Difference Between NBA and ABA

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    NBA vs ABA

    It was in the 70’s that the controversial ABA-NBA merger stormed the whole of American basketball. Two giant US-based basketball associations, American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA), were the key players of the merger. It intended to combine the two associations into one major league that finally came to be in 1976 and this move earned a strong mix of reactions from the public. While some thought it was a smart progress that would make American basketball stronger and bolder than ever, most star players and their avid fans frowned at it with much appall, thinking that it should bring about the death of old school NBA. Apparently, a great deal of differences between NBA’s and ABA’s way of playing, ‘packaging’, and public image existed before the merger. Julius Erving, one of the most pronounced ABA players in the 70’s summed these up by stating ‘in my mind, the NBA has just become a bigger version of the ABA. The play, the style of game that we did… They sell their stars like we did. The only difference is that they have more resources and can do it on a much grander scale than we in the ABA ever could.’

    The ABA that we know today is a mere reborn of the original league founded in 1967 and came to an end upon the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Represented by the trademark 3-point line and red, white and blue basketball, the league was very well-known for its freewheeling style and was one of first to tap into markets in the southeast part of the U.S. They opened their doors for promising collegiate teams including ones in North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. It consisted of more or less 39 teams including topnotchers like New York Nets, Indiana Pacers, Utah Stars, Kentucky Colonels, and Denver Nuggets. Most sought-after ABA stars include Julius Erving, David ‘Skywalker’ Thompson, and Marvin Barnes. After it has disbanded in 1976, it was only in 1999 that it was re-established as a separate league, the same league as we know it in the present. The new association called itself ABA 2000. Like the original, it maintained a similar red, white and blue basketball. However, it no longer houses player of the same competence as the NBA nor does it hold games in grand sports arenas or on public T.V. as how the old ABA played before. It is now comprised of 11 Divisions, with a total of approximately 66 teams including those from the 2011 Expansion Division. More about ABA can be accessed through their official website, www.abalive.com.

    Now, off to the next league. Who wouldn’t who NBA is? Unlike, ABA, NBA managed to outperform the tests of time and secure its unfaltering existence since its foundation in 1946. Carried by their distinct logo of blue and red, depicting one of the best NBA players of all time ‘“ Jerry West, NBA proves to be one of the most influential leagues till today. Its evolution started with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in the 40’s, which, upon merging with the National Basketball League (NBL) in the 50’s, finally established NBA. Being one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, it maintains high-caliber players who, together, form the epitome of passionate, aggressive and ingenious basketball. During its BAA years, it only had 11 teams. Over time, it expanded to 6 divisions of 30 best-of-best teams including the legendary Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. NBA is also home to the most influential basketball professionals like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Much of the NBA action is aired on international T.V. and can be seen blow-by-blow throughout the web, especially via their official site, www.nba.com.


    1) National Basketball Association (NBA) and American Basketball Association (ABA) are US-based basketball leagues consisting of multiple teams coming from different US regions.

    2) NBA includes professionals and currently has 30 teams. ABA includes college players and now has more than 60 teams.

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