McDermott, George Mikan, Ed Sadowski & Max Zaslofsky.

1936 - Sonny Boswell, Barney Cable, Charles Cooper, Leroy Edwards, William Gates, Inman Jackson, Branch McCracken, Bobby McDermott, Jack Osburn, Willie Smith, John Wooden & Bill Yancey.

I should add that we tried to base the selections like the real-life selections; i.e. 10 of the 12 members are named the summer before the games. So, for instance Archibald might not have the juice after the '70-71 season. Gail Goodrich & Lou Hudson are certainly worthy. Not sure about Mullins circa '71 off the top of my head but he was an excellent shooter. Some years it was awful tough to come up with a team because it was hard to leave people out. We also discussed about would the NBA/ABA cooperate with USA Basketball jointly. Just for fun, we did teams based on 2 scenarios; 1) The NBA threatens a boycott if the ABA is included & the USOC caves or 2) The NBA threatens a boycott and the USOC tells 'em "see ya" and sends an all-ABA team.

1976 NBA ONLY - Abdul-Jabbar, McGinnis, Barry, Maravich, White, Hayes, McAdoo, Archibald, Dave Cowens, Randy Smith, Norm Van Lier, Bob Dandridge

1976 ABA ONLY - Erving, Thompson, Gilmore, Simpson, George Gervin, Dan Issel, Bobby Jones, James Silas, Don Buse, Larry Kenon, Billy Knight, Billy Paultz

1972 NBA ONLY - Dave DeBusschere, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, Gail Goodrich, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, West, Frazier, Bing, Havlicek, Love, Haywood

1972 ABA ONLY -Erving, Issel, Gilmore, Willie Wise, Mack Calvin, Ron Boone, Zelmo Beaty, Mel Daniels, Freddie Lewis, Donnie Freeman, Bill Melchionni, Jimmy Jones

1968 NBA ONLY - Chamberlain, Russell, West, Robertson, Reed, Bailey Howell, Baylor, Monroe, Havlicek, Lucas, Bing, Greer

1968 ABA ONLY - Connie Hawkins, Mel Daniels, Doug Moe, Roger Brown, Larry Brown, Louie Dampier
Larry Jones, John Beasley, Charlie Williams, Cincy Powell, Bob Netolicky, Freddie Lewis


BASKETBALL TRIVIA
Contributed by Al Hoffman

Only 2 men were NBA MVP's failed to make 1st Team All-NBA and they both wore Celtic Green. Bill Russell finished 2nd team behind Pettit in 1957-58 and Wilt in 1960-61 & 1961-62 while Dave Cowens finished 2nd team behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1972-73. You're MVP but you're not the best player at your position; go figure.

Wilt Chamberlain is the only rookie to win the All-Star game MVP when he did it in 1960.

The following players won the All-Star MVP but did not make the All-NBA team at the end of the season:

1966 Adrian Smith, Cin*
1971 Lenny Wilkens, Sea
1974 Bob Lanier, Det
1976 Dave Bing, Det
1978 Randy Smith, Buf
1979 David Thompson, Den
1981 Nate Archibald, Bos
1987 Tom Chambers, Sea
1992 Magic Johnson, LAL**

*Adrian Smith is the only All-Star MVP NEVER to make an All-NBA team in his career.
**Magic, of course, retired in November of 1991 without actually playing in any regular season games. Had he played that year, he most likely would've been on 1st, 2nd or 3rd team All-NBA.

ROOKIES WHO MADE 1ST TEAM ALL-NBA ALL-NBA SINCE 1950
1949-50 Alex Groza, Ins
1950-51 Ed Macauley, Bos
1954-55 Bob Pettit, Mil
1958-59 Elgin Baylor, Mpl
1959-60 Wilt Chamberlain, Phi
1960-61 Oscar Robertson, Cin
1965-66 Rick Barry, SFW
1968-69 Wes Unseld, Bal
1979-80 Larry Bird, Bos
1997-98 Tim Duncan, SAn

Notice anything? All but Groza & Duncan are in the Hall of Fame.  Groza probably might've made it based on his first 2 seasons if he had not been banned for the college gambling scandal. Bodes well for Mr. Duncan's career, n'est pas?

NBA FINALS MVP'S WHO WEREN'T ALL-NBA
1973 Willis Reed, NYK
(Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LAL 1st team; Dave Cowens, Bos 2nd team)
1976 Jo Jo White, Bos
(Nate Archibald, KC & Pete Maravich, NO 1st team; Randy Smith, Buf & Phil Smith, GS 2nd team)
1978 Wes Unseld, Was
(Bill Walton, Port 1st team; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LAL 2nd team)
1979 Dennis Johnson, Sea
(George Gervin, SA & Paul Westphal, Pho 1st team; World Free, SDg & Phil Ford, KCK 2nd team)
1980 Magic Johnson, LAL
(George Gervin, SAn & Paul Westphal, Pho 1st team; Dennis Johnson, Sea & Gus Williams, Sea 2nd team)
1981 Cedric Maxwell, Bos
(Julius Erving, Phi & Larry Bird 1st team; Marques Johnson, Mil & Adrian Dantley, Uta 2nd team)
1988 James Worthy, LAL
(Larry Bird, Bos & Charles Barkley, Phil 1st team; Karl Malone, Uta & Dominique Wilkins, Atl 2nd team)
1989 Joe Dumars, Det
(Magic Johnson, LAL & Michael Jordan, Chi 1st team; John Stockton, Uta & Kevin Johnson, Pho 2nd team; Dale Ellis, Sea & Mark Price, Cle 3rd team)
1990 Isiah Thomas, Det
(Magic Johnson, LAL & Michael Jordan, Chi 1st team; John Stockton, Uta & Kevin Johnson, Pho 2nd team; Clyde Drexler, Por & Joe Dumars, Det 3rd team)

THE NAME'S THE SAME
Contributed by John Grasso

In our nation of immigrants it is not uncommon for an organization to consist of people whose surnames bear Italian, Irish, German, English, French, Scandinavian, Slavic and other national origins. We also choose from a wide variety of first names in naming our offspring. Therefore encountering someone with the same first and last names in your workplace is relatively uncommon.

In sports occasionally there have been instances of contemporary players bearing the same first and last names. Pro football had two Gene Washington's during the early 70's - both wide receivers. The infamous 1962 Mets had a pair of pitchers named Bob Miller. The 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic boxing teams each had a lightweight medalist named Ron Harris. Recently the ultimate in name duplicity was reached in short track speed skating. The world's two best are both named Yang Yang!

But in professional basketball there have probably been more examples of players with the same (or very similar) names playing in the same season than in any other American sport.

Since the start of modern professional basketball in 1946-47, there have been 23 sets of players with the same (or very similar) names who played during the same season - the most recent pair being the two Williamses - Jayson and Jason.

Several actually were teammates: Charles Jones and Charles A. Jones both played for the Washington Bullets in the 1988-89 season; the Pittsburgh Pipers began the 1970-71 season with both Charlie and Chuck Williams and the New Jersey Nets had both Duane and Dwayne Washington during 1987-88 although Dwayne was more commonly known as Pearl.

The only pair with identical first, middle and last names were the two Michael John Smiths during the 1994-95 season.

The pair of like-named players whose careers were the most disparate were the two Bill Bradleys. The New York Knicks' Bill Bradley, a Princeton graduate averaged 12.4 ppg during his Hall of Fame career while the Kentucky Colonels' Bradley, a Tennessee State product, averaged just 3.8 ppg during his only year in the ABA.

There have even been two pairs of like-named officials - Phil Fox of New York and Phil S. Fox of the Washington, DC area and Ed T. Rush and Eddie Rush. The Foxes officiated in the BAA and early NBA and the Rushes have been active in the 1990s.

Here's the complete list:

1946-48 DON MARTIN
  Pro Donald E. "Dino" Martin 5' 9", 160 lbs
  StL James Donald Martin 6' 7", 210 lbs

1967-68 BILL BRADLEY
  Ken William Bradley 5'11", 165 lbs
  NYK William Warren Bradley 6' 5", 205 lbs

1970-73- CHARLIE (CHUCK) WILLIAMS
  Pit/Mem/Uta Charles E."Charlie" Williams 6' 0", 175 lbs
  Pit/Den/SDg Edward "Chuck" Williams 6' 2", 175 lbs

1972-74 ROGER BROWN
  Ind Roger A. Brown 6' 5", 205 lbs
  LAL/Car/SAn/Vir W. Roger Brown 6' 11" 230 lbs

1972-74 GEORGE JOHNSON
  Bal/Hou/Dal George E. Johnson 6'11", 245 lbs
  GSt George Thomas Johnson 6'11", 205 lbs

1973-75 JIM O'BRIEN
  Ken/SDg James J. "Jimmy" O'Brien 6' 2", 170 lbs
  NYN/Mem James M. "Jim" O'Brien 6' 7", 200 lbs

1974-75 DON SMITH
  Phi Donald Smith 6' 0", 165 lbs
  Hou Donald A. Smith (AKA Zaid Abdul-Aziz) 6' 9" 235

1976-77 CHUCK (CHUCKIE) WILLIAMS
  Cle Charles Leon "Chuckie" Williams 6' 3" 180 lbs
  Den/Buf Edward "Chuck" Williams 6'2 ", 175 lbs

1977-80 ROBERT (BOBBY) SMITH
  Cle/SDg Robert "Bingo" Smith 6'5 " 210 lbs
  Den/Uta/NJN Robert Leroy Smith 5'11", 165 lbs

1978-86 GEORGE JOHNSON
  GSt/Buf/NJN/SAn/Atl/Sea George Thomas Johnson 6'11", 205 lbs
  Mil/Den/Ind/Phi/Was George L. Johnson 6' 7", 210 lbs

1981-87 EDDIE JOHNSON
  Atl/Cle/Sea Edward Johnson, Jr. 6'2", 180 lbs
  KCK/Sac Edward Arnet Johnson 6' 8", 215 lbs

1985/89 CHARLES JONES
  Phi/Chi/Was Charles "C.J." Jones 6' 9", 220 lbs
  Phx/Por/Was Charles Alexander Jones 6' 8", 215 lbs

1985-86 KENNETH GREEN
  NYK Kenneth "Apple" Green 6' 8", 220 lbs
  Was/Phi Kenneth Leroy "Kenny" Green 6' 7", 215 lbs

1985-87 JEROME HENDERSON
  LAL/Mil Jerome D. Henderson 6'11", 230 lbs
  Sea/NYK Jerome McKinley "Gerald" Henderson 6' 2", 175 lbs

1987-95 JOHN WILLIAMS
  Cle John "Hot Rod" Williams 6'11", 245 lbs
  Was/LAC/Ind John Sam "Rock" Williams 6' 9", 280 lbs

1987-88 DUANE (DWAYNE) WASHINGTON
  NJN Duane E. Washington 6' 4", 195 lbs
  NJN Dwayne Alonzo "Pearl" Washington 6' 2", 195 lbs

1989/98 CHARLES SMITH
  Bos/Min Charles Edward Smith IV 6' 1", 160 lbs (1989/96)
  LAC/NYK/SAn Charles Daniel Smith 6'10", 240 lbs (1989-97)
  LAL/Phx/Mia/Cha/Mil Charles Anton "Tony" Smith 6'4", 205 lbs (1990-98)
  Mia/LAC Charles Cornelius Smith 6' 4", 195 lbs (1997-98)

1989-90 MICHAEL (MICHEAL) WILLIAMS
  Sac/Atl Michael George "Mike" Williams 6' 8", 255 lbs
  Det Micheal Douglas Williams, 6' 2" 175 lbs

1991-92 CLIFF ROBINSON
  LAL Clifford Trent Robinson 6' 9", 220 lbs
  Por Clifford Ralph Robinson 6' 10", 225 lbs

1994-95 MICHAEL SMITH
  Sac Michael John Smith 6' 8", 240 lbs
  LAC Michael John Smith 6'10", 225 lbs

1995-96 EARVIN (ERVIN) JOHNSON
  LAL Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr. 6' 9", 220 lbs
  Sea Ervin Johnson, Jr. 6' 11", 245 lbs

1996-97 STEVEN (STEVIN) SMITH
  Atl Steven Delano Smith 6' 8", 205 lbs
  Dal Stevin L. "Hedake" Smith 6' 2", 210 lbs

1998-99 JAYSON (JASON) WILLIAMS
  NJN Jayson Williams 6' 10", 240 lbs
  Sac Jason Chandler Williams 6' 1", 190 lbs

HOW GOOD WAS THE ABA - A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
Contributed by Dave Quinn

How good was the ABA? How did it really compare to the NBA? How about the old ABL? Was it a major league? How would it compare to the European League today?

To figure this out, I attempted to compare how a player did in those leagues versus
how they performed in the NBA. To do this, I needed a measuring system. The purpose of the system was to determine an approximate value (with apologies to Bill James).

My approximate value (AV) was computed using Points, Assists, and Rebounds per 48 minutes (PAR48). A PAR48 was computed for each played who played at least 200 minutes for a given league. Each player's PAR48 was compared against the league average for that year to get a PAR Index. That PAR Index was compared against that player's lifetime NBA PAR Index. This ratio shows how well a player did in a league a particular year versus how well he did in his NBA career. The better the ratio, the better the league. The ratios were added, then averaged to get a ratio for that league that year.

Example: In 1970 Rick Barry had 1442 points, 178 assists, and 363 rebounds in 1849 minutes. His PAR48 was 51.48. The league (ABA) average was 37.15. So Barry was 138.6% better than the league average that year. Now, Barry was 126.0% better than the NBA average during his career. So, his 1970 ratio was 126/139, or .909 ( I stated the NBA has the numerator so that a higher number was better, or closer to the NBA.).

I then added up the 41 ABA players for that year that played at least 200 minutes and had an NBA career PAR48Index. Their average was .910. They ranged from a high of 1.306 (Jackie Moreland) to a low of .674 (Lou Dampier). I figured 41 players are enough to eliminate abnormalities like Dampier, who entered the NBA after his peak, and those who later reach their peak in the NBA (Moses Malone for one).

For comparison sake, baseball SABR types have come up with AAA minor leagues performing at 85% of major league levels.

The results:

ABA
Average
Players with NBA Career
PAR at least 1.0
1968 .900 4
1969 .851 5
1970 .910 7
1971 .874 10
1972 .925 18
1973 .964 16
1974 .936 18
1975 .951 17
1976 .954 25

The 1968-71 average was .884; the 1972-1976 average was .947. I think this shows the ABA improved greatly starting in 1972, and achieved near parity with the NBA by 1973. It was only .884 in its first 4 years, however, making it barely above AAA level in baseball terms.

ABL

1962-63 .818 (Note - I eliminated past prime players Bill Sharman, Nat Clifton, and George Yardley from my analysis). The ABL's second best player, Bill Bridges, had an NBA lifetime PAR index of 1.00 - a pretty average player. Only 6 ABL players were at least a 1.00 (Connie Hawkins, Bridges, Ken Sears, Dan Swartz, Archie Dees, and Connie Dierking), accounting for 8 seasons (Hawk and Bridges 2 years).

SPAIN - I have 5 years of complete league data from Spain's top league, the ACB. This gave me a total of 106 player seasons to compare to the NBA. The total average was .751. In those 5 years, they have had a total of 5 player seasons with a 1.0.

EUROLEAGUES - I have 7 years (1992-1998) of Euroleague and EuroCup statistics. The top league, Euroleague, rated a .764. Eurocup, a lesser league, scored .724. For example, Euroleague will have the top 3 teams from Spain and Italy; the next 3 would be in EuroCup (now Sapporta Cup). Euroleague had 24 1.0 NBA seasons in this time span, EuroCup 13.

Summary:

Index NBA 1.0s
ABA 68-71 .884 6.5
ABA 72-76 .947 19.2
ABL 62-63 .818 4.0
Spain 96-00 .751 1.0
Euroleague 92-98 .764 3.4
Eurocup .724 1.9

I think this table shows the relative strengths of each league - the ABA was clearly superior to the ABL, even in the beginning. The ABL was better than the current European leagues are, but still must be considered a minor league.

That begs the question - was the ABA always a major league? How good was Spencer Haywood's 30 ppg? I guess the answer is that, no; it was not a major league at first. If baseball's minor leagues are 85% of the majors, I think that 90% should be a bare minimum for recognizing a league as major league.

LETTERS FROM NAT HOLMAN AND ELMER RIPLEY
Contributed by John Hogrogian

May 30, 1974

Dear John Hogrogian:
     The series between the Original Celtics and the New York Whirlwinds played in April 1921 never did finish. The first game was played at the 71st Regiment on 34 Street and Park Avenue and the second game was played at the 69th Regiment at 26 Street and Lexington Avenue, New York City.
     Let me impress upon you that the N.Y. Whirlwinds was a great basketball team who developed a large following at their games at the 22nd Regiment Armory, played on Sunday nights. After the second game, which ended with one victory for each team, the members of the Whirlwind team could not establish a date for the final game. It is my personal opinion that Jim Furey, the manager of the Original Celtic team, was a shrewd operator and felt it would be to his advantage not to play the final game. There was another important factor - the delay in contracting the armory, if he did so, which was questionable in my mind, plus the hot weather, fearful of a poor attendance. Chris Leonard and I were approached by Jim Furey to join the Original Celtics at a most attractive salary to play only with the Celtics. This was the first time that a team was being organized which forbade players to play with any other team during the playing season! Leonard and I then arranged to discuss the matter with all the players on the squad. When they learned of the salaries being offered to both of us, they said - "TAKE IT."
     Jim Furey accomplished his purpose, for shortly thereafter the Whirlwinds disbanded, and one of his most important New York competitors was no longer in business!

With warm personal regards, I am,
Sincerely,

Nat Holman

Thursday [February 1975]

Dear John:
     I just received your letter containing the questions and I'll try and answer them as best I can.
     First, as to the reason the Whirlwind-Celtic series was never played out has been a bad question for a long while. No one ever really knew why, but anyway, directly after the second game, as you mentioned, it was announced that Holman and Leonard were signed by the Celtics. There were a lot of rumors but none were ever proved.
     Second. The jump shot came into existence when Hank Luisetti came to the Garden and surprised the entire eastern basketball world with his one handed shots, it wasn't long before every player and kid playing basketball around New York was shooting that way. In my days of playing, probably two players shot one handed. Garry Schmeelk was one of them and he did so because of an injured arm. We also used a two hand dribble and it was much easier to get a shot off, that is, in the good old days.
     Third. You asked about the Mikan age in basketball. First of all, in my playing days, the players weren't that tall. After a man was six feet five inches tall, he was called a goon because the big fellows didn't start playing as they do these days. I remember Johnny Beckman's orders to Lapchick when he joined the Celtics, "Get the tap, get the rebounds, and then get the hell out of the way." Ray Meyers spent hours working with Mikan and he eventually became great, mostly thru hard work. George was a really tough player who worked hard to be the best in his days. Now, there are hundreds of fellows, even taller than George and a lot more agile. George was strictly a hook shot artist and a rebounder. Also, he was rough and tough under the boards. Seems as if the men are growing taller and taller, soon we'll probably have a few eight footers playing. In my days of playing, it wasn't a game of giants. I marvel at the way the big boys can move around the court.
     Four. The ABL was definitely a major league. It was gotten together by men like George Marshall, George Halas, Max Rosenbloom, and Joe Carr, who at the time was commissioner of the football league. The pros played a two hand dribble and shoot game but these men got together, put in the intercollegiate rules, and that was it. It allowed the college players to play in the pro ranks. Before that, it was almost impossible to find a former college player in the pro ranks. These rules made a big change in pro basketball and it has continued to improve with each and every year. The players are bigger and much better because they get good coaching from the time they are able to handle the ball, also, the equipment, mainly the ball, is so much better. There were many players in the ABL that could have made it in the NBA, Holman, Beckman, Joe Brennan, and a few others, could have made it big.
     The game seems to be getting bigger and better with each and every year, let's hope something doesn't turn up to spoil it. This could easily happen, believe me.
     I hope I've answered your questions and believe me, I'll be looking forward to reading your book.

Sincerely,

Elmer Ripley

WHERE THE ABA PLAYERS CAME FROM
Contributed by Robert Bradley and Dave Quinn

Just where do the players come from when a new league begins play?  I remember hearing once that the ABA pretty much put the Amateur Athletic Union out of business when it came to being a significant player in basketball, and it nearly did the same to the Eastern League.

But who exactly did the league take from each?  Here is a look at the 1967-68 ABA rosters and a look at which players came from EBL and AAU clubs (and other assorted professional teams):

ANAHEIM AMIGOS
Bill Allen; Bob Bedell; Larry Bunce - Utah State, NCAA; Steve Chubin - Europe; Jeff Congdon - Bartelsville Phillips 66ers, AAU; Bill Crow; Warren Davis - Wilkes-Barre Barons, EBL; Harry Dinnel; John Fairchild; Bill Garner; Steve Kramer; Dick Lee; Larry Moore; Paul Scranton - New Haven Elms, EBL; Les Selvage; Bob Sims; Randy Stoll; Willis Thomas - Harlem Clowns; Herschell Turner; Ben Warley

DALLAS CHAPARRALS
John Beasley - Bartelsville Phillips 66ers, AAU; Charlie Beasley - Southern Methodist, NCAA; Jim Burns - Northwestern, NCAA; Mike Dabich - Akron Goodyears, AAU; Cliff Hagan - St. Louis Hawks, NBA (retired); Denny Holman - Southern Methodist, NCAA; Carroll Hooser; Riney Lochmann; Elton McGriff; Maurice McHartley - Wilmington Blue Bombers, EBL; Rich Peek; Cincy Powell; Bob Verga - Duke, NCAA; Gene Wiley - Los Angeles Lakers, NBA (retired); Bobby Wilson

DENVER ROCKETS
Byron Beck - Denver Capitol, AAU; Tom Bowen; Jeff Congdon; Chuck Gardner - AAU (retired); Wayne Hightower - Detroit Pistons, NBA; Julie Hammond; Ron Horn; Tom Hoover - Wilmington Blue Bombers, EBL/St. Louis Hawks, NBA; Larry Jones - Wilkes-Barre Barons, EBL; R.B. Lynam; Richie Moore - Hiram Scott, NCAA; John Morrison - Canisius, NCAA; Willie Murrell - Scranton Miners, EBL; Grant Simmons - AAU; Lonnie Wright

HOUSTON MAVERICKS
Art Becker; Wilbert Frazier - Harrisburg Patriots, EBL; Hal Hale - Utah State, NCAA; Joe Hamood; Darrell Hardy; Larry Lentz; Guy Manning - Prairie View, NCAA; DeWitt Meynard - Utah, NCAA; Wayne Molis - Allentown Jets, EBL/New York Knicks, NBA; Jerry Pettway - Northwood Institute, NCAA; Rob Riedy - Duke, NCAA; Roger Schurig; Willie Somerset - Scranton Miners, EBL; Gary Turner - Hartford Capitols, EBL

INDIANA PACERS
Matt Aitch - Michigan State, NCAA; Ron Bonham - Chicago Bulls, NBA (retired); Roger Brown - Dayton Brothers Mortuaries; Ollie Darden; Jimmy Dawson - Illinois, NCAA; Bobby Edmonds; Reggie Harding - Chicago Bulls, NBA; Jerry Harkness; Ron Kozlicki - Northwestern, NCAA; Freddie Lewis - Cincinnati Royals, NBA; Bob Netolicky - Drake, NCAA; George Peeples; Jimmy Rayl - Akron Goodyears, AAU

KENTUCKY COLONELS
Harold Bayne; Orb Bowling; Bill Bradley; Jim Caldwell - New York Knicks, NBA; Darel Carrier - Bartelsville Phillips 66ers, AAU; Larry Conley - Lexington Jerry's, AAU; Louie Dampier - Kentucky, NCAA; Dave Gaines; Jim Ligon; Randy Mahaffey - Clemson, NCAA; Cotton Nash - baseball; Bobby Rascoe; Kendall Rhine - Phillips 66ers, AAU; Joe Roberts; Rubin Russell; George Sutor; Tommy Woods

MINNESOTA MUSKIES
Dick Clark - Eastern Kentucky, NCAA; Mel Daniels - New Mexico, NCAA; Donnie Freeman - Chicago Jamaco Saints, AAU; Les Hunter - Twin City Sailors, NAPL; Erv Inniger - Indiana, NCAA; Gary Keller - Forida, NCAA; Terry Kunze - Europe; Errol Palmer - DePaul, NCAA; Ron Perry - Virginia Tech, NCAA; Sam Smith - Kentucky Wesleyan, NCAA; Skip Thoren - Europe (1965-66)

NEW JERSEY AMERICANS
Dan Anderson - Akron Goodyears, AAU; Johnny Austin - Scranton Miners, EBL/Baltimore Bullets, NBA; Al Beard; Tony Jackson; Steve Johnson; Bobby Lloyd - Rutgers, NCAA; Johnny Mathis; Bob McIntyre; Mike Nowell; Walt Simon - Allentown Jets, EBL; Bruce Spraggins - New Haven Elms, EBL; Levern Tart - Wilkes-Barre Barons, EBL; Hank Whitney - Allentown Jets, EBL

NEW ORLEANS BUCCANEERS
Jess Branson; Larry Brown - Akron Goodyears, AAU; John Comeaux; John Dickson - Arkansas State, NCAA; Gerald Govan - Europe; Jimmy Jones - Grambling, NCAA; Leland Mitchell; Doug Moe - Europe; Jackie Moreland - Detroit Pistons, NBA (retired); Marl Pradd - Dillard, NCAA; Red Robbins - Europe; Red Stroud; Ron Widby - Tennessee, NCAA;

OAKLAND OAKS
Andy Anderson - Canisius, NCAA; Rick Barry - San Francisco Warriors, NBA; Wes Bioalosuknia - Connecticut, NCAA; Grady Bradds; Ron Franz - Kansas, NCAA; Jim Hadnot; Ira Harge; Steve Jones - Chicago Jamacho Saints, AAU; Dave Lee; Barry Liebowitz - Long Island, NCAA; Mel Peterson; Al Salvadori - South Carolina, NCAA; Levern Tart

PITTSBURGH PIPERS
Craig Dill - Michigan, NCAA; Cal Graham; Connie Hawkins - Harlem Globetrotter (left team in 1966); Art Heyman - Hartford Capitols, EBL; Bob Hogsett; Jim Jarvis; Arvesta Kelly - Lincoln, NCAA; Tom Kerwin - Bartelsville Phillips 66ers, AAU; Bill Meyer; Rich Parks; Willie Porter - Harrisburg Patriots, EBL; John Postley; Steve Vacendak; Chico Vaughn - Detroit Pistons, NBA; Trooper Washington - Cheyney State, NCAA; Dexter Westerbrook - Providence, NCAA; Charlie Williams; Leroy Wright

1966-67 EASTERN BASKETBALL LEAGUE ROSTERS
(Players who played in the ABA over its lifetime are in CAPS)

ALLENTOWN JETS
WALT SIMON, HANK WHITNEY, JOHN JONES, Jay Neary, George Blaney, Andy Johnson, Wayne Cruse, George McNeil, Jay Norman, FRANK CARD, WAYNE MOLIS, Steve Courtin

ASBURY PARK BOARWALKERS
Dennis Cuff, Gary Hess, Howie Montgomery, Carl Green, Larry Armstrong, Charlie Ross, NATE BOWMAN, Alan Seiden, Bill Lundberg, John Crawford, McCormick, Walt Mischler, Bill Smothers, Bob Slobodnick, Jim Satterwhite, Vinnie Ernst, Miller, Joe Graboski, Bill Bowen

HARTFORD CAPITOLS
ART HEYMAN, Al Santio, WILLIS BENNETT, Gene Conley, York Larese, Pete Jones, Leon Clark, GARY TURNER, Ernie Brock, Ed Washington, Vaughn Graham, Henry Carey

HARRISBURG PATRIOTS
WILLIE PORTER, Al Butler, HUBIE WHITE, WILBERT FRAZIER, Stan Pawlak, Charley Hardnett, Joe Newton, Lyvonne LeFlore, Frank Granat, Don Wright, Cameron

NEW HAVEN ELMS
BRUCE SPRAGGINS, Cleo Hill, Frank Keitt, Mike Branch, Wayne Lawrence, PAUL SCRANTON, Bill Jones, Hal Lear, Chuck Curtis, Bob Knight, Ron Harris, Bill O'Dowd, John DiMaggio, Williams, Rich Gaines

SCRANTON MINERS
WILLIE SOMERSET, Swish McKinney, WILLIE MURRELL, Bill Spivey, Tom Hemans, Jim Boeheim, JOHN AUSTIN, Jim Jackson, Herb Gray, Bob Camp, Bucky Boyland, Dennis Edwards, Boyd Hannon

SUNBURY MERCURIES
Julius McCoy, Jim Davis, Jim McCoy, Walt Mangham, George Lee, John Richter, Alonzo Lewis, Jack Cryan, Gary Munson

TRENTON COLONIALS
Stacey Arceneaux, GEORGE LEHMANN, KEN WILBURN, Bob McNeill, WALT BYRD, Walter Dukes, Walt Simpson, Mike Rooney, Nick Werkman, Gene Somers, Barry Herbert, Lee Buckley, Morton, Al Innis, Pezla

WILKES-BARRE BARONS
LEVERN TART, STEVE JONES, Bill Green, Bob Keller, Jerry Greenspan, WARREN DAVIS, Gene Hudgins, Bill Burwell, Tink Van Patton, Wayne Yates, Paul Kreiger, Oscar Miller, Hugh Lowery, Bob Herzig

WILMINGTON BLUE BOMBERS
MAURICE MCHARTLEY, Frank Corace, Waite Bellamy, John Savage, Bob Weiss, Fred Crawford, JIM CALDWELL, TOM HOOVER, Nate Cloud, Ron Hall, Taft Jackson, Si Green, Charles Moore, Barney Cable

1966-67 AAU ALL-AMERICANS
Bob Rule, Denver Capitol; BYRON BECK, Denver Capitol; CALVIN FOWLER, Akron Goodyear; DON FREEMAN, Chicago Jamacho Saints; Ed Correll, Akron Goodyear; Harold Sergent, Bartelsville Phillips; Jim King, Akron Goodyear; JOHN BEASLEY, Bartelsville Phillips; Manny Lawrence, New York Group Productions; STEVE JONES, Chicago Jamacho Saints; Vern Benson, Akron Goodyear

Others significant players who played AAU basketball in 1966-67
LARRY BROWN, Akron Goodyears; ROGER BROWN, Dayton Brothers Mortuaries; DAREL CARRIER, Bartelsville Phillips; LEVERN TART, Chicago Jamacho Saints

1967-68 ABA ALL-LEAGUE TEAM
First Team
Connie Hawkins, Pittsburgh Banned by NBA, played for ABL Pittsburgh, Harlem Globetrotters
Doug Moe, New Orleans Banned by NBA, played in Europe
Mel Daniels, Minnesota New Mexico '67 - Drafted by ABA Minnesota
Larry Jones, Denver played for NBA Philadelphia
Charlie Williams, Pittsburgh Banned by NBA - played ?

Second Team
Roger Brown, Indiana AAU Brothers Mortuaries
Cincy Powell, Dallas Portland '66 - not drafted
John Beasley, Dallas AAU Bartelsville Phillips
Larry Brown, New Orleans AAU Akron Goodyear
Louie Dampier, Kentucky Kentucky '67 - Drafted by ABA Kentucky

As you can see, the ABA decimated both the EBL and AAU, and the shockwave claimed the North American Professional League.  Many players also chose the ABA over Europe and others who where blacklisted by the NBA were admitted into the new league.

HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF THE BUFFALO BRAVES
Contriubuted by Robert Bradley

Formative Period
5Nov69 The NBA announces that it plans to expand by two teams for the 1970-71 season with an expansion committee to meet on 8Dec69 and possible cities being Buffalo, Cleveland, Kansas City, Memphis, Minneapolis and Portland .... 20Jan70 The NBA votes 12-2 for expansion in 1970 with Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston and Portland to receive franchises at a cost of $3.5 million .... 6Feb70 Philip J. Ryan and Peter Crotty are awarded an expansion franchise to play in Buffalo at the cost of $3.7 million .... Eddie Donovan is named General Manager .... 23Mar70 Trade a 1970 first-round draft choice (9-George Johnson) to Baltimore for Mike Davis and a 1970 first-round draft choice (15-John Hummer) .... 23Mar70 Draft John Hummer .... 31Mar70 Dolph Schayes is named coach .... Prior to their first game, the team is purchased by a group headed by Paul L. Snyder .... Play in the Memorial Auditorium (capacity 17,300) .... 11May70 Select Emmette Bryant, Mike Davis, Dick Garrett, Herm Gilliam, Bailey Howell and Don May in a joint expansion draft with Cleveland and Portland .... 11May70 Trade Howell to Philadelphia for Bob Kauffman and a draft choice

1970-71 (22-60)
14Oct70 The Braves defeat Cleveland in their first game 107-92 in Buffalo .... 12Jan71 Kauffman plays in the All-Star Game .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

1971-72 (22-60)
29Mar71 Draft Elmore Smith, Fred Hilton, Spencer Haywood (who had signed as an undergraduate with Seattle) and Randy Smith .... 26Jul71 Trade May and Gilliam to Atlanta for Walt Hazzard and Jerry Chambers .... Hazzard changes his named to Mahdi Abdul-Rahman .... 13Oct71 After an opening game loss, Schayes is replaced as coach with John McCarthy .... 18Jan72 Kauffman plays in the All-Star Game .... Smith is named to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

1972-73 (21-61)
27Mar72 McCarthy is dismissed as coach .... 6Apr72 Jack Ramsey is named as head coach .... 10Apr72 Draft Bob McAdoo .... After McAdoo had signed with Virginia of the ABA, Buffalo purchases his contract for $200,000 and then signs him to a new contract .... 9Nov72 Waive Abdul-Rahman .... 11Dec72 Garrett and Harold Fox are cleared of drug charges brought against them .... 23Jan73 Kauffman plays in the All-Star Game .... McAdoo is named NBA Rookie of the Year and to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

1973-74 (42-40)
24Apr73 Draft Ernie DiGregorio and Tim Bassett (who signs with San Diego of the ABA) .... Outbid Kentucky and sign DiGregorio to a three-year, $2.3 million contract (with much of it deferred) .... 10Sep73 Trade Hummer and a draft choice to Chicago for Garfield Heard and the rights to Kevin Kunnert .... 12Sep73 Trade Elmore Smith to Los Angeles for Jim McMillan .... 1Jan74 DiGregorio sets a rookie record with 25 assists in a game .... 15Jan74 McAdoo plays in the All-Star Game and is named Most Valuable Player .... 1Feb74 Trade Kunnert and Dave Wohl to Houston for Jack Marin and Matt Goukas .... McAdoo sets a team record with 246 blocked shots for the season .... McAdoo leads the league with a .547 field goal percentage and 30.6 PPG .... Randy Smith sets a team record with 203 steals for the season .... DiGregorio is named NBA Rookie of the Year and to the NBA All-Rookie Team and leads the league with a .902 FT% .... Donovan is named NBA Executive of the Year... McAdoo is named All-NBA Second Team .... Lose in the playoffs to Boston 4 games to 2

1974-75 (49-33)
20May74 Kauffman is selected by New Orleans in the expansion draft .... 29May74 Draft Tom McMillen and Kim Hughes (who remains in school) .... 1Nov74 DiGregorio totals a team-record 25 assists against Portland .... 3Nov74 to 23Nov74 Buffalo wins a team-record eleven straight games .... 14Jan75 McAdoo plays in the All-Star Game .... 22Feb75 McAdoo scores a team-record 52 points against Boston .... 20Mar75 Buffalo files tampering charges against New York after they hire Donovan as their General Manager .... 22Mar75 McAdoo scores 51 points against Houston .... McMillan is limited to 62 games due to illness, Heard is limited to 67 games due to an ankle injury and DiGregorio is limited to 31 games due to a knee injury .... McAdoo leads the league in scoring with a team record 2,831 points and 34.5 PPG... 18Apr75 McAdoo scores 50 points in a playoff game against Washington .... 2Apr75 McAdoo is named NBA Most Valuable Player and All-NBA First Team .... Lose in the playoffs to Washington 4 games to 3

1975-76 (46-36)
Bob McKinnon is named General Manager .... 29May75 Trade a 1975 first-round draft choice (16-Ricky Sobers) to Phoenix for a 1976 first-round draft choice (6-Adrian Dantley) .... 30Jun75 Trade a 1976 first-round draft choice (13-Mitch Kupchak) to Washington for Dick Gibbs and cash .... 20Nov75 McAdoo scores 50 points against Cleveland .... 27Nov75 Trade Marin to Chicago for a 1977 first-round draft choice (13-Tate Armstrong) .... 1Feb76 Trade Heard and a draft choice to Phoenix for John Shumate .... 3Feb76 McAdoo and Smith play in the All-Star Game .... 17Mar76 McAdoo ties his team record with 52 points against Seattle .... McAdoo leads the league in scoring with 31.1 PPG .... Shumate is named to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Smith is named All-NBA Second Team .... Defeat Philadelphia in the playoffs 2 games to 1 before losing to Boston 4 games to 2

1976-77 (30-52)
3May76 Ramsay resigns as head coach .... 6May76 Tates Locke is named coach .... 8Jun76 Draft Adrian Dantley and George Johnson .... 14Jun76 Snyder gives Irving Cowan the option of buying 100% of the team for $6.1 million with Cowan intending to move the team to a new 15,000 arena in Hollywood, Florida .... 15Jun76 Cowan's plan to purchase majority control of the team and move it to Hollywood, Florida ends when the city of Buffalo is granted an injunction halting the move .... 16Jun76 Trade Charles and Gibbs to Atlanta for Tom Van Arsdale .... 10Sep76 Sell McMillan to New York .... 18Oct76 trade a 1978 first-round draft choice (3-Rick Robey) to Portland for Moses Malone .... 24Oct76 Trade Malone to Houston for a 1977 first-round draft choice (18-Wesley Cox) and a 1978 first-round draft choice (4-Micheal Ray Richardson) .... 2Nov76 Trade a 1977 first-round draft choice (13-Tate Armstrong) to Milwaukee for Jim Price .... 9Dec76 Trade McAdoo and McMillen to New York for John Gianelli and cash .... 13Dec76 Trade Price to Denver for Chuck Williams and Gus Gerard .... 18Jan77 Trade a 1977 first-round draft choice ((18-Wesley Cox) to Golden State for George Johnson .... 25Jan77 Locke is relieved of duty as coach after a 16-30 start to the season with Bob MacKinnon named interim coach .... 16Feb77 Joe Mullaney is named interim coach .... DiGregorio sets a team record with a .945 free throw percentage for the season, leading the league .... John Y. Brown, Jr. purchases minority interest in the team .... Dantley is named NBA Rookie of the Year and to the NBA All-Rookie Team .... Do not qualify for the playoffs

1977-78 (27-55)
7Jun77 Trade a 1977 first-round draft (3-Marques Johnson) choice to Milwaukee for Swen Nater and a 1977 first-round draft choice (13-Tate Armstrong) .... Brown purchases controlling interest in the team .... 5Aug77 Lowell "Cotton" Fitzsimmons is named head coach .... 1Sep77 Trade Dantley and Mike Bantom to Indiana for Billy Knight .... 1Sep77 Trade Johnson and 1978 and 1979 first-round draft choices (4-Micheal Ray Richardson & 11-Cliff Robinson) to New Jersey for Nate Archibald .... 2Sep77 Trade Gianelli and cash to Milwaukee for a 1979 first round pick (10-Roy Hamilton) .... 7Sep77 Trade DiGregorio to Los Angeles .... Norm Sonju is named General Manager .... 23Nov77 Trade Shumate, Gerard and a draft choice to Detroit for Marvin Barnes and draft choices .... Smith plays in the All-Star Game .... Knight is limited to 53 games due to a knee injury and Archibald misses the entire season with an achilles tendon injury .... 8Apr78 Play their final home game in Buffalo losing to New York 118-107 .... Do not qualify for the playoffs .... Brown investigates the possibility of moving the team to Dallas as the Dallas Express .... 7Jun78 Brown and Mangurian exchange the franchise with Irving H. Levin and Harold Lipton for the Boston franchise, Levin and Lipton then move the franchise to San Diego