ABA All-Time Team

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The ABA All-Time Team were chosen in 1997 on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the American Basketball Association (ABA) to comprise the thirty best and most influential players of the ABA during its ten years and nine full regular seasons of operation, with respect not only to performance at the professional level but in consideration of sportsmanship, team leadership, and contributions to the growth of the league basketball and irrespective of positions played; only players to have played at least a portion of their careers in the ABA were eligible for selection, although performance in other leagues, most notably the National Basketball Association was ostensibly considered. Selected and announced beside the all-time team were a most valuable player and top head coach.

The team, announced in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, on August 23, 1997, in conjunction with an ABA reunion, was compiled based upon unranked voting undertaken by fifty selected panelists, amongst whom were members of the print and broadcast news media to have reported on and announced games for the ABA, former referees (ten), former team owners (six), former league executives (including two former commissioners), and selected fans and statisticians; former players, even those to have held other positions within the league, were proscribed from voting.

Players

Team

First team

* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player

Of the thirty players elected to the first team, three served primarily as point guards during their ABA service, eight as shooting guards, five as small forwards, eight as power forwards, and six as centers. The franchises most represented were the Virginia Squires (having also competed as the Washington Capitals and Oakland Oaks), with eleven first team players' having played at least one game for one or more iterations of the franchise; Utah Stars (having also completed as the Los Angeles Stars and Anaheim Amigos), eight players; Indiana Pacers, seven players; San Antonio Spurs (having also competed as the Texas and Dallas Chaparrals), six players; Denver Nuggets (having also competed as the Denver Rockets), five players; and Spirits of St. Louis (having also competed as the Carolina Cougars and Houston Mavericks), five players.

Five players elected to the first team—Rick Barry, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, George Gervin, and Moses Malone—were named one year earlier to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players list.

Name Position Team(s) played for (years) Championships won Award(s) won1 Year of Hall of Fame induction as player Votes accrued 2 Ref.
Barnes, MarvinMarvin Barnes F/C Spirits of St. Louis (19741976) None Rookie of the Year (1975)
All-Rookie First Team (1975)
All-ABA Second Team (1975)
None 23 3
Barry, RickRick Barry F Oakland Oaks (1968–1969)
Washington Capitals (1969–1970)
New York Nets (19701972)
1969 All-ABA First Team (19691972) 1987 39 4
Beaty, ZelmoZelmo Beaty C Utah Stars (19701974) 1971 Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award (1971)
All-ABA Second Team (19711972)
None 42 5
Boone, RonRon Boone G/F Dallas Chaparrals (196819716)
Utah Stars (197071977)
Spirits of St. Louis (1976–19778)
1971 All-ABA First Team (1975)
All-ABA Second Team (1974)
None 35 9
Brown, RogerRoger Brown F/G Indiana Pacers (19671975)
Memphis Sounds (1974–197510)
Utah Stars (1974–1975)10
1970, 1972, 1973 Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award (1970)
All-ABA First Team (1971)
All-ABA Second Team (1968, 1970)
2013 50 11
Calvin, MackMack Calvin G Los Angeles Stars (1969–1970)
The Floridians (19701972)
Carolina Cougars (19721974)
Denver Nuggets (1974–1975)
Virginia Squires (1975–1976)
None All-Rookie First Team (1970)
All-ABA First Team (1971, 19741975)
All-ABA Second Team (1973)
None 41 12
Carrier, DarelDarel Carrier G Kentucky Colonels (19671972)
Memphis Tams (1972–1973)
None None None 24 13
Cunningham, BillyBilly Cunningham F/C Carolina Cougars (19721974) None Most Valuable Player Award (1973)
All-ABA First Team (1973)
1986 36 14
Dampier, LouieLouie Dampier G Kentucky Colonels (19671976) 1975 All-Rookie First Team (1968)
All-ABA Second Team (19671970, 1974)
None 50 15
Daniels, MelMel Daniels C Minnesota Muskies (1967–1968, 1974–1975)
Indiana Pacers (19681974)
1970, 1972, 1973 Rookie of the Year (1968)
Most Valuable Player Award (1969, 1971)
All-ABA First Team (19681971)
All-ABA Second Team (1973)
2012 50 16
Erving, JuliusJulius Erving F/G Virginia Squires (19711973)
New York Nets (19731976)
1974, 1976 Most Valuable Player Award (19741976)
Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award (1974, 1976)
All-ABA First Team (19731976)
All-ABA Second Team (1972)
All-Rookie First Team (1972)
All-Defensive First Team (1976)
1993 50 17
Freeman, DonnieDonnie Freeman G Minnesota Muskies (1967–1968)
Miami Floridians (19681970)
Utah Stars (1970–1971)
Texas Chaparrals (19701819726)
Indiana Pacers (19721974)
San Antonio Spurs (1974–1975)
1971, 1973 All-ABA First Team (1972)
All-ABA Second Team (19691971)
None 30 19
Gervin, GeorgeGeorge Gervin G/F Virginia Squires (19721974)
San Antonio Spurs (1973201976)
None All-ABA Second Team (19751976) 1996 50 21
Gilmore, ArtisArtis Gilmore C Kentucky Colonels (19711976) 1975 Rookie of the Year (1972)
Most Valuable Player Award (1972)
All-ABA First Team (19721976)
All-Defensive First Team (19731976)
All-Rookie First Team (1972)
Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award (1975)
2011 50 22
Hawkins, ConnieConnie Hawkins Forward Pittsburgh Pipers (1967196923) 1968 1967-68 Most Valuable Player Award
1967-68 Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award
First team: 1967-68, 1968–69
Second team: None
1992 40
Haywood, SpencerSpencer Haywood C Denver Rockets (1969–1970) None 1969-70 Most Valuable Player Award
1969-70 Rookie of the Year
1969-70 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
First team: 1969-70
Second team: None
None 34
Issel, DanDan Issel F Kentucky Colonels (19701975)
Denver Nuggets (1975–1976)
1975 1970-71 Rookie of the Year
197172 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
First team: 1971-72
Second team: 1970-71, 197273, 197374, 1974–75
1993 50
Jabali, WarrenWarren Jabali G Oakland Oaks (1968–1969)
Washington Capitals (1969–1970)
Indiana Pacers (1970–1971)
The Floridians (1971–1972)
Denver Rockets (19721974)
San Diego Conquistadors (1974–1975)
1969 1968-69 Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award
1968-69 Rookie of the Year
1972-73 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player
First team: 1972-73
Second team: None
None 24
Jones, JimmyJimmy Jones G New Orleans Buccaneers (19671970)
Memphis Pros (1970–1971)
Utah Stars (19711974)
None First team: 196869, 197273, 1973–74
Second team: None
None 27
Lewis, FreddieFreddie Lewis G Indiana Pacers (19671974)
Memphis Sounds (1974–1975)
Spirits of St. Louis (1974–197524)
1970, 1972, 1973 1971-72 Playoffs Most Valuable Player
1974-75 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
None 38
Lucas, MauriceMaurice Lucas F Spirits of St. Louis (19741976)
Kentucky Colonels (1975–197625)
None None None 26
Malone, MosesMoses Malone C Utah Stars (1974–1975)
Spirits of St. Louis (1975–1976)
None None 2001 30
McGinnis, GeorgeGeorge McGinnis F Indiana Pacers (19711975) 1972, 1973 1972-73 Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award
1974-75 Most Valuable Player Award
First team: 197374, 1974–75
Second team: 1972-73
None 44
Moe, DougDoug Moe F New Orleans Buccaneers (1967–1968)
Oakland Oaks (1968–1969)
Carolina Cougars (1969–1970)
Virginia Squires (19701972)
1968-69 First team: 1967-68
Second team: 1968-69
None 35
Netolicky, BobBob Netolicky F Indiana Pacers (19671972, 1973261976)
Dallas Chaparrals (1972–1973)
San Antonio Spurs (1973–1974)
1970, 1972 First team: None
Second team: 1969-70
None 35
Paultz, BillyBilly Paultz C New York Nets (19701975)
San Antonio Spurs (1975–1976)
1974 None None 30
Scott, CharlieCharlie Scott G Virginia Squires (19701972) None 1970-71 Rookie of the Year
First team: 1970-71
Second team: 1971-72
None 29
Silas, JamesJames Silas G Dallas Chaparrals (1972–1973)
San Antonio Spurs (19731976)
None First team: 1975-76
Second team: 197475
None 30
Thompson, DavidDavid Thompson G Denver Nuggets (1975–1976) None 1975-76 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
1975-76 Rookie of the Year
First team: None
Second team: 1975-76
1996 28
Wise, WillieWillie Wise F Los Angeles Stars (1969–1970)
Utah Stars (19701974)
Virginia Squires (19741976)
1971 First team: None
Second team: 197172, 1973–74
Defensive team: 197273, 1973–74
None 32

Others receiving votes

Ninety-eight players received at least one vote. In addition to those who were selected, twelve players earned votes from at least twenty-five percent (12.5) of voters:

Player Position primarily played ABA team(s) played for All-ABA honors won 1 Year of Hall of Fame induction as player Votes accrued 2
Billy Keller Point guard Indiana Pacers (196970197576) None None 21
Larry Brown Point guard New Orleans Buccaneers (196768)
Oakland Oaks (196869)
Washington Capitals (196970)
Denver Rockets (197071)
Virginia Squires (1970712719711972)
First team: None
Second team: 1967-68
None 19
Bobby Jones Power forward Denver Nuggets (197475197576) First team: None
Second team: 1975-76
Defensive team: 1974-75, 1975–76
None 19
John Williamson Shooting guard New York Nets (197374197576) None None 19
Steve Jones Small forward Oakland Oaks {196768)
New Orleans Buccaneers (196869196970)
Memphis Pros (197071)
Dallas Chaparrals (197172197273)
Carolina Cougars (1972732819731974)
Denver Rockets (19737429)
Spirits of St. Louis (19741975)
None None 18
Larry Kenon Power forward New York Nets (197374197475)
San Antonio Spurs (197576)
None None 17
Ralph Simpson Shooting guard Denver Nuggets (197071197576) First team: 1975-76
Second team: 197172, 197273
None 17
John Brisker Small forward Pittsburgh Pipers (19697019717230) First team: None
Second team: 197071
None 16
Joe Caldwell Shooting guard Carolina Cougars (197071197374)
Spirits of St. Louis (197475)
First team: None
Second team: 1970-71
Defensive team: 197273
None 16
Billy Knight Small forward Indiana Pacers (197475197576) First team: 1975-76
Second team: None
None 16
Caldwell Jones Center San Diego Conquistadors (19737419757631)
Kentucky Colonels (1975–7632)
Spirits of St. Louis {1975-7632)
None None 14
Larry Jones Shooting guard Denver Rockets (19671968196970)
The Floridians (197071197172)
Dallas Chaparrals (197273)
Utah Stars (1972–7333)
First team: 1967-68, 196869, 1969–70 None 13

Most valuable player

Only four players received votes from the fifty panelists as the league's all-time most valuable player; small forward Julius Erving was the clear winner of the award.

Player ABA team(s) played for Votes accrued 34
Julius Erving Virginia Squires (197172197273)
New York Nets (197374197576)
46
Mel Daniels Minnesota Muskies {196768, 197475)
Indiana Pacers (196869197374)
2
Artis Gilmore Kentucky Colonels (197172197576) 1
Connie Hawkins Pittsburgh Pipers (19676819686923) 1

Coaches

Seven coaches received votes from the at least one of the 50 panelists; having claimed 34 of the available votes, Bobby "Slick" Leonard was the clear winner of the all-time best head coach award. Larry Brown, having received 16 votes for the players team, also received six votes in view of his coaching.

Each of four franchises was represented by two coaches: the Denver Nuggets (having also competed as the Denver Rockets), the Kentucky Colonels, the Memphis Sounds (having also competed as the Memphis Tams, Memphis Pros, and New Orleans Buccaneers), and the San Antonio Spurs (having also competed as the Texas and Dallas Chaparrals).

* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach
Coach ABA team(s) coached Overall ABA regular season coaching record (winning percentage in parentheses) League championships won as coach League award(s) won as coach Year of Hall of Fame induction as coach Votes accrued 35
Bobby "Slick" Leonard Indiana Pacers (196869197576) 387 wins-270 losses (.589) 196970, 197172, 197273 None 2014 34
Larry Brown Carolina Cougars (197273197374)
Denver Nuggets (197475197576)
229 wins-107 losses (.682) None 1972-73, 1974–75, 1975–76 Coach of the Year Awards 2002 6
Hubie Brown Kentucky Colonels (197475197576) 104 wins-64 losses (.619) 1974-75 None None36 4
Babe McCarthy New Orleans Buccaneers (196768196970)
Memphis Pros (197071197172)
Dallas Chaparrals (197273)
Kentucky Colonels (197374)
280 wins-284 losses (.496) None 1973-74 Coach of the Year Award None 2
Bill Sharman Los Angeles/Utah Stars (19686919707137) 133 wins-113 losses (.541) 1970-71 196970 Coach of the Year Award 200438 2
Al Bianchi Washington Capitals (196970)
Virginia Squires (197071197576)
230 wins-281 losses (.450) None 1970-71 Coach of the Year Award None 1
Bob Bass Denver Rockets (196768196869)
The Floridians (197071197172)
Memphis Tams (197273)
San Antonio Spurs (197475197576)
251 wins-249 losses (.502) None None None 1

Notes

  1. ^ a b Voting undertaken by news media covering the ABA was used to compile, after each season, two teams, each comprising two forwards, two guards, and one center, with the first to be composed at the best players at their respective positions and the second to be composed of the next best players.
  2. ^ a b Inasmuch as the selection panel comprised fifty individuals, each of whom was permitted to select, at most, thirty former players, each player was eligible to receive as many as fifty votes; Brown, Dampier, Daniels, Erving, Gervin, Gilmore, and Issel, then, were unanimous selections.
  3. ^ "Marvin Barnes". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Rick Barry". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Zelmo Beaty". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b The Chaparrals franchise played as the Texas Chaparrals during the 197071 season and as the Dallas Chaparrals therebefore and thereafter.
  7. ^ Boone was traded during the 197071 season; he played 42 regular season games for the Chaparrals and 44 for the Stars.
  8. ^ Boone was traded during the 197677 season; he played 16 regular season games for the Stars and 62 for the Spirits
  9. ^ "Ron Boone". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Brown was twice traded during the 197475 season; he played 10 regular season games for the Pacers, seven games for the Sounds, and finally 39 for the Stars.
  11. ^ "Roger Brown". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Mack Calvin". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Darel Carrier". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Billy Cunningham". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Louie Dampier". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Mel Daniels". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 25 September 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Julius Erving". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 27 September 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  18. ^ Freeman was traded during the 197071 season; he played 42 regular season games for the Chaparrals and 24 for the Stars.
  19. ^ "Donnie Freeman". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  20. ^ Gervin was traded during the 197374 season; he played 49 regular season games for the Squires and 25 for the Spurs.
  21. ^ "George Gervin". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Artis Gilmore". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 25 September 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  23. ^ a b The Pipers franchise played as the Minnesota Pipers after the 196768 season.
  24. ^ Lewis was traded during the 197475 season; he played six regular season games for the Sounds and then 63 for the Spirits.
  25. ^ Lucas was traded during the 197576 season; he played 28 regular season games for the Spirits and then 58 for the Colonels.
  26. ^ Netolicky was traded during the 197374 season; he played 19 regular season games for the Spurs and 56 games for the Pacers.
  27. ^ Brown was traded during the 197071 season; he played 29 regular season games for the Squires and 34 for the Rockets.
  28. ^ Jones was traded during the 197273 season; he played 13 regular season games for the Chaparrals and 67 for the Cougars.
  29. ^ Jones was traded during the 197374 season; he played 44 regular season games for the Cougars and 42 for the Rockets.
  30. ^ The Pipers franchise operated as the Pittsburgh Condors after the 196970 season.
  31. ^ The Conquistadors sports franchise operated after the 197576 season as the San Diego Sails.
  32. ^ a b Jones was traded twice during the 197576 season; he played 10 games for the Conquistadors/Sails, 15 games for the Colonels, and finally 51 games for the Spirits.
  33. ^ Jones was traded during the 197273 season; he played 53 games for the Chaparrals and 53 for the Stars.
  34. ^ Inasmuch as the selection panel comprised fifty individuals, each of whom was given one vote for the league's all-time most valuable player, a player earning unanimous approval would have received 50 votes.
  35. ^ Inasmuch as the selection panel comprised fifty individuals, each of whom was given one vote for the league's all-time best head coach, a coach earning unanimous approval would have received 50 votes.
  36. ^ Brown was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 as a contributor.
  37. ^ The Stars franchise operated as the Utah Stars after the 196970 season.
  38. ^ Sharman was also inducted into the Naismith Hall in 1976 as a player for his NBA career.

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