Remember the ABA? The original ABA was founded in 1967. It competed with the well-established National Basketball Association, until the 1976 ABA–NBA merger. According to one of the owners of the Indiana Pacers, its goal was to force a merger with the more established league. Potential investors were told that they could get an ABA team for half of what it cost to get an NBA expansion team. When the merger eventually occurred, ABA owners were told their investments would more than double.
Ultimately, four ABA teams were absorbed into the older league: the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs. Two other clubs, the Kentucky Colonels, and the Spirits of St. Louis, were disbanded. A third, the Virginia Squires, had folded less than a month earlier, missing out on the opportunities that a merger might have provided.
The ABA distinguished itself from its older counterpart with a more wide-open, flashy style of offensive play, as well as differences in rules. They used a 30-second shot clock (as opposed to the NBA's 24-second clock), and they added the three-point field goal arc. The ABA also used a colorful red, white and blue ball, instead of the NBA's traditional orange ball.
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