New Orleans Buccaneers
1967/68: One of 11 teams in the upstart ABA, the New Orleans Buccaneers were part of an early strategy for the new league, settling new territory to grab a loyal fan base that had never had a major professional team. Coached by the colorful Babe McCarthy the Buccaneers began the season with a 120-112 win over the Houston Mavericks at the Loyal Field House. Early in the season the Bucs led by strong guard established themselves as one of the best teams in the ABA as they got off to a 20-6 start. The Buccaneers were the class of the Western Division, as Doug Moe, Red Robbins, Larry Brown and Jimmy Jones all played in the ABA All Star game, which was coached by Babe McCarthy, with Brown taking the game’s MVP. Larry Brown would also lead the league in assists, as the Buccaneers won the West with a record of 48-30. In the playoffs the Buccaneers would get off to a good start, winning the first two games against the Denver Rockets at home. However, dropping the next two games on the road, the Bucs needed to defend their home court one more to advance to the next round. The Buccaneers would do just that beating the Rockets 102-97 in a hard fought fifth game. In the Western Division Finals the Bucs would take on the Dallas Chaparrals. After splitting the first two games at home, the Bucs came up big on the road, winning the next two games in Dallas as they took the best of seven series in five games. Advancing to the first ever ABA Championship Series, the New Orleans Buccaneers faced the Pittsburgh Pipers. After splitting the first two games in Pittsburgh the Buccaneers had a chance to take a stranglehold in the series, winning 109-101 in Game 3. However, they would suffer a heartbreaking 106-105 overtime loss in Game 4. The Buccaneers would rebound with a big 111-108 win in Pittsburgh, that gave a chance to win the championship at Loyal Field House. However, they would suffer a letdown, losing 118-112. In the decisive seventh game in Pittsburgh, the Buccaneers would suffer a 122-113 loss as the Pipers claimed the league’s first championship.
1968/69: Prior to their second season the Buccaneers traded Larry Brown and Doug Moe to the Oakland Oaks in exchange for Steve Jones, Barry Liebowitz and Ron Franz. Early in the year the Buccaneers would struggle, as they lost 12 of their first 20 games. For most of the season the Bucs would struggle to get above .500. However, as the season came to an end the Buccaneers began to gel, winning their last 13 games as they finished in second place with a record of 46-32. The winning streak would continue into the playoffs as they beat the Dallas Chaparrals in the first two games at home. However, the Chaps would win three of the next four games, to send the series to a seventh game. In Game 7 at Loyal Field House, the Bucs would emerge victorious with a 101-95 win to reach the Western Division Finals. However, in the Division Finals the Bucs would be overwhelmed by the Oakland Oaks, who went on to the ABA Championship with a four game sweep. As former Bucs Larry Brown and Doug Moe came back to haunt their old team.
1969/70: For their third season, the Buccaneers shifted their home games to Tulane Gym. Despite a shaky start, that saw them lose five of their first six games, the Buccaneers were again one of the top teams in the Western Division, as they held a 23-12 record as the New Year began. However, as the season wore on the injuries would begin to mount as the Bucs saw several key players including Jimmy Jones and Skeeter Swift suffer knee injuries. The Western Division was a grueling battle for all, as all five teams were separated by none games. Unfortunately for the Bucs, it was them who finished in last place, missing the playoffs with a record of 42-42. Following the season, the Buccaneers who were struggling financially considered becoming a regional franchise as they prepared to change their name to the Louisiana Buccaneers. However, the team was sold to Mississippi Resident P.W. Blake, who decided to move the Buccaneers to Memphis. New Orleans would not be without basketball that long as four years after the Bucs sailed away, the NBA marched in with an expansion team called the New Orleans Jazz.
©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 New Orleans Buccaneers 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 31, 2012. Last updated on July 31, 2012 at 12:30 am ET.