Freewheeling ABA Fashion (Part 2)

Freewheeling ABA Fashion (Part 1)
When Big Hair Ruled the ABA (Part 1) | When Big Hair Ruled the ABA (Part 2)

"Mr. Excitement -- Wendell Ladner"

Kentucky Colonels forward Wendell Ladner was a popular player in Louisville. He was especially admired by female fans, due to his resemblance to Burt Reynolds.

In 1973, the Colonels decided to capitalize on Ladner's good looks by producing a "beefcake" poster. The team had him pose (a la Burt Reynolds in Cosmopolitan magazine) wearing only his Colonels shorts, and holding a red, white and blue ABA basketball. The posters were so popular that they sold out in only a few days.


Dancin' Harry and the "Whammy"!

The Indiana Pacers' incredible 1975 Playoff run was fueled by none other than "Dancin' Harry," a mysterious, strangely-dressed mascot hailing from parts unknown. Dancin' Harry's sole purpose was to put a hex -- the "Whammy" -- on the opposing team. During a time out, he would dance, twirl his cape, and shake his fingers at the other team's huddle (above right). From that point on, the Pacers' opponent was doomed. In the 1975 ABA Playoffs, Dancin' Harry's hex worked against the heavily favored San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets, but failed in the Championship Series against the Kentucky Colonels.

(photo courtesy Dave Gonyea)


Cincy Powell -- Strange Medicine

At the 1997 ABA Reunion, Cincy Powell revealed a long-kept secret: the bandages around his head in this photo were not really bandages -- they were a jock strap!


John Brisker -- Armed and Dangerous

During the 1970-71 season, forward/guard John Brisker gave new meaning to the words "run and gun." Playing for the hapless Pittsburgh Condors, Brisker heaved up an average of 28 shots per game. He finished third in the ABA scoring race (behind only Dan Issel and Charlie Scott), averaging 29.3 points per contest. And, he appeared on the 1970-71 Condors media guide (left) wearing a sombrero, a holster, and two pistols. Draw!


"Columbine Gold and -- Lavender?"

In 1971, Hall-of-Fame coach Alex Hannum was hired to lead the Denver Rockets. Right off the bat, Hannum tried something new and different. He changed the team's colors from orange and black to "Columbine blue and gold" -- the colors of Colorado's state flower.

The concept was a noble one. But under dim indoor lighting and after numerous washings, the uniforms became an embarrassing pale lavender. Surprisingly, the team continued to use the uniforms for two full seasons before they were completely redesigned.

Freewheeling ABA Fashion (Part 1)
When Big Hair Ruled the ABA (Part 1) | When Big Hair Ruled the ABA (Part 2)

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