By Murry R. Nelson

This booklet examines the yank Basketball League and its brief heritage, starting with its notion in 1959-60 and its seasons of play, 1961-1963. The league used to be the 1st to exploit a trapezoidal, wider lane and a 30-second shot clock, in addition to the 3-point shot. With a group in Hawaii, the league created an adjusted time table to deal with the outsize distance. Many avid gamers reminiscent of Connie Hawkins and invoice Bridges and coaches corresponding to Jack McMahon and invoice Sharman later discovered their technique to the NBA after the cave in of the league, however it took greater than 15 years for extensive attractiveness of the 3-point shot. John McLendon and Ermer Robinson have been the 1st African American coaches in an immense expert league as they either debuted within the ABL.

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Extra info for Abe Saperstein and the American Basketball League, 1960-1963. The Upstarts Who Shot for Three and Lost to the NBA

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42 A San Diego group wrote at the same time expressing interest in an ABL franchise and seeking information from Saperstein. He replied with encouragement, but seeking more information on a possible venue and some financial data from the group. The reply from San Diego came almost three weeks later noting that the group was hopeful of playing in a new, state-constructed pavilion due to open in February of 1961. By the time the letter arrived, Saperstein was on the road again, and Marie Linehan sent an acknowledgment, saying that the letter would be held for Saperstein’s return with a copy sent to him in London on tour with the Globetrotters.

Steinbrenner and Pittsburgh owner Len Litman claimed that the fifth game was to be played in the East. Saperstein said there was a misunderstanding and that it was to be played in the West. Steinbrenner declared that the Pipers would not play in Kansas City and wanted a neutral site, like St. Louis. The Pipers failed to come to Kansas City for the game on April 9, but they finally agreed and arrived the next day for the game in Kansas City. Unfortunately, the game had to be played in the Rockhurst College gym because the Municipal Auditorium had been previously booked.

Glickman also presented ideas for the scheduling of the eight clubs, a topic not covered in the meeting minutes. From this we can see that the Eastern teams would be Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Washington while the Western would be Los Angeles, Kansas City or Houston, Portland and San Francisco. He suggested that play-offs be limited to division winners. In that regard, he saw a shorter season (68 games from mid–November to mid–March) superior to a longer season. 31 Saperstein responded a few days later, noting that he had sent out the proposals to all interested parties.

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Abe Saperstein and the American Basketball League, 1960-1963. The Upstarts Who Shot for Three and Lost to the NBA by Murry R. Nelson


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