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Hidden Basketball History


kimball
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I would have done a general sport history, but I wanted to focus specifically on basketball and didn't want it derailed by the many hockey fanatics on the board ?

 

A number of years ago, in middle school nonetheless, when I was reading some old newspaper clippings I came across an article from 1970 announcing the NBA expansion into Cleveland, Portland, Buffalo and Houston. This always seemed odd to me because in 1971 the San Diego Rockets moved to Houston. So I assumed the Rockets were sold to a Houston group instead of expansion, but never dug much deeper -- until today when I had too much time on my hands.

 

So here's the clipping announcing the expansion for the 1970-71 season.

 

As it turns out the Houston team who was led by a group by Alan Rothenberg (who would later became President of US Soccer and led the 1994 World Cup) failed to pay a down payment of $750,000 of the $3.7 million franchise fee -- so the team was folded. The clipping is here.

 

Also before the Houston Expansion team folded plans for realignment called for a Southern Division (consisting of Baltimore, Atlanta, Phoenix and Houston) instead of a Midwest Division. Obviously that changed, read more here.

 

I bring this up as a thread where other basketball junkies can share other "hidden history" that's kind of been forgotten over time. Whether it's failed trades, relocations, merger plans, hirings, firings, near trades -- whatever.

 

Share what you'd like and provide a link if you have one.

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This article talks about the NBA-ABA merger talks in 1970 -- nothing to abnormal in plans we've known.

 

But, an interesting side note was the Warriors trade for the rights to Zelmo Beaty from the Hawks for their 1970 First Round Pick which ended up being Pete Maravich. Could you imagine a Warriors team featuring Barry and Maravich? Wow!

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