Abe Saperstein and the American Basketball League, by Murry R. Nelson

By Murry R. Nelson

This booklet examines the yankee Basketball League and its brief heritage, starting with its notion in 1959-60 and its seasons of play, 1961-1963. The league was once the 1st to exploit a trapezoidal, wider lane and a 30-second shot clock, in addition to the 3-point shot. With a staff in Hawaii, the league created an adjusted agenda to deal with the outsize distance. Many gamers comparable to Connie Hawkins and invoice Bridges and coaches corresponding to Jack McMahon and invoice Sharman later chanced on their strategy to the NBA after the cave in of the league, however it took greater than 15 years for huge popularity of the 3-point shot. John McLendon and Ermer Robinson have been the 1st African American coaches in an incredible expert league as they either debuted within the ABL.

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Extra resources for Abe Saperstein and the American Basketball League, 1960-1963. The Upstarts Who Shot for Three and Lost to the NBA

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28 This was very unusual for Saperstein and he clearly was disturbed by the manner in which he must have perceived that he was being “jerked around” by Tatelbaum. He didn’t have time for games like that and would not pursue anything more with Tatelbaum and the Bullets for the time being. Sid Goldberg had sent a telegram of interest on March 23 in which he said that he headed a group wanting entrance to the new league and that they had available to them two excellent facilities—the sports arena and Toledo University, both with capacities of 8,000.

The most noted were Dick Barnett of the Syracuse Nationals and Ken Sears from the New York Knicks, who signed with the Cleveland Pipers and San Francisco Saints, respectively. Barnett wanted to play more, and he wished to join former teammates and his former college coach from Tennessee A&I, John McClendon, on the Cleveland Pipers. Sears, a native of Northern California and college star at Santa Clara, wanted to return to the Bay Area. Both moves resulted in lawsuits, ultimately settled on behalf of the players allowing them to play in the ABL, unencumbered.

The indecisiveness made for a perfect time for an old baseball warrior, Branch Rickey, to step into the breach. Rickey hoped to start a third major league, and he set about lining up wealthy backers interested in such an endeavor. 3 Rickey was maneuvering to make his Continental League a third major league, and the established major leagues did their best to forestall that while seeming to support his plan. Most of the intended owners wanted to be in the major leagues and would (and did) abandon the Continental League once major league baseball was forced to expand in order to prevent the formation of the new league.

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