Houston Mavericks (1967-68 to 1968-69)
Carolina Cougars (1969-70 to 1973-74)
Spirits of St. Louis (1974-75 to 1975-76)

Year-to-Year Notes (courtesy Robert Bradley)

Formative Period
2Feb66 The ABA is formed and a Houston franchise awarded for $30,000 to William Whitmore, Charles Frazier and Cloyce Box .... Box's interest in the franchise is purchased by T.S. Morrow and Bud Adams (owner of a Houston-based oil company and the AFL's Houston Oilers) .... Team named the Houston Mavericks .... Former NBA guard, University of Texas star, and native Houstonian Slater Martin named coach .... Sign Art Becker, Leary Lentz, Wilbert Frazier and Dewitt Menyard

1967-68 (29-49) Fourth Place in Western Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 1,543

Play in Sam Houston Coliseum .... 9Jan68 Becker and Menyard play in the All-Star Game .... Lose in first round of playoffs to Dallas 3 games to 0

1968-69 (23-55) Sixth Place in Western Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 1,147

Draft Don Chaney (who signs with Boston of the NBA) and Elvin Hayes (the former University of Houston star signs with San Diego of the NBA) .... Morrow pulls out as owner with the league assuming ownership of the franchise .... After a 3-9 start, Martin resigns as coach and is replaced by Jim Weaver .... Sign Keith Swagerty and Kendall Rhine .... 28Jan69 Somerset plays in All-Star Game .... 31Jan69 Trade Somerset and Leary Lentz to New York for Lavern Tart, Bob Verga and Hank Whitney ....The franchise is purchased by the Southern Sports Corporation (a group headed by James C. Gardner) for $350,000 .... 21Mar69 Larry Jones of Denver scores 52 points against Houston .... 18Nov68 Claim Stew Johnson on waivers from New York .... 2Apr69 The Mavericks defeat New York 149-132 in front of less than 100 spectators in their final home game in Houston .... fail to qualify for the playoffs

1969-70 (42-42) Third Place in Eastern Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 6,088

Team moves to North Carolina as the Carolina Cougars .... 12Jun69 Johnson is traded to Pittsburgh in three-way trade that brings Doug Moe from Oakland .... 12Jun69 Trade a draft choice to New York for Randy Mahaffey .... 14Jul69 Gardner temporarily takes role of ABA commissioner after the resignation of George Mikan .... Draft Steve Mix (who signs with Detroit of the NBA), Neal Walk (who signs with Phoenix of the NBA) and Gene Littles .... Donald A. DeJarin named Vice President and General Manager .... Horace "Bones" McKinney named coach .... Negotiate with Boston's John Havlicek, but fail to sign him .... Aug69 Sign Philadelphia's Billy Cunningham to a contract for $400,000 over two years, beginning in 1972-73 .... Acquire Randy Mahaffey from New York and George Peeples from Indiana .... 11Sep69 Sign Philadelphia 76ers forward Luke Jackson .... Play as a "regional franchise," with home games in Charlotte (Charlotte Coliseum), Greensboro (Greensboro Coliseum) and Raleigh (Dorton Arena) .... 24Jan70 Verga and Moe play in the All-Star Game .... Trade Ron Perry to Los Angeles for Larry Miller .... Verga All-ABA First Team .... Lose in first-round of playoffs to Indiana 4 games to 0

1970-71 (34-50) Sixth Place in Eastern Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 5,579

Draft Pete Maravich (who signs with Atlanta of the NBA) and Don Adams (who signs with San Diego of the NBA) .... McKinney named Vice President .... Carl Scheer named President and General Manager .... 30Oct70 Sign Joe Caldwell (from Atlanta Hawks) to a five-year $1.1 million contract .... Acquire George Lehmann from the Floridians .... Nov70 The franchise is purchased by Tedd Munchak .... Acquire Frank Card from Virginia .... Assistant coach Jerry Steele replaces McKinney after a 17-25 start .... 14Jan71 A federal court rules that Caldwell's rights belong to Carolina because Atlanta violated the NBA reserve clause by offering a contract worth less than 75% of his 1969-70 salary .... 23Jan71 The East defeats the West 126-122 in the All-Star Game in Greensboro -- Mel Daniels of Indiana named MVP and Caldwell plays in the game .... 5Feb71 Caldwell scores 56 points against Kentucky...Caldwell All-ABA Second Team .... fail to qualify for the playoffs

1971-72 (35-49) Fifth Place in Eastern Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 5,077

Sign Jim McDaniels during his senior year of college .... Draft Ted McClain and Elmore Smith (who signs with Buffalo of the NBA) .... Draft Phil Chenier (who signs with Baltimore of the NBA) in hardship draft .... Tom Meschery becomes coach .... Nov71 Verga is traded to Pittsburgh for Stew Johnson .... 29Dec71 Virginia's Charlie Scott scores 50 ponts against the Cougars .... 3Jan72 Trade Lehmann, Randy Denton and Warren Davis to Memphis for Tom Owens, Wendell Ladner and Bobby Warren .... 29Jan72 McDaniels plays in the All-Star Game .... Feb72 George Carter is acquired from Pittsburgh for a second-round draft choice and cash .... 17Feb72 McDaniels jumps to Seattle of the NBA, signing a five-year, $1.5 million contract after averaging 26.8 PPG with Cougars .... Caldwell limited to 61 games due to a knee injury .... 18Mar72 Larry Miller scores an ABA-record 67 points against Memphis .... 6Apr72 A Virginia Federal Appeals Court orders Cunningham to honor his contract with Carolina ....fail to qualify for the playoffs

1972-73 (57-27) First Place in Eastern Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 6,811

Draft Dennis Wuycik and Henry Bibby (who signs with New York of the NBA) .... Larry Brown hired as coach .... 13Jun72 Mack Calvin selected in dispersal draft of players from the Floridians.... 27Jun72 Carolina files a $1.5 million suit against McDaniels .... Cunningham joins Cougars .... Miller selected by San Diego in expansion draft .... 8Aug72 Carter is sold to New York .... Aug72 Ladner traded to Memphis for David Brent .... Nov72 Warren traded to Dallas for Steve Jones .... 6Feb73 Caldwell, Cunningham and Calvin play in the All-Star Game as Brown coaches the East team .... 9Apr73 Cunningham named ABA MVP .... Cunningham All-ABA First Team .... Calvin All-ABA Second Team .... Wuycik named to ABA All-Rookie Team .... Caldwell named to ABA All-Defensive Team .... Brown named ABA Coach of the Year .... Defeat New York 4 games to 1 in playoffs before losing to Kentucky 4 games to 3

1973-74 (47-37) Third Place in Eastern Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 5,889

Draft Bobby Jones (who stays in college) and Tom Burleson (who stays in college) in Special Circumstance draft .... Draft Maurice Lucas in undergraduate draft .... 4Sep73 Trade a draft choice and cash to New York for Jim Chones .... 8Dec73 Carolina President Carl Scheer denies rumors that the team may be moved to Cincinnati .... 12Jan74 George McGinnis of Indiana gets 52 points and 37 rebounds against Carolina .... 30Jan74 Calvin and McClain play in the All-Star Game .... Cunningham has two kidney operations and plays only 32 games during the course of the season.... Ted McClain averages a league-leading 2.98 steals per game .... Calvin First Team All-ABA .... McClain named to ABA All-Defensive Team .... Lose in the first round of the playoffs to Kentucky 4 games to 0

1974-75 (32-53) Third Place in Eastern Division
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 4,618

Draft John Lucas (who stays in college), Gus Gerard and Mickey Johnson (who signs with Chicago of the NBA) .... Draft Pete Maravich, Henry Bibby, Phil Jackson, Paul Westphal, and Jeff Mullins in draft of NBA players .... May74 McClain sold to Kentucky ....The franchise is purchased for $1.5 million by a group including Harry Weltman, Donald Schupak, Donald Schupak, Daniel Silna and Ozzie Silna for $1.5 million.... The franchise moves to St. Louis as the Spirits of St. Louis .... Rudy Martzke named Director of Operations .... 10May74 Release Chones .... 20Jun74 Calvin sold to Denver .... Cunningham returns to the NBA .... Sep74 Bob Costas hired as Spirits radio announcer .... 17Jul74 Sign Marvin Barnes (who had been drafted by Denver) to a seven-year $2.1 million contract -- the ABA awards Denver an additional 1975 first-round draft choice as compensation .... 27Sep74 Sign Don Chaney of Boston to a three-year, $600,000 contract to begin with 1975-76 season .... Sep74 Sign Lucas to a six-year contract .... Bob McKinnon becomes coach, replacing Larry Brown who leaves for Denver along with Carl Scheer .... Play in St. Louis Arena .... 11Oct74 Sign Steve Jones as a free agent .... 21Nov74 Littles signs with Kentucky as a free agent .... 29Oct74 Trade Owens to Memphis for Freddie Lewis .... 3Dec74 St. Louis suspends ABAPA president Joe Caldwell for "failure to conduct himself in a manner consistent with his contractual obligation to team" .... Caldwell does not play again for the Spirits .... 28Jan75 Barnes and Lewis play in the All-Star game and Lewis is named MVP .... 16Mar75 Barnes scores 54 points against Memphis .... Barnes named ABA Rookie of the Year and All-ABA Second Team .... Barnes and Gerard named to ABA All-Rookie Team .... Defeat New York 4 games to 1 in playoffs before losing to Kentucky 4 games to 1

1975-76 (35-49) Sixth Place
Avg. Regular Season Attendance: 3,779

Draft Gus Williams (who signs with Golden State of the NBA) .... Chaney joins team .... John Hellweg becomes Director of Operations .... Ron Thorn hired as coach .... 31Jul75 Sign M.L.Carr as a free agent .... 29Nov75 St. Louis and Utah discuss merger of franchises .... 1Dec75 The Spirits announce that they will remain in St. louis after rumors that they will merge with the troubled Utah franchise and play in Salt Lake City .... 2Dec75 Purchase Moses Malone, Ron Boone Randy Denton and Steve Green from Utah when the Stars fold .... Dec75 Team management attempts to change or eliminate the many Sunday night dates forced on the Spirits by the St. Louis Arena .... Malone misses 41 games with a broken foot .... 18Dec75 Gerard sold to Denver .... Thorn replaced by Joe Mullaney after a 20-27 start .... 17Dec75 Lucas traded to Kentucky for Caldwell Jones .... 27Jan76 Barnes, Boone and Lucas play in the All-Star Game .... Carr named to ABA All-Rookie Team .... fail to qualify for the playoffs

Dispersal of Franchise
19May76 The Spirits announce they will move to Salt Lake City as the Utah Rockies when a lease agreement for the Salt Palace is arranged .... In an effort to be included in merger, Silna proposes selling the Spirits to a Utah group, buying the Kentucky franchise, and moving the Colonels to Buffalo to replace the Buffalo Braves (who were planning to move to Hollywood, Florida) .... 17Jun76 The ABA clubs reach a settlement with the Kentucky and St. Louis franchises, with the St. Louis owners receiving $2.2 million and a 1/7th share of the four remaining teams' television revenues in perpetuity .... Pursuant to the terms of the ABA/NBA merger, St. Louis' players go into a special dispersal draft (along with Kentucky's players).... Barnes goes to Detroit for $500,000, Malone goes to Portland for $300,000, Boone goes to Kansas City for $250,000, Randy Denton goes to the New York Knicks for $50,000, and Mike Barr goes to Kansas City for $15,000

Back to Main Page