Friday, November 25th, 2011 at 9:25 am  |  10 responses

The ABA Trying to Fill Void Left By NBA Lockout

The current incarnation of the ABA looks nothing like its flashier, more dazzling predecessor, but it’s doing what it can to try and momentarily replace the NBA during this lockout. From the NY Times: “With the National Basketball Association lockout, fans of the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings have no reason to cheer. But the Bay Area still has professional basketball, with teams now playing in San Francisco, Richmond, Livermore and Pleasant Hill. They are part of the reincarnated American Basketball Association. Four decades ago, the A.B.A. and its high-flying, flashy stars — including Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Artis Gilmore — pulled fans away from the slower, lower-scoring N.B.A. games with multicolored basketballs and innovations like the three-point shot. In its newest iteration, the A.B.A. has a different appeal: Tickets are inexpensive, and players are local celebrities who get paid blue-collar wages. It is a recession-era answer to the N.B.A. George and Rochester Devers, brothers who are 71 and 70 respectively and well over six feet tall, arrived early at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium to grab courtside seats. They cost $10, the same as all of the other seats in the arena. The elder Devers said he preferred the A.B.A. to the N.B.A., especially at a time when people have taken to the streets to protest economic inequality. ‘You got people camping out in the street and then you got these players and owners arguing over billions of dollars, you got Kobe Bryant buying his wife some million-dollar ring,’ George Devers said. ‘It’s just hard to get on those people’s side.’ … These are the fans that Eric Marquis said he had in mind when he paid $10,000 earlier this year to buy the Richmond territory and buy into the league. There are about 80 A.B.A. teams across the country. Before Friday’s matchup with the rival San Francisco Rumble, Marquis, a small man with a goatee, nervously surveyed the 2,200-seat arena. The first game had attracted about 800 fans and the Rockets were now 2-0, but he did not know what to expect. After the pregame hip-hop music, spun on turntables by a teenager on the sideline, the announcer introduced the Rockets’ starting five, leading off with the point guard whose name seemed to have been written for the script that the Rockets are selling. ‘He steals from the opponent and gives to the Rockets. … give it up for Robinnnnnn Hoooood Jr.!’”

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  • EtheKnickFan

    Darth Stern…..Are you listening?

  • http://approaching-perfection.com carrlos Lyles

    david stern better realize that this is a niche market and it could easily take away some b and c list players to get revenue while they argue. They can rent out arenas and basically do whatever they like to get revenue.. ABA back? could be.

  • http://averysmith.org Avery Smith

    Yep it’s true. The ABA has been aroud for years; however it’s not the Sam ABA as the one in the 70s. It’s only similar in name, and the fact that they use a red white and blue basketball. Whereas back in the day there were only a handful of teams, today’s ABA has like 1000 teams. It’s really nothing in comparison to before. It’s reeeeeally low budget, and I’m certain NBDL pay is better than ABA pay. FYI, I’ve always wanted to own a pro basketball team, and so I’ve done research on the ABA.

  • Yesse

    What Stern doesn’t notice is, that if the lockout lasts like lets say 2 years, there will be another league and the longer it lasts the more attention the league will draw on it and the longer it takes, the more Nba is losing attention.

  • http://approaching-perfection.com carrlos Lyles

    if its entertaining and is worth my money im going to go check it out. its crazy how these guys are arguing over millions of dollars when there are other alternatives out there. some nba basketball can be boring anyways if its something new, fresh and different then im sure it will be worth the admission price.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    This is not the early 70s, the ABA isn’t stealing any players from the NBA because they are irrelevant. Even And1 has more clout than them at this moment.

  • theMadvillain

    The ABA is a farce. The team from my town, the Halifax Rainmen (now in the PBL) withdrew from the ABA after one season because the league was so poorly managed.

  • http://www.AtlantaAliens.com Aliens Fan

    The Atlanta Aliens is one of the main reasons that the ABA is coming back! Check them out at http://www.AtlantaAliens.com (I wish they were in the D-League though)

  • http://www.AtlantaAliens.com Deshaun

    The Atlanta Aliens are where it’s at! They really help the ABA out

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos