Los Angeles Stars
1968/69: After losing money their first season in Anaheim, the team is moved to Los Angeles with new Owner James Kirst who built the LA Freeway system, he would rename the team the Los Angeles Stars as they played their games at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Kirst was successful at landing a big name coach in Bill Sharman, but his attempt to bring Wilt Chamberlain in the ABA came up short. The Stars would start the season with a 112-109 loss at home the New Orleans Buccaneers as they split their first 20 games. However, as the season wore on the losses would mount as they finished in fifth place with a record of 33-45, failing to reach the postseason.
1969/70: Prior to their second season the Stars made some significant improvements, signing Zelmo Betty from the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. However, Betty would not be able to join the Stars for another season, as the Hawks held his rights for one more year, as the Stars turned down the Hawks demand of $75,000 to allow him to go to Los Angeles right away. However, with rookies Mack Calvin from USC and Willie Wise from Drake the talent level was significantly better. The Stars would also acquire Craig Raymond and Trooper Washington from Pittsburgh Pipers, while they also picked up Wayne Hightower and Andy Anderson. Despite the new pickups the Stars still struggled to reach .500 most of the season. On February 25th the Stars were sinking again at 26-35. However, powered by a pair of six game winning streaks the Stars surged at the end of the season, as they finished in fourth place with a record of 43-41 as Bill Sharman shared Coach of the Year honors with Joe Belmont of the Denver Rockets. In the playoffs with a strong front court, the Stars would upend the Dallas Chaparrals in six games. In the Western Division Finals the Stars again pulled off an upset beating the Denver Rockets in five games, as they overcame a 30 rebound game from Spencer Haywood in Game 1 and won the next four games to complete the upset of the Rockets. Many of the Stars home playoff games were played in Anaheim or Long Beach, as Owner James Kirst failed to book the LA Sports Arena. Facing the Indiana Pacers in the ABA Finals the Stars found themselves in a hole as they lost their first two games in Indiana. After winning 109-106 in Game 3, the Pacers again were to strong for the Stars as they took a 3-1 series lead with a 142-120 win in Game 4. The Stars would stay alive with a 117-113 overtime win in Game 5 in Indiana. However, back in LA the Pacers would take the series with a 111-107 win in Game 6. It would end up being the final ABA game played in Los Angeles, as the Stars still struggled to draw fans and were losing money despite their surprising run to the ABA Championship Series. After the season the Stars would be sold to Colorado cable TV pioneer Bill Daniels, who moved the team to Salt Lake City where they became the Utah Stars.
©MMXII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the American Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Los Angeles Stars or the ABA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 14, 2012. Last updated on July 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm ET.