Ronald Bruce Boone is a retired American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association player. Boone played the most consecutive games played in professional basketball history, 1,041, never missing a game in his career. AC Green has since surpassed the 1,041 games. Boone is the current color commentator on Utah Jazz broadcasts. Boone grew up in the Logan Fontenelle housing project and attended Technical High School in North Omaha, Nebraska. In high school, Boone played basketball for Coach Neal Mosser, who had led Tech to the 1963 State title and had coached Basketball of Famer Bob Boozer and Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson before Boone. Boone stood only 5'7" when he graduated from high school and didn't become a starter in basketball until his senior season. Boone played baseball under Josh Gibson, older brother of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson an Omaha native and Technical High School alumnus. Small in stature at the time, Boone reflected on his basketball aspirations after high school.
“I remember playing in a league down at the local YMCA and just having a good time — scoring points — and this friend of mine asked one of the officials if he thought I could play major college basketball and the guy said, ‘No way,’ Boone recalled. "That was always in the back of my mind. If there was anything in my life that I can say inspired me, it was those comments.” After high school, Boone and a teammate accepted offers to play junior college basketball. Boone played one season at Clarinda Community College in Clarinda, where he grew to 6'2" and averaged 26 points per game. Boone transferred to Idaho State University in Pocatello, where he played for the Bengals, of the Big Sky Conference from 1965-1968; as a sophomore, Boone averaged 10.9 points and 9.4 rebounds in 1965-1966 under Idaho State Coach Claude Retherford, as the Bengals finished 7-19. Rutherford was a former college teammate of Boone's high school coach Neil Mosser."It was Coach Mosser who helped me get a basketball scholarship to Idaho State."
Boone reflected "I was accepted sight unseen and now, 30 years Claude Retherford is still one of my best friends. He visits me in Salt Lake City every spring and I teach his basketball camp every summer."In 1966-1967, Idaho State Bengals men's basketball finished 10-15, with Boone averaging 22.3 points and 5.1 rebounds. As a senior in 1967-1968, Boone averaged 21.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists as Idaho State finished 10-12 under Coach Danny Miller. In his three seasons with ISU, Boone averaged 20.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 61 games, never missing a game. Boone was named First-team All-Big Sky in 1967 and 1968. After graduating from Idaho State University, Boone was selected by both the American Basketball Association's Dallas Chaparrals in the 1968 ABA draft and by the Phoenix Suns in the 1968 NBA draft. Boone opted to play for Dallas in the ABA. Of his choice to play in the ABA, Boone said: "I chose the ABA because my college coach said it was a young league and I’d have a better chance of making professional basketball there.
I felt that by going to the ABA I had a shot. I still had to prove myself. At the time Cliff Hagan, a legend, was the coach for the Chaparrals. We had to play two-on-two and he would always play. I remember hearing about this hook shot that he had, awesome and right, during that time I blocked his hook shot a couple of times. I think today, that’s the reason I ended up making the team." Boone played two seasons with the Dallas Chaparrals from 1968–71. As a rookie in 1968-1969, Boone averaged 18.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists under Coach Cliff Hagan. Dallas finished 41-37. Boone made the ABA All-Rookie First Team. Boone averaged 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 201 games with Dallas. Boone played for five seasons with the Utah Stars, after being traded to the Stars from Dallas in mid-season 1970, while averaging 20.0 points in 42 games with Dallas. In January 1971, the Stars traded Donnie Freeman and Wayne Hightower to the Chaparrals for Boone and Glen Combs. Boone, alongside Zelmo Beaty, Willie Wise and Glen Combs, helped lead the Utah Stars to the 1971 ABA championship under Coach Bill Sharman.
Utah finished the 1970-1971 regular season 57-27, with Boone averaging 18.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Boone averaged 17.6 points in the ABA Finals 4-3 Finals victory against the Kentucky Colonels, with Dan Issel and Louis Dampier. The Stars defeated the Dallas Chaparrals 4-0 to reach the finals. Boone averaged 21.0 points in 14.9 in the Indiana series. Boone was with the Stars over the course of six seasons and averaged 18.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals in 396 games. After five full seasons with the Stars, the Utah Stars franchise folded after 16 games in 1975-1976, with the NBA and ABA merger imminent. Boone played for the Spirits of St. Louis for the remainder of the 1975–76 season. Overall, Boone averaged 26.2 points for Utah and 21.0 in 62 games for St. Louis, playing alongside Hall of Famer Moses Malone as well as Marvin Barnes, Maurice Lucas, M. L. Carr, Caldwell Jones, Gus Gerard and Mike D'Antoni. St. Louis disbanded after the demise of the ABA. In his ABA career, Boone was a four time ABA All-Star.
After the ABA–NBA merger in June 1976 Boone played in the NBA for the Kansas City Kings. On August 5, 1976 he was drafted by the Kings from the Spirits of St. Louis in the dispersal draft. Playing for Coach Phil Johnson in 1976-1977, Boone led the Kings in scoring, averaging 22.2 points, along with 3.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.5 steals
Richard Francis Dennis Barry III is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by the NBA in 1996, Barry is the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association, ABA, NBA in scoring for an individual season, he was known for his unorthodox but effective underhand free throw shooting technique, at the time of his retirement in 1980 his.900 free throw percentage ranked first in NBA history. In 1987, Barry was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he is the father of former NBA players Brent Barry, Jon Barry, Drew Barry and current professional player Canyon Barry. Barry grew up in Roselle Park, New Jersey, graduating from Roselle Park High School in 1962. Barry was an All-American basketball player for the University of Miami, where he starred for three seasons. While at Miami, Barry met his wife Pamela, the daughter of Hurricanes head coach Bruce Hale.
As a senior in the 1964–65 campaign, Barry led the NCAA with a 37.4 points-per-game average. Barry and the Hurricanes did not take part in the NCAA Tournament, because the basketball program was on probation at the time. Barry is one of just two basketball players to have his number retired by the school. Barry was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors with the second pick of the 1965 NBA draft. In Barry's first season in the NBA with the Warriors, the team improved from 17 to 35 victories. In the All-Star Game one season Barry erupted for 38 points as the West team stunned the East team, which featured Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and head coach Red Auerbach among other all-time greats; that season and company extended the mighty Philadelphia 76ers to six competitive games in the NBA Finals, something that Russell and the Boston Celtics could not do in the Eastern Conference playoffs. That 76ers team is considered to be one of the greatest in basketball history. Nicknamed the "Miami Greyhound" by longtime San Francisco-area broadcaster Bill King because of his slender physical build and remarkable quickness and instincts, the 6'7" Barry won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 25.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in the 1965–66 season.
The following year, he won the 1967 NBA All-Star Game MVP award with a 38-point outburst and led the NBA in scoring with a 35.6 point per game average — which still ranks as the eighth- highest output in league annals. Teamed with star center Nate Thurmond in San Francisco, Barry helped take the Warriors to the 1967 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. Including a 55-point outburst in Game 3, Barry averaged 40.8 points per game in the series, an NBA Finals record that stood for three decades. Upset that he was not paid incentive monies that he believed due from Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli, Barry jumped to the ABA's Oakland Oaks, who offered him a lucrative contract and the chance to play for Bruce Hale, his then-father-in-law; the three-year contract offer from Pat Boone, the singer and team owner, was estimated to be worth $500,000, with Barry saying "the offer Oakland made me was one I couldn't turn down" and that it would make him one of basketball's highest-paid players.
The courts ordered Barry to sit out the 1967–68 season before he starred in the ABA, upholding the validity of the reserve clause in his contract. He preceded St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Curt Flood, whose better-known challenge to the reserve clause went all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court, by two years as the first American major-league professional athlete to bring a court action against it; the ensuing negative publicity cast Barry in a negative light, portraying him as selfish and money-hungry. However, many NBA players at the time were looking at jumping to the ABA for more lucrative contracts. Barry would star in the ABA, twice averaging more than 30 points per game. After the 1966–67 season, Barry became one of the first NBA players to jump to the American Basketball Association when he signed with the Oakland Oaks. In the ABA's first season, the Oaks were the only ABA team located in the same market as an NBA team; the Warriors prevented Barry from playing for the Oaks during the 1967 -- 68 season.
Barry instead worked on Oaks radio broadcasts during the ABA's first season. During the 1968 -- 69 season, Barry averaged 34 points per game, he led the ABA in free-throw percentage for the season. However, on December 27, 1968, late in a game against the New York Nets and Kenny Wilburn collided and Barry tore ligaments in his knee, he tried to play again in January but only aggravated the injury and sat out the rest of the season, only appearing in 35 games as a result. Despite the injury Barry was named to the ABA All-Star team; the Oaks finished with a record of 60-18, winning the Western Division by 14 games over the second place New Orleans Buccaneers. In the 1969 ABA Playoffs the Oaks defeated the Denver Rockets in a seven-game series and defeated New Orleans in the Western Division finals. In the finals the Oaks defeated the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 1 to win the 1969 ABA Championship; the Oaks' on-court success had not translated into solid attendance. The team averaged 2,800 fans per game.
Instead of remaining in Oakland for another season to see if the championship would draw fans, the team was sold by owner Pat Boone and relocated to Washington, D. C. for the 1969–70 season. Barry played the 1969–70 season with the ABA's Washington Caps. Barry did not like the move and refused to report to the team, at one point commenting, "If I wanted to go to Washin
Larry Miller (basketball player)
Lawrence James Miller is a retired American basketball player. As the All-American star of his Catasauqua High School team, Miller scored 46 of his team's 66 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 66-62 win over Steelton High in the 1964 Pennsylvania state playoffs at the Hershey Arena. A 6 ft 4 in guard/forward born in Allentown, Miller played at the University of North Carolina during the 1960s, he earned ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year honors in 1966 and 1967. In 2002, Miller was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team as one of the fifty greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Miller never played in that league. From 1968 to 1975, he played professionally in the American Basketball Association as a member of the Los Angeles Stars, Carolina Cougars, San Diego Conquistadors, Virginia Squires, Utah Stars, he averaged 13.6 points per game in his career and set the ABA record of 67 points in a game on March 18, 1972. Since his retirement, he works in real estate construction.
Warren Jabali was an American basketball player. He played professionally in the American Basketball Association from 1968 to 1975. Born Warren Edward Armstrong, Jabali changed his name while attending Wichita State University to reflect his African roots; the name does not have any religious connotations as it is a Swahili word for "rock." A skilled defender and rebounder and a remarkable leaper, the 6'2" Jabali was reported to be able to touch a ten-foot high basketball rim with his forehead. Although Wichita State, the Missouri Valley Conference in general, supplied many pro players of the era, he did not receive much attention from the National Basketball Association, he was drafted by the New York Knicks in the 4th round of the 1968 NBA draft. In his first season in the ABA, he won Rookie of the Year honors, prompting teammate Rick Barry to comment, "No doubt he's one of the best guards I've played with—or against"; that season, Jabali averaged 33.2 points against the Indiana Pacers in the 1969 ABA Finals and was named Playoffs MVP.
As one of the most physically gifted guards in the American Basketball Association, Warren Jabali muscled his way through seven straight seasons of double-digit scoring, including 1968–69, when his average of 21.5 points per game earned him ABA Rookie of the Year honors. That season Jabali's efforts helped bring an ABA Championship to the Oakland Oaks, a team that featured Rick Barry, Larry Brown, Doug Moe. Jabali became an instant star after coming into the league from Wichita State University. Although Barry, the Oaks' biggest attraction, won the league scoring title in 1968–69, he was only able to play in 35 games because of a severe knee ligament injury, it was Jabali, an immediate starter, who gave Coach Alex Hannum the extra scoring punch needed in Barry's absence. With Jabali aboard and Barry helping for part of the season, the Oaks recorded a stunning 38-game turnaround to post a league-best 60-18 record. In the playoffs, they went 12-4 on the way to claiming the ABA Championship. A year at midseason, with the team playing as the Washington Caps, an injury sidelined Jabali.
Hurt shortly after playing in his first of four ABA All-Star Games, he was carrying an average of 22.8 points per game at the time. Jabali made a comeback. In his first season back, 1970–71, he was traded from the Kentucky Colonels to the Indiana Pacers on October 13, 1970, in exchange for a first-round draft choice and cash. Jabali saw action in 62 games with the Pacers, it was with the Pacers. He had a big year with the Florida Floridians the following season, averaging 19.9 points and hitting 102 of his 286 three-point attempts, among the most in the league. When the Miami-based franchise folded, Jabali moved to the Denver Rockets. During his first campaign with the Rockets, Jabali's 16-point effort in the 1973 ABA All-Star Game keyed the West's come-from-behind victory and earned him Most Valuable Player honors; that game is referred to as the Jabali's Jamboree. After one more season in Denver and another with the San Diego Conquistadors, Jabali retired in 1975, at age 28. In his seven-year professional career, Jabali played for the Oakland Oaks, Washington Capitals, the Indiana Pacers, The Floridians, the Denver Rockets, the San Diego Conquistadors.
While playing for the Rockets in 1973, he was named the All-Star Game MVP and was named to the All-ABA First Team after averaging 17.0 points, 6.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds. Knee problems would soon limit his effectiveness, he retired in 1975, having achieved career averages of 17.1 points, 5.3 assists, 6.7 rebounds. Warren Jabali died on July 13, 2012. Career stats at basketball-reference.com Warren Jabali at Remember the ABA Warren Jabali in His Own Words at HoopsHype.com
The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the Pacers were first established in 1967 as a member of the American Basketball Association and became a member of the NBA in 1976 as a result of the ABA–NBA merger. They play their home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; the team is named after Indiana's history with the Indianapolis 500's pace cars and with the harness racing industry. The Pacers have won three championships, all in the ABA; the Pacers were NBA Eastern Conference champions in 2000. The team has won nine division titles. Six Hall of Fame players – Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Alex English, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, George McGinnis – played with the Pacers for multiple seasons. In early 1967, a group of six investors pooled their resources to purchase a franchise in the proposed American Basketball Association.
For their first seven years, they played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum. In 1974, they moved to the plush new Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis, where they played for 25 years. Early in the Pacers' second season, former Indiana Hoosiers standout Bob "Slick" Leonard became the team's head coach, replacing Larry Staverman. Leonard turned the Pacers into a juggernaut, his teams were buoyed by the great play of superstars such as Mel Daniels, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Rick Mount, Freddie Lewis and Roger Brown. The Pacers were – and ended – as the most successful team in ABA history, winning three ABA Championships in four years. In all, they appeared in the ABA Finals five times in the league's nine-year history, an ABA record; the Pacers were one of four ABA teams that joined the NBA in the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. For the 1976–77 season the Pacers were joined in the merged league by the Denver Nuggets, New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs; the league charged a $3.2 million entry fee for each former ABA team.
Since the NBA would only agree to accept four ABA teams in the ABA–NBA merger, the Pacers and the three other surviving ABA teams had to compensate the two remaining ABA franchises which were not a part of the merger, the Spirits of St. Louis and Kentucky Colonels; as a result of the merger, the four teams dealt with financial troubles. Additionally, the Pacers had some financial troubles which dated back to their waning days in the ABA; the new NBA teams were barred from sharing in national TV revenues for four years. The Pacers finished their inaugural NBA season with a record of 36–46. Billy Knight and Don Buse represented Indiana in the NBA All-Star Game. However, this was one of the few bright spots of the Pacers' first 13 years in the NBA. During this time, they had only two playoff appearances. A lack of continuity became the norm for most of the next decade, as they traded away Knight and Buse before the 1977–78 season started, they acquired Adrian Dantley in exchange for Knight, but Dantley was traded in December, while the Pacers' second-leading scorer, John Williamson, was dealt in January.
The early Pacers came out on the short end of two of the most one-sided trades in NBA history. In 1980, they traded Alex English to the Nuggets in order to reacquire former ABA star George McGinnis. McGinnis was long past his prime, contributed little during his two-year return. English, in contrast, went on to become one of the greatest scorers in NBA history; the next year, they traded a 1984 draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for center Tom Owens, who had played for the Pacers during their last ABA season. Owens played one year for the Pacers with little impact, was out of the league altogether a year later. In 1983–84, the Pacers finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, which would have given the Pacers the second overall pick in the draft—the pick that the Blazers used to select Sam Bowie while Michael Jordan was still available; as a result of the Owens trade, they were left as bystanders in the midst of one of the deepest drafts in NBA history—including such future stars as Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Perkins, Charles Barkley, John Stockton.
Clark Kellogg was drafted by the Pacers in the 1982 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, but the Pacers finished the 1982–83 season with their all-time worst record of 20–62, won only 26 games the following season. After winning 22 games in 1984–85 and 26 games in 1985–86, Jack Ramsay replaced George Irvine as coach and led the Pacers to a 41–41 record in 1986–87 and their second playoff appearance as an NBA team. Chuck Person, nicknamed "The Rifleman" for his renowned long-range shooting, led the team in scoring as a rookie and won NBA Rookie of the Year honors, their first playoff win in NBA franchise history was earned in Game 3 of their first-round, best-of-five series against the Atlanta Hawks, but it was their only victory in that series, as the Hawks defeated them in four games. Reggie Miller from UCLA was drafted by the Pacers in 1987, beginning his career as a backup to John Long. Many fans at the time disagreed with Miller's selection over Indiana Hoosiers' standout Steve Alford.
The Pacers missed the playoffs in 1987–88, drafted Rik Smits in the 1988 NBA draft, suffered through a disastrous 1988–89 season in which coach Jack Ramsay stepped down following an 0–7 start. Mel Daniels and George Irvine filled in on an interim basis before Dick Versace took over the 6–23 team on the way to a 28
Douglas Edwin Moe is an American former professional basketball player and coach. As a head coach with the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association, he was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 1988. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Moe was a star player at the University of North Carolina where he was a two-time All-American. However, his collegiate career ended in controversy when he admitted to being associated with a point shaving scandal. Moe received $75 from fix conspirator Aaron Wagman to fly to a meeting in New Jersey, arranged by Moe's friend conspirator Lou Brown, but Moe turned down an offer to throw games. There is no evidence that Moe was involved in a fix conspiracy, but his ties to the scandal blemished his reputation, he was selected in the NBA draft in 1960 by the Detroit Pistons and again in 1961 with the Chicago Packers, but began his pro career in the top level Italian league, with the Pallacanestro Petrarca Padova, in the American Basketball Association with the New Orleans Buccaneers, Oakland Oaks, Washington Caps, Carolina Cougars and Virginia Squires.
He garnered ABA All-Star honors three times in an injury-shortened five-year professional playing career. Moe became a head coach in 1976–77, after serving as an assistant coach for the Carolina Cougars. Moe worked behind the bench for ten of them with the Denver Nuggets, he had stops in San Antonio and Philadelphia. Moe began his coaching career with the Carolina Cougars in the ABA as an assistant coach to his UNC teammate Larry Brown from 1972 to 1974, he followed Brown to Denver, where they coached the Nuggets from 1974 to 1976. During those two seasons, the Nuggets were 125–43, they lost to the New York Nets in six games. After the ABA–NBA merger in 1976, Moe served as a head coach for the San Antonio Spurs for four seasons, leading them to a conference finals appearance in 1979, he returned to Denver in 1980 to take over the head coaching reins from another UNC alum, Donnie Walsh. From 1980 to 1990, Moe compiled a 432–357 record and led the Nuggets to the postseason nine-straight years—advancing as far as the Western Conference Finals in 1985.
He guided the Nuggets to two Midwest Division titles and a franchise-record 54 wins in 1987–88. He was named NBA Coach of the Year that same year. Under Moe's direction, the Nuggets high-octane offense led the league in scoring in six of his 10 seasons in Denver, he is honored by the Nuggets with a banner that reads "432" for his number of wins as a Nuggets' head coach. Moe served an unsuccessful stint as a head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers, with his son David Moe as an assistant coach. In 1979, he led the Spurs to the conference finals, his overall NBA head coaching ledger stands at 628–529 and his wins are the 19th-most in NBA history, though he is not in the Hall of Fame. Moe used a run-and-gun offense, he ran no plays, instead relying on ball movement and constant cuts to the basket. Players were not to hold onto the ball for longer than two seconds; the movement of the ball was predicated on. "You can't diagram it, you can't put a paper to it. If you do, you're doing an injustice to the system", said former Nuggets assistant Allan Bristow.
Moe said, "The passing game is doing whatever the hell you want."Moe's passing strategy was adopted from North Carolina head coach Dean Smith. Smith a conservative coach, thought that the passing game could work with the right players, but he did not believe players would be smart enough to execute it at all times. Though his offensive strategy led to high scores, Moe's Denver teams were never adept at running fast breaks, his teams at times appeared to give up baskets in order to get one. He disputed the fact that his teams did not play defense, attributing the high scores to the pace of the game. "One of the biggest disappointments in my life was going into the NBA after the merger. The NBA was a rinky-dink league—listen, I'm serious about this; the league was run like garbage. There was no camaraderie; the NBA All-Star Games were nothing—guys didn't want to play in them and the fans could care less about the games. It wasn't until the 1980s, when David Stern became commissioner, that the NBA figured out what the hell they were doing, what they did was a lot of stuff we had in the ABA—from the 3-point shot to All-Star weekend to the show biz stuff.
Now the NBA is like the old ABA. Guys play there is a closeness in the league. Hell, the ABA might have lost the battle; the NBA now plays our kind of basketball." National Basketball Association portal Basketball-Reference.com: Doug Moe Basketball-Reference.com: Doug Moe
The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team was founded as the Denver Larks in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, but changed its name to Rockets before the first season. It changed its name again to the Nuggets in 1974. After the name change, the Nuggets played for the final ABA Championship title in 1976, losing to the New York Nets; the team has had some periods of success, qualifying for the ABA Playoffs for all seasons from 1967 to the 1976 ABA playoffs where it lost in the finals. The team joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA–NBA merger and qualified for the NBA playoffs in nine consecutive seasons in the 1980s and ten consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2013. However, it has not made an appearance in a championship round since its last year in the ABA; the Nuggets play their home games at Pepsi Center, which they share with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.
The original Denver Nuggets was founded in the National Basketball League prior to the 1948–49 season. Following that season, the NBL was absorbed into the BAA, renamed to the NBA; the Denver Nuggets played the 1949–50 season as one of the charter NBA teams before folding. In 1967, one of the ABA's charter franchises was awarded to a group in Kansas City, headed by Southern Californian businessman James Trindle. However, Trindle was unable to find a suitable arena in the Kansas City area. League commissioner George Mikan suggested moving the team to Denver. After agreeing to name Denver resident and former NBA player Vince Boryla as general manager, Trindle moved his team to Denver as the Denver Larks, named after Colorado's state bird; the Trindle group was undercapitalized, leading Mikan to order the Larks to post a $100,000 performance bond or lose the franchise. Hours before the deadline, Trindle sold a ⅔ controlling interest to Denver trucking magnate Bill Ringsby for $350,000. Ringsby renamed the team the Rockets, after his company's long-haul trucks.
Playing at the Denver Auditorium Arena, the Rockets had early successes on the court, developing a solid fan base along the way. However, the team had a history of early playoff exits and failed to play in an ABA championship series. Early, they had a solid lineup led by Byron Beck and Larry Jones later by Beck and Ralph Simpson. Lonnie Wright of the American Football League's Denver Broncos signed with the Rockets during that first season and became the first player to play professional football and basketball in the same season. Wright played four seasons with Denver. Controversial rookie Spencer Haywood joined the team for the 1969–70 season. Haywood was one of the first players to turn pro before graduating from college, the NBA refused to let him play in the league. Haywood averaged nearly 30 points and 19.5 rebounds per game in his only ABA season, being named ABA MVP, ABA rookie of the year, as well as the All-Star Game MVP. The team finished 51–33, winning their division, before exiting the playoffs in the 2nd round.
Just before the start of the 1970–71 season, Haywood signed with the Seattle SuperSonics, jumping to the NBA. The team tumbled to a 30–54 record and attendance suffered. Ringsby sold the team to San Diego businessmen Frank Goldberg and Bud Fischer in 1972. In 1974, in anticipation of moving into the NBA, the new McNichols Arena, the franchise held a contest to choose a new team nickname, as "Rockets" was in use by the Houston Rockets; the winning choice was "Nuggets", in honor of the original Nuggets team in Denver from 1948–50, the last year as a charter member of the NBA. Their new logo was a miner "discovering" an ABA ball. Goldberg and Fischer in turn sold the team to a local investment group in 1976. With the drafting and signing of future hall of fame player David Thompson out of North Carolina State, Marvin Webster and the acquisitions of Dan Issel and Bobby Jones and with Larry Brown coaching, they had their best seasons in team history in their first two seasons as the Nuggets. Playing in the Denver Auditorium Arena for the last season the 1974–75 team went 65–16, including a 40–2 record at home.
However, a quick playoff exit followed. In 1975–76, playing at their new arena, the Nuggets edged the reigning champion Kentucky Colonels four games to three to make the 1976 ABA finals for the first time, they lost to the New York Nets and Julius Erving. They did not get a second chance to win an ABA league championship, as the ABA–NBA merger took place after the 1975–76 season; the Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs were merged into the NBA. The Spirits of St. Louis and Kentucky Colonels were disbanded; the Nuggets and Nets had applied to join the NBA in 1975, but were forced to stay in the ABA by a court order. The Nuggets continued their strong play early on in the NBA, as they won division titles in their first two seasons in the league, missed a third by a single game. However, neither of these teams were successful in the postseason. To the other new NBA teams, the Nuggets were given many financial issues including a $2 million entry fee. Red McCombs bought the team in 1978. In 1979, Brown left the team.
It ended in 1981. Moe brought with him a "motion offense" philosophy, a style of play focusing on attempting to move the ball until someone got open. Moe was known for not paying as much attention to defense as his colleagues; the offense helped the team become competitive. During the 1980s