Open main menu

The 1975–76 American Basketball Association season was its ninth and final season. The shot clock was changed from 30 to 24 seconds to match the NBA. Dave DeBusschere was the league's new commissioner, its seventh and last.

Prior to the start of the season, the Memphis Sounds relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, and briefly became the Baltimore Hustlers,[1] then the Baltimore Claws. The Claws folded during the preseason in October after playing three exhibition games.[2] The San Diego Conquistadors were replaced for the 1975-76 season by the San Diego Sails, but folded in November,[3] followed by the Utah Stars in early December.[4] The Virginia Squires folded in May following the end of the season,[5] unable to make a $75,000 league assessment.

The 1976 ABA All-Star Game saw the first place Denver Nuggets come from behind to defeat the ABA All Stars 144-138 in Denver. The game saw the first ever Slam Dunk Contest, won by Julius Erving.

With the conclusion of the season, the June 1976 ABA-NBA merger saw the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets, and San Antonio Spurs join the NBA, while the Kentucky Colonels and Spirits of St. Louis accepted deals to fold. The deal accepted by the Spirits' owners, Ozzie and Daniel Silna, would turn out to be quite lucrative, as they agreed to receive a seventh of the television revenue generated by each of the four newly-added franchises in perpetuity.

Season standingsEdit

1975–76 ABA Final Standings
Team W L PCT. GB
Denver Nuggets 60 24 .714
New York Nets C 55 29 .655 5
San Antonio Spurs 50 34 .595 10
Kentucky Colonels 46 38 .548 14
Indiana Pacers 39 45 .464 21
Spirits of St. Louis 35 49 .417 25
Virginia Squires 15 68 .181 44
San Diego Sails 3 8 .273 -
Utah Stars 4 12 .250 -
Baltimore Claws 0 0 .000 -

C - ABA Champions


The 1976 ABA Playoffs opened with the Kentucky Colonels defeating the Indiana Pacers 2 games to 1 in the quarterfinals. The Colonels then lost a seven-game semifinal series to the #1 seeded Denver Nuggets, 4 games to 3. The other semifinal saw the New York Nets outlast the San Antonio Spurs 4 games to 3. In the finals the Nets beat the Nuggets, 4 games to 2.

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ "It's official - Baltimore gets Sounds of ABA". Lewiston Evening Journal. Maine. Associated Press. August 29, 1975. p. 15.
  2. ^ "ABA crops Claws; asks admission into NBA". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. October 21, 1975. p. B3.
  3. ^ "Sails come down, ABA team folds". Lakeland Ledger. Florida. Associated Press. November 12, 1975. p. 1B.
  4. ^ "ABA folds Utah; Roche waived". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. December 3, 1975. p. D1.
  5. ^ "ABA Squires fold". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. May 11, 1976. p. 12.