ABA Days: American Basketball Association with the Carolina Cougars at the Greensboro Coliseum

Much more talk on yesterday’s topic ABA Days with “Pogo Joe” Caldwell from the Cougars and there was our old friend “Big Jim” Modlin(ECU/Ragsdale HS), who played for the Pittsburgh Pipers/Pittsburgh Condors…..And we talked about the Indiana Pacers yesterday with Mel Daniels, Rick Mount and we need to insert Freddie Lewis, Roger Brown and Bob Netolicky into that lineup…..Brown did the dirty work, so Daniels and others could shine and Netolicky had one of the best names in league history….I heard Mike Pratt(color) on University of Kentucky basketball on the radio last night, he was there with the old ABA Kentucky Colonels, along with big man Artis Gilmore out of Gardner Webb and Jacksonville….Governor John Y. Brown was team owner in Kentucky…We found other greats like Kevin Stacom, who was at Providence with “Bad Boy” Marvin Barnes and Ernie “D” DiGregorio and Stacom made the league….Ron Boone was at one time in the backcourt with James Silas and the Spurs and Boone also played for the Utah Stars…We had David Thompson, Bobby Jones and Monte Towe on the Denver Nuggets and Alexander(Alex) English from the University of South Carolina also spent time with Denver…..

The list goes on and on and you’ll see many more below as we can’t let go of those “ABA Days”……….

Some of the guys were a little bit broken down by the time they got to the league, but that will never in my mind change or diminish what the ABA players were able to do….

I was thinking about the man that was set to be the next Pete Maravich just yesterday….Johnny Neumann out of Ole Miss…..

I’ll always miss those ABA greats and I’m lucky I didn’t miss the ABA All-Star Game when it came to Greensboro on a Saturday afternoon back in the 70′s…..

Over the years we saw Billy Paultz, Mack Calvin, Zelmo Beatty, Rick Mount from Purdue, Mel Daniels, Dan Issel from Kentucky, Jim Chones, Jim McDaniels from Western Kentucky, George Gervin, George Ervine, Julius Erving, Ed Manning, “Hound Dog” Ted McClain, “Hawkeye” Hank Whitney, Larry Miller, Bob Verga, Mike Lewis, Vann Williford, Steve Previs, Rick Barry, John Roche, Tom Owens, Billy Melchioni, Harley “Skeeter” Swift, Warren Jabali/Warren Armstrong, Mike Gale and many, many others pass through here with the Carolina Cougars or with the teams that came here to Greensboro to play the Cougars at the Coliseum….

And don’t forget the man we used to see dropping in at the Muirs Chapel Curb Market who came here to the Cougars, from the Memphis Sounds, Wendall Ladner………The first 7-footer to hit town, with the Cougars, big Rich Niemann and so many more Cougars and ABAer’s over the years came through here…..For a nice winning while, Larry Brown was the coach and Doug Moe was his assistant…..I still remember the old San Antonio Spurs coach, Bob Bass…..Lou Carnesseca left St. Johns for a period to coach the New York Nets……Larry Brown was a player with the old Oakland Oaks…..Gene Littles out of High Point College even played for our Carolina Cougars….Bill Sharman coached the old Los Angeles Stars after he had left the Lakers…..We later had the Utah Stars with 18 year-old Moses Malone…..There was the San Diego Conquistores franchise…..

To me, back in the day, the Indiana Pacers with Mel Daniels, Billy Keller, Rick Mount Mount and the Kentucky Colonels, they were the best teams…..Babe Leonard was the old the Indiana Pacers coach and Al Bianchi had short run as a decent coach with his Virginia Squires…..The Colonels used to get a lot of former Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals to be on their teams….

And we can not leave out witout a mention of the the Miami Floridians and their crowd-drawing bikini-clad cheerleaders with the red, white and blue basketballs a spinning and I loved the old free throw rule where you had three chances to make two shots after the 15 th team foul or something like that and you had to get 6 personal fouls before you fouled out of a game…..The ABA is where the three-point shot originated and the NBA picked up the three-pointer from the ABA…

I loved that old league……Plenty of fledgling franchises……When the Cougars became the Spirits of St. Louis they had both “Bad Boy” Marvin Barnes and Ernie DiGregorio from Providence…..Ernie D could shoot the spokes of the rim and “Bad Boy” Barnes could tear down the rim…….