1975–76 ABA season
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, then the Baltimore Claws. The Claws folded during the preseason in October after playing three exhibition games. The San Diego Conquistadors were replaced for the 1975-76 season by the San Diego Sails, but folded in November, followed by the Utah Stars in early December. The Virginia Squires folded in May following the end of the season, unable to make a $75,000 league assessment.
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.
|New York Nets C||55||29||.655||5|
|San Antonio Spurs||50||34||.595||10|
|Spirits of St. Louis||35||49||.417||25|
|San Diego Sails||3||8||.273||-|
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 honors
- ABA Most Valuable Player Award: Julius Erving, New York Nets (3rd selection)
- Rookie of the Year: David Thompson, Denver Nuggets
- Coach of the Year: Larry Brown, Denver Nuggets (3rd selection)
- Playoffs MVP: Julius Erving, New York Nets (2nd selection)
- All-Star Game MVP: David Thompson, Denver Nuggets
- Executive of the Year: Carl Scheer, Denver Nuggets (3rd selection)
- All-ABA First Team
- Julius Erving, New York Nets (4th First Team selection, 5th overall selection)
- Billy Knight, Indiana Pacers
- Artis Gilmore, Kentucky Colonels (5th selection)
- James Silas, San Antonio Spurs (1st First Team selection, 2nd overall selection)
- Ralph Simpson, Denver Nuggets (1st First Team selection, 3rd overall selection)
- All-ABA Second Team
- All-Defensive Team
- All-Rookie Team
- "It's official - Baltimore gets Sounds of ABA". Lewiston Evening Journal. Maine. Associated Press. August 29, 1975. p. 15.
- "ABA crops Claws; asks admission into NBA". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. October 21, 1975. p. B3.
- "Sails come down, ABA team folds". Lakeland Ledger. Florida. Associated Press. November 12, 1975. p. 1B.
- "ABA folds Utah; Roche waived". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. December 3, 1975. p. D1.
- "ABA Squires fold". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. May 11, 1976. p. 12.