List of American Basketball Association awards and honors

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Hall of Famer Julius Erving was a three-time ABA MVP, two-time ABA Playoffs MVP, and four-time All-ABA First Team.

The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a professional basketball league that operated from the 1967–68 season until it ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. The ABA presented a variety of annual awards and honors to recognize its players and executives.

There were six awards presented by the ABA. Three Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards were presented annually in the All-Star Game, the regular season, and the playoffs. In sports, the player judged to be the most important to the team is the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Other annual awards include the Executive of the Year, the Coach of the Year, and the Rookie of the Year. Honors were also presented to players who excelled in the respective categories of: best players, best defensive players, and best rookies. The Executive of the Year Award and the All-Defensive Team started in the 1972–73 season, while the rest started in the first season. Julius Erving has won the most ABA awards with five MVP awards—three in the regular season and two in the playoffs.[1] Artis Gilmore has won the most ABA honors with nine. A total of 80 ABA players and executives have received at least one award or honor.[2]

ABA championship[edit]

Main article: List of ABA champions

The American Basketball Association (ABA) Finals were the championship series of the ABA, a professional basketball league, in which two teams played each other for the title. The ABA was formed in the fall of 1967, and the first ABA Finals were played at the end of the league's first season in the spring of 1968.[3] The league ceased operations in 1976 with the ABA–NBA merger and four teams from the ABA continued play in the National Basketball Association.[4]

All ABA Finals were in best-of-seven format and were contested between the winners of the Eastern Division and the Western Division finals. The only teams to win the championship more than once were the Indiana Pacers and the New York Nets. The Indiana Pacers initially played in the ABA Finals in 1969, which they lost to the Oakland Oaks, but they won the championship the next year against the Los Angeles Stars.[5][6] They won in the ABA Finals again in 1972, their first after moving to the Western Division, against the New York Nets and won their final ABA championship against the Kentucky Colonels in 1973.[7][8] The New York Nets won their first championship in 1974 against the Utah Stars, and their second against the Denver Nuggets in 1976.[9][10]

The last ABA Finals were in 1976, after which the ABA–NBA merger took place; three of the four teams that continued into the NBA made it to or won the ABA Finals.[4]

Awards[edit]

* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has received the respective award

Most Valuable Player[edit]

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) was an annual award first awarded in the 1967–68 season. Every player who has won the award has played for a team with at least 45 regular-season wins. The inaugural award winner was Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins. Hall of Famer Julius Erving won the award three times, all with the New York Nets. Mel Daniels won it twice with the Indiana Pacers. Erving and George McGinnis were joint winners in the 1974–75 season. Seven of the award winners were capable of playing forward, while six were capable of playing center. Two rookies have won the award: Spencer Haywood in the 1969–70 season and Artis Gilmore in the 1971–72 season.

Season Player Position Team
1967–68 Hawkins, ConnieConnie Hawkins* Forward/Center Pittsburgh Pipers
1968–69 Daniels, MelMel Daniels* Center Indiana Pacers
1969–70 Haywood, SpencerSpencer Haywood Forward/Center Denver Rockets
1970–71 Daniels, MelMel Daniels* (2) Center Indiana Pacers
1971–72 Gilmore, ArtisArtis Gilmore* Center Kentucky Colonels
1972–73 Cunningham, BillyBilly Cunningham* Guard/Forward Carolina Cougars
1973–74 Erving, JuliusJulius Erving* Forward New York Nets
1974–75[a] Erving, JuliusJulius Erving* (2) Forward New York Nets
1974–75[a] McGinnis, GeorgeGeorge McGinnis Forward/Center Indiana Pacers
1975–76 Erving, JuliusJulius Erving* (3) Forward New York Nets

Rookie of the Year[edit]

The Rookie of the Year Award was an annual award first awarded in the 1967–68 season, to the top rookie(s) of the regular season. The inaugural award winner was Mel Daniels, who also won two MVP awards during his ABA career. Two of the Rookie of the Year winners have won the MVP award in the same season: Spencer Haywood in the 1969–70 season and Artis Gilmore in the 1971–72 season. Two Rookie of the Year winners have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: 1970–71 Rookie of the Year Dan Issel and 1975–76 Rookie of the Year David Thompson. Issel and Charlie Scott were joint winners in the 1970–71 season.

Season Player Position Team
1967–68 Daniels, MelMel Daniels* Center Minnesota Muskies
1968–69 Jabali, WarrenWarren Jabali Guard/Forward Oakland Oaks
1969–70 Haywood, SpencerSpencer Haywood Forward/Center Denver Rockets
1970–71[a] Scott, CharlieCharlie Scott Guard/Forward Virginia Squires
1970–71[a] Issel, DanDan Issel* Center/Forward Kentucky Colonels
1971–72 Gilmore, ArtisArtis Gilmore* Center Kentucky Colonels
1972–73 Taylor, BrianBrian Taylor Guard New York Nets
1973–74 Nater, SwenSwen Nater Center San Antonio Spurs
1974–75 Barnes, MarvinMarvin Barnes Forward/Center Spirits of St. Louis
1975–76 Thompson, DavidDavid Thompson* Guard/Forward Denver Nuggets

Coach of the Year[edit]

The Coach of the Year was an annual award first awarded in the 1967–68 season, to the best head coach(es) of the regular season. The inaugural award winner was Vince Cazzetta, who coached the Pittsburgh Pipers to an ABA championship. Oakland Oaks coach Alex Hannum won the award the season after, and also coached his team to an ABA championship. Larry Brown won the award three times, and is the only coach to have won the award multiple times. Two seasons had joint winners—Joe Belmont and Bill Sharman in the 1969–70 season as well as Joe Mullaney and Babe McCarthy in the 1973–74 season. Hannum, Sharman and Brown are the only recipients to have been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Every head coach won the award without a losing record.

Win% Winning percentage
Division Regular season finish in division
Season Coach Team Win–Loss Win% Division
1967–68 Cazzetta, VinceVince Cazzetta Pittsburgh Pipers 54–24 .692 1st (Eastern)
1968–69 Hannum, AlexAlex Hannum* Oakland Oaks 60–18 .769 1st (Western)
1969–70[a] Sharman, BillBill Sharman* Los Angeles Stars 43–41 .512 4th (Western)
1969–70[a] Belmont, JoeJoe Belmont Denver Rockets 42–14 .750 1st (Western)
1970–71 Bianchi, AlAl Bianchi Virginia Squires 55–29 .655 1st (Eastern)
1971–72 Nissalke, TomTom Nissalke Dallas Chaparrals 42–42 .500 3rd (Western)
1972–73 Brown, LarryLarry Brown* Carolina Cougars 57–27 .679 1st (Eastern)
1973–74[a] McCarthy, BabeBabe McCarthy Kentucky Colonels 53–31 .631 2nd (Eastern)
1973–74[a] Mullaney, JoeJoe Mullaney Utah Stars 51–33 .607 1st (Western)
1974–75 Brown, LarryLarry Brown* (2) Denver Nuggets 65–19 .774 1st (Western)
1975–76 Brown, LarryLarry Brown* (3) Denver Nuggets 60–24 .714 None

Playoffs MVP[edit]

The Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award was an annual award given in the ABA Playoffs. The award was first awarded in the 1968 ABA Playoffs, and was retired as part of the ABA–NBA merger. The inaugural award winner was Pittsburgh Pipers' player Connie Hawkins. On all occasions, the player who wins the Playoffs MVP award was from the team that won the ABA championship. Julius Erving, who led the New York Nets to two ABA championships in 1974 and 1976, is the only player to win the award twice.

Year Player Positions Team Note
1968 Hawkins, ConnieConnie Hawkins* Forward/Center Pittsburgh Pipers [11]
1969 Jabali, WarrenWarren Jabali Guard/Forward Oakland Oaks [12]
1970 Brown, RogerRoger Brown* Forward/Guard Indiana Pacers [13]
1971 Beaty, ZelmoZelmo Beaty Center Utah Stars [14]
1972 Lewis, FreddieFreddie Lewis Guard Indiana Pacers [15]
1973 McGinnis, GeorgeGeorge McGinnis Forward/Center Indiana Pacers [16]
1974 Erving, JuliusJulius Erving* Forward New York Nets [1]
1975 Gilmore, ArtisArtis Gilmore* Center Kentucky Colonels [17]
1976 Erving, JuliusJulius Erving* (2) Forward New York Nets [1]

All-Star Game MVP[edit]

The All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) was an annual award given to the best player of the annual All-Star Game. The award was established in the 1968 All-Star Game, and was retired as part of the ABA—NBA merger. The first recipient of the award was Larry Brown, who scored 17 points in a losing cause. Brown and 1971 winner Mel Daniels are the only players to win the award while being on the losing team in the All-Star Game. Three rookies have won the award: Brown, Spencer Haywood in the 1970 All-Star Game and David Thompson in the 1976 All-Star Game. From 1968 to 1975, the game has matched the best players in the Eastern Division with the best players in the Western Division. The West has won five All-Star Game MVP awards, while the East won three. In the 1976 All-Star Game, the teams were the Denver Nuggets and the All-Stars. Denver won that All-Star Game, with Thompson as MVP.

Year Player Position All-Star Team Team
1968 Brown, LarryLarry Brown* Guard West (lost) New Orleans Buccaneers
1969 Beasley, JohnJohn Beasley Forward/Center West Dallas Chaparrals
1970 Haywood, SpencerSpencer Haywood Forward/Center West Denver Nuggets
1971 Daniels, MelMel Daniels* Center West (lost) Indiana Pacers
1972 Issel, DanDan Issel* Center/Forward East Kentucky Colonels
1973 Jabali, WarrenWarren Jabali Guard/Forward West Denver Rockets
1974 Gilmore, ArtisArtis Gilmore* Center East Kentucky Colonels
1975 Lewis, FreddieFreddie Lewis Guard East Spirits of St. Louis
1976 Thompson, DavidDavid Thompson* Guard/Forward Denver Denver Nuggets

Executive of the Year[edit]

Season Executive Team
1972–73 Carl Scheer Carolina Cougars
1973–74 Jack Ankerson San Antonio Spurs
1974–75 Carl Scheer (2) Denver Nuggets
1975–76 Carl Scheer (3) Denver Nuggets
  • a Denotes the year in which joint winners were named for the respective award

Honors[edit]

* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been selected

All-ABA Team[edit]

The All-ABA Team was an annual honor bestowed on the best players in the league following every ABA season. The team was selected in every season of the league's existence, dating back to its inaugural season in 1967–68. The All-ABA Team was composed of two five-man lineups—a first and second team, each typically consisting of two forwards, one center, and two guards. A tie has occurred only once in the 1970–71 season when Zelmo Beaty and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Dan Issel both were selected to the center position.

Mel Daniels, Issel, Artis Gilmore and Julius Erving all tie for the record for the most total selections with five. Rick Barry, Donnie Freeman, Mack Calvin and Louie Dampier each have four total selections, while Larry Jones, Roger Brown, George McGinnis and Ralph Simpson follow with three total selections. Gilmore has the most All-ABA first team selections with five, while Daniels, Barry and Erving are all tied for second-most with four. A total of nine players were selected during their respective rookie years: Daniels, Spencer Haywood, Scott, Issel, Erving, Gilmore, Swen Nater, Marvin Barnes, and David Thompson.

Player (in italic text) Indicates the player who won the ABA Most Valuable Player in the same year
Season First Team Second Team
Forward Forward Center Guard Guard Forward Forward Center Guard Guard
1967–68 Connie Hawkins, Pittsburgh Pipers Doug Moe, New Orleans Buccaneers Mel Daniels, Minnesota Muskies Larry Jones, Denver Rockets Charlie Williams, Pittsburgh Pipers Roger Brown, Indiana Pacers Cincy Powell, Dallas Chaparrals John Beasley, Dallas Chaparrals Larry Brown, New Orleans Buccaneers Louie Dampier, Kentucky Colonels
1968–69 Connie Hawkins, Minnesota Pipers (2) Rick Barry, Oakland Oaks Mel Daniels, Indiana Pacers (2) Jimmy Jones, New Orleans Buccaneers Larry Jones, Denver Rockets (2) John Beasley, Dallas Chaparrals (2) Doug Moe, Oakland Oaks (2) Red Robbins, New Orleans Buccaneers Donnie Freeman, Miami Floridians Louie Dampier, Kentucky Colonels (2)
1969–70 Rick Barry, Washington Capitols (2) Spencer Haywood, Denver Rockets Mel Daniels, Indiana Pacers (3) Bob Verga, Carolina Cougars Larry Jones, Denver Rockets (3) Roger Brown, Indiana Pacers (2) Bob Netolicky, Indiana Pacers Red Robbins, New Orleans Buccaneers (2) Louie Dampier, Kentucky Colonels (3) Donnie Freeman, Miami Floridians (2)
1970–71 Roger Brown, Indiana Pacers (3) Rick Barry, New York Nets (3) Mel Daniels, Indiana Pacers (4) Mack Calvin, The Floridians Charlie Scott, Virginia Squires John Brisker, Pittsburgh Condors Joe Caldwell, Carolina Cougars Zelmo Beaty, Utah Stars (tie) Donnie Freeman, Texas Chaparrals (3) Larry Cannon, Denver Rockets
Dan Issel, Kentucky Colonels (tie)
1971–72 Dan Issel, Kentucky Colonels (2) Rick Barry, New York Nets (4) Artis Gilmore, Kentucky Colonels Donnie Freeman, Dallas Chaparrals (4) Bill Melchionni, New York Nets Willie Wise, Utah Stars Julius Erving, Virginia Squires Zelmo Beaty, Utah Stars (2) Ralph Simpson, Denver Rockets Charlie Scott, Virginia Squires (2)
1972–73 Billy Cunningham, Carolina Cougars Julius Erving, Virginia Squires (2) Artis Gilmore, Kentucky Colonels (2) Jimmy Jones, Utah Stars (2) Warren Jabali, Denver Rockets George McGinnis, Indiana Pacers Dan Issel, Kentucky Colonels (3) Mel Daniels, Indiana Pacers (5) Ralph Simpson, Denver Rockets (2) Mack Calvin, Carolina Cougars (2)
1973–74 Julius Erving, New York Nets (3) George McGinnis, Indiana Pacers (2) Artis Gilmore, Kentucky Colonels (3) Jimmy Jones, Utah Stars (3) Mack Calvin, Carolina Cougars (3) Dan Issel, Kentucky Colonels (4) Willie Wise, Utah Stars (2) Swen Nater, San Antonio Spurs Ron Boone, Utah Stars Louie Dampier, Kentucky Colonels (4)
1974–75 Julius Erving, New York Nets (4) George McGinnis, Indiana Pacers (3) Artis Gilmore, Kentucky Colonels (4) Mack Calvin, Denver Nuggets (4) Ron Boone, Utah Stars (2) Marvin Barnes, Spirits of St. Louis George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs Swen Nater, San Antonio Spurs (2) Brian Taylor, New York Nets James Silas, San Antonio Spurs
1975–76 Julius Erving, New York Nets (5) Billy Knight, Indiana Pacers Artis Gilmore, Kentucky Colonels (5) James Silas, San Antonio Spurs (2) Ralph Simpson, Denver Nuggets (3) David Thompson, Denver Nuggets Bobby Jones, Denver Nuggets Dan Issel, Denver Nuggets (5) Don Buse, Indiana Pacers George Gervin, San Antonio Spurs (2)

All-Defensive Team[edit]

The All-Defensive Team was an annual honor bestowed on the best defensive players in the league from the 1972–73 season to the season when the league merged with the NBA. The All-Defensive Team was composed of a five-man lineup without regard to position. Artis Gilmore holds the record for the most selections with four, while Mike Gale, Julius Keye, Fatty Taylor, Willie Wise, Don Buse, Bobby Jones and Brian Taylor follow with two selections. Bobby Jones was the only player to be selected during his rookie year.

Season Selections
1972–73 Joe Caldwell Mike Gale Artis Gilmore* Julius Keye Fatty Taylor Willie Wise
1973–74 Mike Gale (2) Artis Gilmore (2)* Julius Keye (2) Ted McClain Fatty Taylor (2) Willie Wise (2)
1974–75 Don Buse Artis Gilmore (3)* Bobby Jones Wil Jones Brian Taylor The sixth player was not selected
1975–76 Don Buse (2) Julius Erving* Artis Gilmore (4)* Bobby Jones (2) Brian Taylor (2)

All-Rookie Team[edit]

The All-Rookie Team was an annual honor given to the top rookies during the regular season. The team was selected in every season of the league's existence, dating back to its inaugural season in 1967–68. The All-Rookie Team was composed of a five-man lineup.

Player (in italic text) Indicates the player who won the ABA Rookie of the Year in the same year
Hall of Famer Moses Malone was part of the 1974–75 All-Rookie Team.
Season Selections
1967–68 Louie Dampier Mel Daniels* Jimmy Jones Bob Netolicky Trooper Washington
1968–69 Ron Boone Warren Jabali Larry Miller Gene Moore Walter Piatkowski
1969–70 Mike Barrett John Brisker Mack Calvin Spencer Haywood Willie Wise
1970–71 Joe Hamilton Dan Issel* Wendell Ladner Samuel Robinson Charlie Scott
1971–72 Julius Erving* Artis Gilmore* George McGinnis Johnny Neumann John Roche
1972–73 Jim Chones George Gervin* James Silas Brian Taylor Dennis Wuycik
1973–74 Mike Green Larry Kenon Bo Lamar Swen Nater John Williamson
1974–75 Marvin Barnes Gus Gerard Bobby Jones Billy Knight Moses Malone*
1975–76 Ticky Burden M. L. Carr Kim Hughes Mark Olberding David Thompson*

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Julius Erving". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ "ABA Year-to-Year Postseason Award Winners". Arthur Hundhausen. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ Sports Reference LLC. "1968 ABA Playoff Summary". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  4. ^ a b "ABA History - The Original American Basketball Association". InsideHoops.com. 2004-02-12. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  5. ^ Sports Reference LLC. "1969 ABA Playoff Summary". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  6. ^ Sports Reference LLC. "1970 ABA Playoff Summary". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  7. ^ Sports Reference LLC. "1972 ABA Playoff Summary". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  8. ^ Sports Reference LLC. "1973 ABA Playoff Summary". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  9. ^ Sports Reference LLC. "1974 ABA Playoff Summary". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  10. ^ Sports Reference LLC. "1976 ABA Playoff Summary". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  11. ^ "Connie Hawkins". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Warren Jabali". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Roger Brown". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Zelmo Beaty". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Freddie Lewis". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  16. ^ "George McGinnis". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Artis Gilmore". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2010.