San Antonio Spurs

First Game Played October 10, 1973 Last Game Played April 24, 1976 Joined NBA in 1976

1973/74: Initially as a trial run the Dallas Chaparrals were moved to San Antonio after they were purchased by a group of local businessmen. The agreement would state that team would move to Antonio for three years, if after that they had not drawn enough interest the team would be sold back to Dallas. The team’s name was originally slated to be Gunslingers. However, before they even played a game the name was changed to Spurs. The Spurs would be coached by Tom Nissalke who left the team a year earlier for the NBA, but returned sighting leaving as a mistake. In the first game at the HemisFair Arena the Spurs would lose to the San Diego Conquistadors, despite attracting a noisy crowd of 6,000 fans. A smothering defense was the team’s image as they held opponents less than 100 points an ABA record 49 times. The team would get stronger as the season went on as they twice took advantage of the Virginia Squires acquiring Swen Nater who would go on to win Rookie of the Year in November and The Iceman George Gervin in January. The ABA tried to halt Gervin deal citing it was detrimental to the league, but a judge would rule in the Spurs player, and Gervin made his Spurs debut on February 7th. The Spurs would go on to finish with a 45-39 record good for third place in the Western Division. In the playoffs the Spurs would battle the Indiana Pacers to the bitter end before falling in seven games. Following the season ownership decided to complete purchase and keeping the team in San Antonio permanently.

1974/75: Despite a respectable 17-10 start Coach Tom Nisslake is fired as owners become tired of the Spurs slow defensive style of games. He would be replaced by Bob Bass, who stated that the Spurs would have an entirely new playing style: “It is my belief that you cannot throw a set offense at another professional team for 48 minutes. You’ve got to let them play some schoolyard basketball.” George Gervin and James Silas took that style to heart, as the Spurs became an exciting fast breaking team on the way to a solid 51-33 record, good enough for second place in the West. However, in the playoffs the Spurs would fall to the Indiana Pacers in six games.

1975/76: The Spurs continued their exciting style of play averring 8,000 fans per game while the rest of the ABA was just barely hanging on. The Spurs would go on to finish in third place in the ABA with a solid 50-34 record. In the playoffs the Spurs would face the New York Nets. However in Game 1, James Silas would be lost to a broken ankle as the Spurs fell in seven games. Following the season as the ABA was folding the Spurs were one of four teams selected to join the NBA along with the Nets, Denver Nuggets, and Indiana Pacers.

©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 San Antonio Spurs 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 June 15, 2012. Last updated on June 15, 2012 at 12:30 am ET.

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