1968/69: Despite solid attendance and winning the first ABA Championship, the Pittsburgh Pipers moved to Minnesota to replace the Minnesota Muskies who had moved down to Miami. At the time the ABA league offices were in Minneapolis the home of Commissioner George Mikan, who had starred with the Minneapolis Lakers. It would simply be a disastrous season for the Pipers in Minnesota, as new Coach Jim Harding would often run his team into the ground with hard practices. The Pipers would win their first four games, including two straight home wins over the former Muskies, who were now called the Miami Floridians. However, as the season wore on the Pipers, who at one time held a 20-9 record began to break down. Things would take a turn for the worse at an all-star banquet as Coach Jim Harding physically attacked Gabe Rubin, the Chairman of the Pipers. After the fight General Manager Vern Mikkelsen took over for Harding until Verl Young was named as the permanent replacement. The Pipers would struggle down the stretch and finish in fourth place with a record of 36-42. Once again having a strong season was Connie Hawkins who averaged 30.2 ppg, while missing most of the second half. In the playoffs the Pipers would face the Floridians in a tough seven game series, but after a tough season the Pipers would fall losing 137-128 in the finale. The Pipers struggled all season at the gates and would return to Pittsburgh following the season. However, Connie Hawkins would not go along as he joined the Phoenix Suns after finally being cleared to play in the NBA.
©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 Minnesota Pipers 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 20, 2012. Last updated on July 20, 2012 at 12:00 am ET.