MEMORIES OF BRUCE McLEOD: "It is only now that as a 48 year old I can honestly come clean with this story.
My name is Bruce. I went to Game 5 of the 1976 ABA Finals with my friend Stanley. We went without tickets, legal ones anyway. One night, being 17-year old delinquents, we went out at 2am and stole items from people's milk boxes. Back then, there were still such things as milkmen who delivered. In one particular box there were two tickets to Game 5. We went to the game and spent the first half walking around and around the concourse and aisles of McNichols Arena. We were too afraid to take the seats we (actually, the legal owners) were supposed to sit in. About midway through the third quarter, we got tired of walking around and decided to take "our" seats. The people sitting in that area STARED at us as we began to sit down. Then the usher approached and asked us if these were our season tickets. So, of course, we lied and said we bought them from "some guy". The Denver Police were very interested in our story. When they couldn't prove we stole them they simply kicked us out of the arena. As it turned out, we had one more very significant theft that night.
As we trudged across the McNichols parking lot, we passed a limousine. It had what I noticed was a "shiny object" in the back seat. The rear door was not shut all the way which I think is why it didn't lock. The "shiny object" turned out to be the ABA Championship trophy. Needless to say, Stanley and I "removed" it. I kept it hidden in my room for about two whole months before my mother discovered it and wanted to know what it was and, more importantly, WHERE it came from. Of course I embellished a story about how we "bought it from some guy" (probably the same guy who had "sold" us our Game 5 tickets).
Much to my dismay, I came home from school one day and found that "my" ABA trophy had disappeared. Mom had somehow found out what I had, and worse…had determined where it belonged. Years later she told me she mailed it to somewhere in New York. It cost her over $7.00 in postage which she promptly deducted from my allowance. I sure wish I still had it, it would be quite the conversation piece. Mom has since passed on but she did instill some good values in me. Unfortunately, I didn't apply those until later on in life. Stanley and I were..."the Third Team" of the ABA Finals. Too bad we didn't win the trophy honestly.
Even though I now live in Southern Califgornia, I still remember those cold Colorado nights, the Rockets/Nuggets of the ABA, and the AM radio that gave me most of the ABA memories I have. Long Live the ABA!"
MEMORIES OF TROY TURNER: "The 1975-76 Nuggets were my first exposure to pro basketball. Sure, I watched the Sunday afternoon NBA games. But my fandom was reserved for this "new" team of Nuggets, Listening to Al "Swish" Albert broadcast the games on KHOW radio (and occasionally simulcast the games on KWGN TV) was a pure treat as the Nuggets did battle at such exotic-sounding locales as Market Square Arena and Freedom Hall. I got tickets as an 8th birthday present as the Nuggets were set to defend home court at Big Mac against the Utah Stars. About a week later, I heard the news from Bob Kurtz on KBTV that the Stars had closed up shop. I was in shock! Would the game be cancelled? Luckily, the Pacers were shipped in as replacements-and what a game it was! I can't remember much else about the game except Gene Price's PA calls of "DA-vid THOMP-son!!," and the Nuggets won 140-134. I will always remember the ABA fondly - it was wild, it was crazy-but it was ours!"
MEMORIES OF FRED PEAL: "I found your site for the first time tonight and damn near cried. As a kid I watched Byron Beck at the University of Denver and then as a Denver Rocket. Mental pictures of Bobby Jones, DT, Dan Issel, Dr. J, Doug Moe, Larry Brown, and Connie Hawkins are so bright tonight I can't believe it's been over 30 years. Carl Scheer pacing the floor, SRO crowds at the old Auditorium Arena, and those beautiful red, white and blue basketballs. The parade of slam dunks and those gawdawful uniforms in the NBA today just can't compare to the excitement of the run n' shoot ABA."
MEMORIES OF KIM A. MERRILL: "My favorite ABA memory was attending the exhibition game between the Denver Nuggets and the NBA Golden State Warriors on October 10, 1975 at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. The Nuggets beat the defending NBA Champions 111-107. I finally had the opportunity to see David Thompson play in person. I was a huge Thompson and NC State fan. That exhibition game featured both Thompson and and his little guard, 5' 7" Monte Towe, also from NC State. I was able to get both of their autographs during pregame warm-ups that evening. Everyone of course, had heard and seen Thompson's leaping ability (at least to some degree; there was no ESPN). But during pregame warm-ups, what we witnessed was astonishing. Thompson was taking off from various points around the basket and doing 360 degree dunks. And doing them effortlessly. It was an incredible sight to see. And during those days, the kids were allow near the baseline of the court during warmups, which made it even more memorable."