The ABA is a league that is so ripe for columns about sports design. The league featured the greatest ball design of all-time, some of the craziest logos in all of sports history, great characters who played in the league, and some really great uniform designs. Today I wanted to take a look at some of my favorite ABA uniforms. The website RememberTheABA.com is a great source for information on the ABA and has some great uniform galleries to check out. Here are a few of my favorites from the ABA:
I have to include the Colonel on my list, simply because I hail from the Bluegrass State and the Colonels are the closest thing to professional sports my great state has had in its history. The Colonels 1975 uniform set featured the team's trademark red, white and blue colors. The striping pattern on these jerseys was a unique design that stretched up under the arms and completely over the top, around the neck and back down the other side. This striping created a very unique look for the Colonels 1975 uniform set.
Next up is the New York Nets uniform from 1976. This uniform is one of the more familiar from the old ABA, as it is forever burned into our minds because of Dr. J, Julius Erving. The Doctor spent his best years in the ABA sporting this classic American uniform design. Many images come to mind of the Doctor taking the ball to the hoop with that trademark afro while playing for the Nets. The jersey featured a stars and stripe pattern down the left side front panel. It is another great example of the unique ways some teams in the ABA used striped patterns on their jerseys. Of course, this design made the transition to the NBA when the Nets joined the league, making it a look that spanned both leagues. Definitely one of the true ABA classics.
The Spurs jersey from 1975 is another classic jersey from the ABA that made its way into the NBA. This jersey is on my list, mainly because the Spurs current unifrom set isn't all that different than this classic design. The arched Spurs logo with a spur in the middle has undergone some modifications since then, but still remains based on this classic look. The team wore a throwback set a few years ago that were based on this look. The Spurs colors of black and silver are classic (forgetting the Fiesta years) and have been with the team since these uniforms debuted. This uniform was worn by one of the team's all-time greats, George "The Iceman" Gervin.
This Denver Nuggets look from 1976 is a very unique style from the ABA. What made this jersey unique from any other is the fact that the front of the jersey featured the team's logo above the numbers, rather than the traditional team name. Your eyes are not trained to see a logo like that on a jersey in that spot. This classic look was worn by Nuggets greats like David Thompson and Dan Issel. This is definitely one of the more unique jersey designs in basketball uniform history.
The Floridians 1972:
This classic ABA look of the Floridians is definitely like no other in basketball history. The jersey was unique in many ways. First, the jersey had no lettering or team name of any kind on the front. The jerseys only graphics were the wild colored stripes that spanned the left side of the jersey. The number was placed high up on the right chest, in another unique style choice. The team was once known as the Miami Floridians, but were referred to as simply "the Floridians" in their last season since they played games throughout Florida. In addition to being remembered for these classic uniforms, the team was also famous for their scantily clad ball girls and unique promotions. You can find more info on the Floridians here.