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The ABA is here again!

The American Basketball League is back and it’s thriving. The season started this past week with over 50 teams competing for the championship using the same red, white and blue ball and some of the other innovations that made the original ABA so much fun. Add in a family friendly atmosphere and affordable prices, and the ABA give fans another option to the NBA.Follow the bouncing red, white and blue ball as it kicks off its fifth season.

The original ABA operated from 1967 to 1976. The league that started the three-point line and made the slam dunk fashionable had its own group of stars, including Julius Erving, George “Ice Man” Gervin, David Thompson, Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel and Moses Malone.

Ultimately, four of the teams — the Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and New Jersey (formerly New York) Nets — ended up merging with the NBA.

The new ABA was formed in 2000-2001 with eight teams. The Ice Man himself coached the Detroit Dogs to the championship over the Chicago Skyliners.

The 2001-2002 season had seven teams, with the Kansas City Knights riding a 24-game winning streak to the championship, defeating the Southern California Surf. The league took the 2002-2003 season off to reorganize.

The ABA returned for the 2003-2004 season with seven teams. Big names such as Dennis Rodman and rapper Master P competed. The Long Beach Jam defeated the defending champion KC Knights to win the title.

The league expanded to 33 teams for the 2004-2005 season. One of the new teams was the Kentucky Colonels, who were a part of the original ABA. The Arkansas Rimrockers won the championship in front of nearly 15,000 fans, defeating the Bellevue Blackhawks.

The 2005-2006 season version of the league has expanded even further to over 50 teams, with former NBA players all over the map. Rodman is back to crash the boards for the Tijuana Dragones, while Tim Hardaway is the head coach/general manager/player of the Florida Pit Bulls.

Lloyd “Sweet Pea” Daniels is making a comeback with the Strong Island Sound. The former New York playground legend is back playing in the Big Apple, this time in Long Island.

Meanwhile in Pittsburth, the Xplosion have Armon Gilliam and Myron Brown, while in New Jersey, “Chocolate Thunder” Darryl Dawkins will coach the Newark Express. The Atlanta Vision have Dennis Scott as their general manager. The Orange County Buzz signed former Clipper 7’3″ center Keith Closs.

This is also a very diverse league. The Los Angeles Aftershock recently signed the league’s first female player, Guiliana Mendiola. The league also has many teams with ownership groups comprised of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and women.

The 2004-2005 Nashville Rhythm had a female head coach that was dismissed by a female owner. This season the Beijing Aushen Olympian team from China will compete as a regular club placed in a division.

In addition, the ABA has some very different rules that add to the excitement of the game, such as any long range shots from the backcourt count as four points. Other rules include:

  • The 3-D Rule is basically an additional point added to a field goal when the 3-D light is on. This occurs when the offensive team loses possession of the ball in the backcourt, the ball goes out of bounds after touching the frontcourt, or the offensive team does not establish possession of the ball in the frontcourt.
  • The 6th Foul Rule gives the team the option to leave a player in the game after he commits his 6th foul. The flip side of this is that the opposing team gets an extra free throw and possession of the ball if that player commits another personal foul.
  • The Back-Down Rule is a three-second limit to a player dribbling in the paint with his back to the basket,
  • The Over Time rules state that the first OT period is three minutes and the second OT, if needed, declares the first team to score 10 points as the winner.
  • The 7 Second Backcourt rule differs from the NBA’s 10-Second Violation in that it is three seconds shorter and a time out or a deflection out of bounds does not restart the count.

All of these make for some interesting possibilities.

The quality of play may not be close to the NBA, but the league is working hard to put a good product on the court at affordable prices with many before and after game activities, such as concerts and autograph sessions. In addition, the league’s web site (ABAlive.com) is updated frequently and is done very professionally.

This is a true professional basketball league that has a very positive history. Let’s get ready for the tip off!

4 replies on “The ABA is here again!”

very interesting article it actually seems like i’d rather watch that then the nba… do you know of any games that are on tv or of any sites of teams located in ny? thanks. great article.

Thank you Thank you very much. You can go to the league site (ABAlive.com) & you can scroll down to any of the teams. You will then go to their page & can use the link for the team’s web site. The NY-Metropolitan area teams are the Strong Island Sound & Harlem Strong Dogs.

The league web site said that there are no current TV plans, but they are trying. The Sound web site recently added a pay-per-view streamcast of all their home games.

great article Well written and interesting. I hope some of the regional fox sports networks show it that summer.

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