November 05, 2005

The ABA: has started a new season with 48 teams (full list). The rules are a bit odd. This is the first year for many teams, as a huge expansion has brought "professional" basketball to some smaller markets like Rochester and Chattanooga. One city has a brother/sister combo.

posted by jasonspaceman to basketball at 09:05 AM - 9 comments

No teams in Minnesota :( Sounds like fun though. The 3-D rule should make for some interesting comebacks. Tijuana has Dennis Rodman. Gee, I wonder why he signed with them?

posted by panoptican at 09:29 AM on November 05, 2005

the ABA my have 48 teams now--wait a few weeks and see how many fold....

posted by daddisamm at 10:10 AM on November 05, 2005

The CBA-even post I. Thomas, is stronger. CBA is the oldest BB pro league in the country. Older than the NBA

posted by daddisamm at 10:12 AM on November 05, 2005

Let me beg your indulgence for a moment, compadres. I was there at the dawn of the new ABA. Back then it was the ABA 2000, which I told them right off was a really bad name. By about, oh, 2001, they agreed. I actually got to "break" the story that the ABA was reforming when word spilled out to me during an interview with old ABA Indiana Pacer Bob Netolicky. Of course, that first season--which included the 3-D rule, I believe--didn't make a very big impact. I was on the verge of moving to Indianapolis and officially becoming the Director of Communication for the league--only the league poohbahs decided at the last minute that they didn't need a Director of Communication. Based on the amount of success and exposure the league has had in its five years, that probably wasn't a very wise decision. My favorite ABA moment still comes from the very first game of that first season. There was a team in Chicago then, called the Skyliners (they played one season, moved to Las Vegas during the second season, there was a new Chicago team called the Soldiers last season that played about four games before folding, in part because their home "venue" was a south side gym that held perhaps a few hundred fans, and there's yet ANOTHER new Chicago team getting ready to play in 2006-07). The Skyliners played at Allstate Arena and that night's sports reports acutally ran "homemade" footage from the baselines of the game. I was really impressed. Then the sports anchor says, "We heard that the Skyliners were leading in the second half. We tried to get a final, but it seems that no one at Allstate Arena is picking up the phone." Uh-oh. An interesting decision made this season was naming divisions after ABA legends. That's a wonderful idea, at least as a temporary, NHLish way to honor your forebears. The problem is, Marvin Barnes--who played in the league for all of two seasons and is best known for his defiance of ABA team policies--is honored for one of the divisions. Spencer Haywood (one brilliant ABA season, but only one) is also honored. Moses Malone (about 120 career ABA games) is another. Meanwhile Artis Gilmore, Julius Erving, Dan Issel, James Silas, Bob Leonard, and easily a dozen others were not so honored. They actually went to the trouble of naming a Louie Dampier division, then pulled it for lack of teams. Dios mio. All this said, I do hope the ABA succeeds. It's a nice idea and could perhaps contribute one day to a true minor league for the NBA. I wish it was doing better service to the legacy of the original ABA, however.

posted by Brett at 11:04 AM on November 05, 2005

Wow, thanks for the insight, Brett. (I take it you're not involved with the league anymore?) I'd imagine they're going to cram a city into Chicago one way or another. If there are going to be teams in Tacoma, Lincoln, Tijuana and Lake Erie (!), Chicago would be conspicuous by its absence.

posted by chicobangs at 11:51 AM on November 05, 2005

I love semipro leagues like the ABA. Any idea how much would it cost to buy a franchise? SportsFilter members could pass the hat.

posted by rcade at 11:53 AM on November 05, 2005

When the league launched, it boasted that franchises would cost only $1 (prospective owners needed to show some sort of line of credit, but even so, I can't fathom many suitors were turned away). I suspect the process is a bit tighter now, but any official league Web site that has a tab labeled "Reserve a Market" can't be too picky. On one of my earliest interviews with the ABA I was shown a flow chart of the league hierarchy and told that within a few years, I could replace the commissioner. I share that not to brag but to indicate further that, no, these fellas weren't/aren't too picky. The new Chicago team is called the Rockets. I offered to assist them before they kicked off play in 2006-07, but apparently--and I am not joking--they were more concerned with assembling their "spirit team."

posted by Brett at 03:25 PM on November 05, 2005

Okay. I'm reading those rules over a little closer (thank you, insomnia), and I'm working out a situation here. If a shot from the backcourt counts as four points, and the 3-D rule is in play, and the shooter gets fouled while making a shot from behind center, by someone who has six fouls already, and the shot goes in, that one shot would then be a 5-point shot with two free throws. Am I reading that right? One shot could be worth as much as 7 points? No wait, it would be eight! Five points for the shot itself, plus one for the foul, one for 3-D, and one for the fouler having six already. It's like friggin' Scrabble! I'm trying to parse the 3-D rule to see if this scenario is even possible, but regardless, this could mean some serious swings in score, especially late.

posted by chicobangs at 04:10 AM on November 06, 2005

I dont think that a team would be able to take a 4 pointer with the 3D rule in effect; The 3D light only coming on when the ball is turned over in the defensive half of the court. So, to have the ball in your own backcourt to take the shot you would either have had to a) turn the ball over, which ends the 3D period, or b) commited an over and back violation, again turning the ball over.

posted by elovrich at 01:43 AM on November 08, 2005

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