ABL: before the ABA, the first NBA competitor


The first stab at a league to compete with the NBA. It’s remembered, if at all, for being the refuge for Connie Hawkins when he got booted from Iowa and the NBA refused to take him (as in the book “Foul” on this story). But it was also where Bill Sharman got his coaching start, where Dick Barnett and Bill Bridges played before better-known NBA careers, and where a young rich kid and heir to a shipbuilding company in Cleveland first interfered with a coach, in fact the Cleveland Pipers were owned by a very young George Steinbrenner.

 

A league guided by Abe Saperstein one of the most powerful men in professional basketball of the 1950s and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters. And the league that introduced the three-point shot to professional basketball, an innovation that would later be used in the ABA and in the NBA and all over the world.

(Source Wikipaedia & "Abe Saperstein and the American Basketball League, 1960-1963" Murry R. Nelson)


ABL 1961-'62 Season

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ADVANCED RULES & HISTORY OF THE ABL ARTICLE INCLUDED.