1967-68 ABA Basketball Season Roster
- Pipers Lead the Way: Pittsburgh, scoring leader Connie Hawkins set the pace
- First Will be Last: Inaugural season completes SOM’s run of ABA rosters
- Shooting Stars: All 11 teams average at least 103 points; Daniels, Heyman, Moe star
The inaugural season of the American Basketball Association completes the set of ABA seasons re-created by Strat-O-Matic. The high-scoring league (all 11 teams averaged at least 103 points) with the three-point-shot and the red-white-and-blue ball had 10 regulars who averaged more than 20 points per game.
No star shined brighter than Pittsburgh’s Connie Hawkins, who had been banned by the NBA but led the new league in scoring (26.8 ppg), was second in rebounding (13.5 rpg) and third in assists (4.6 apg). Hawkins, guard Charlie Williams (20.8 ppg), former Duke star Art Heyman (20.1 ppg after being acquired in a mid-season trade) and NBA castoff Chico Vaughn (19.9 ppg) led the Pipers to the ABA’s best record (54-24) and three playoff series victories to claim the first ABA championship.
Pro basketball fans will recognize the Indiana Pacers (with future ABA legends Roger Brown and Freddie Lewis, plus college stars Jimmy Rayl and Oliver Darden), the Denver Rockets (future ABA great Byron Beck), and the Kentucky Colonels (Louie Dampier). They may recall the Dallas Chaparrals (former NBA star Cliff Hagan and former Duke star Bob Verga) and the Oakland Oaks (Levern Tart averaged 26.9 points after a mid-season trade).
But only students of the sport could come up with the Pittsburgh Pipers, Minnesota Muskies (future MVP Mel Daniels averaged 22.2 ppg and led the ABA with 15.6 rpg), New Jersey Americans, New Orleans Buccaneers (the ABA runner-up with future coaching stars Doug Moe, who averaged 24.2 ppg, and Larry Brown, who led the league with 6.5 apg), the Houston Mavericks (Willie Somerset averaged 21.7 ppg) and the Anaheim Amigos.
Several of these franchises were not long for the ABA, but in 1967-68 they produced two competitive divisions for 78 or 79 games each. Pittsburgh’s 54 wins were only four games better than Minnesota’s. In the Western Division, New Orleans won with a 48-30 record, barely ahead of Dallas (46-32) and Denver (45-33).
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