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Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Kentucky Colonels

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For you old school Knick fans look closely at the ABA ball….Yes that is former Knick Dave DeBusshere’s signature. He was the ABA’s Commissioner at one point. I never understood the NBA’s reluctance to include the St Louis Spirits and the Kentucky Colonels in the NBA instead they had a ABA dispersal  draft to break up those two teams and spread the players around the NBA. I always believed if left alone the Colonels would have challenged the Lakers and Celtics as upper echelon teams. The Colonels at that point featured Artis Gilmore who was as ABA’s version of Kareem, Dan Issel and Louis Dampier. A very seldom known fact….The Kentucky Colonels were only one of two ABA teams, along with the Indiana Pacers, to play for the entire duration of the league without relocating, changing its team name or folding.  That was rare indeed in a league that relocated teams or saw teams not even finish a game due to the fact they ran out of money to pay the workers…the Colonels were stable by ABA standards.

Another seldom known fact …The Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league’s history.

They won their lone championship in 1975 against the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 1. In that game center Artis Gilmore scored 28 points and grabbed an amazing 31 rebounds in the final game.

That same season the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Title. Colonels owner, John Y. Brown, offered the NBA Champs a million dollars to play a one-game world championship. The Warriors and the NBA refused.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights a team that should have been included in the NBA but will always have a home here at smallthoughtsinasportsworld…the Kentucky Colonels.

Enjoy the video courtesy of youtube. The second video features only the second half the game .




  1. Cayman Thorn says:

    I wish I would have been into basketball when I was a boy, because the ABA seems like it would have been my kind of fun.

    And that red white and blue basketball? How cool is that?!

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