|"You Can't Teach Height"
In the early days of the ABA, effective centers were hard to come by. Here, Dallas player Gene Moore attempts to convince a raw (but tall) talent to try out for the Chaparrals.
(Photo courtesy of the Jon Singer collection and used with permission)
|"The Main Attraction in Miami"
The Floridians Ballgirls (above) were talented, and they were famous throughout the ABA. In fact, they were probably more famous than the basketball team itself!
At the Miami Beach Convention Hall, the ballgirls took pictures of fans before games, sat under the basket, threw the ball out onto the floor to the referees, danced during timeouts, and served refreshments at halftime. Occasionally, they even traveled with the team.
(Floridians publicity photos)
|"John Brisker Intimidation Night"
Early during the 1971-72 season, John Brisker of the Pittsburgh Condors promised to lead the ABA in scoring, or knock out all opponents who guarded him if he didn't finish first in the scoring race.
When the Utah Stars visited Pittsburgh for an early season game, Willie Wise held Brisker to just four points in the first half. Brisker then scuffled with several Utah players, and tempers flared before the game was over.
On November 4, 1971, the Condors visited Salt Lake City, and Stars' management arranged "John Brisker Intimidation Night." Ensign Ritchie explained it this way in that night's game program:
"Not that anyone on the Utah Stars team fears John Brisker. But just in case the husky, sometimes ill-tempered, Pittsburgh Condor forward gets out of line tonight the Stars' management has taken steps to keep all in control. Surrounding the court tonight will be five of the top boxers the Intermountain Area has ever produced. For tonight is "John Brisker Intimidation Night" and it is the intention of the Stars to turn the tables on the high scoring Condor. Tonight it is Brisker who is on foreign soil and with the likes of Ron Lyle, Bill Daniels' professional boxer from Denver, Don and Gene Fullmer, Rex Layne and Tony Doyle standing in the wing, best he doesn't get far out of line."
Matt Roblez (whose memories appear on the Utah Stars history page) says that nothing happened at this game, but it was an interesting spectacle anyway.
During halftime of a 1970 game, Dallas introduced a small group of fans to its version of the "WABA"--complete with short miniskirts and interesting hairstyles.
(Photo Copyright © John Oznick and used with permission)
At the beginning of the 1970-71 season, Larry Brown was the ABA's all time assist leader. In fact, he had topped the league in assists the previous three seasons--in 1967-68 (with New Orleans), 1968-69 (with Oakland), and 1969-70 (with Washington).
For the 1970-71 season, the Washington franchise moved to Virginia and Brown played briefly for the Squires. He probably didn't feel very welcome at first, though, because the team curiously misspelled Brown's name on the back of his road jersey (right).
(Photo courtesy of the Jon Singer Collection and used with permission)
|"Victor the Wrestling Bear"
Over the years, the Indiana Pacers had a few interesting halftime events including fan sock hops and cow-milking contests. In April 1975, the Pacers had a special halftime show featuring Victor the Wrestling Bear.
The game program stated that: "Victor will be at the game to take on such noted wrestlers as Chet Coppock, sports director at WISH-TV, Reb Porter at WIFE radio and several other special opponents. If time permits, Victor will also wrestle a couple of fans."
What most of us want to know is if the Pacers' Bob Netolicky took off his warmup jacket that night and tussled with Victor. Neto?
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