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2003-2004 ABA News

Here is where we will provide all the latest news on the ABA and links to online news stories about the league and its teams.

Online News Links
(Note: not all newspapers keep these links active long-term. Also note that we will not provide links to articles in the Kansas City Star because they've gotten pretentious enough to make you register to read their articles. Yes, in Kansas City, Missouri, you have to register to read the articles. Please.)

03/10/04 - Jam can bank on it (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jellybean can't mix up the Jam (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)
- Kobe Bryant's dad scores 18 in ABA game (USA Today)
- Carlisle awaits elusive NBA call (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Oscar-winning show propels Jam to title (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam overwhelms Las Vegas (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Plans progress for area ABA team (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
02/23/04 - ABA announces expansion into Reno (Reno Gazette-Journal)
- Jam duo two much for Jersey (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
02/22/04 - Hardhats deserve a chance (Beaver County Times/Allegheny Times)
- Jam romp past last-place Jersey (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
02/20/04 - The Worm released from ABA to find NBA tryout (Sports Network)
02/20/04 - Rodman to seek NBA tryout (Townsville Bulletin)
02/20/04 - Juarez site of ABA playoff rounds (El Paso Times)
02/20/04 - Nickname weak, to say the least (Carlisle Sentinel)
02/19/04 - Pro basketball coming to Gwinnett (Gwinnett Daily Post)
- Here come the Gwizzlies (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Car dealer awarded ABA franchise (KPOM-TV)
- Jam coach calls out for reinforcements (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
02/17/04 - ABA franchise is open for business (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Reserves make it a game (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Life is sweet for Jam coach (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
02/07/04 - Local team owner has issues with finances (The Oregonian)
01/30/04 - No Rodman, no problem for Jam (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam face K.C. (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- HeatWave moves game to Tuesday (Fresno Bee)
- Portland one of four ABA expansion sites (The Oregonian)
- Ice storm keeps Jam from Jersey (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/29/04 - ABA: Just what Portland doesn't need (Vancouver Columbian)
- ABA to add quartet of teams (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/27/04 - Hawk Flies Again in Pyramid (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/26/04 - Plenty to see in Jam's victory (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/25/04 - Rodman remains sidelined (San Francisco Chronicle)
01/25/04 - ABA in Pittsburgh doesn't make sense (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
01/23/04 - ABA plans Portland basketball franchise (Portland Business Journal)
01/23/04 - New ABA team plans to take root here (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
01/22/04 - Pittsburgh pair plans to bring ABA to Steel City (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
01/22/04 - Jam shake up Rattlers (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/21/04 - Pittsburgh pair plans to bring ABA to Steel City (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
01/20/04 - Pittsburgh natives bring pro basketball to town (Beaver County Times/Allegheny Times)
01/20/04 - Jam still strong enough to win (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/20/04 - Strain still shows on Rodman (Rocky Mountain News)
01/20/04 - Rodman laying low on Vegas trip (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
01/19/04 - Barnes makes most of debut (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/19/04 - Jam hope to maintain winning ways at Las Vegas (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/19/04 - Rodman to miss next two games (San Francisco Chronicle)
01/18/04 - Jam player gets ten-day (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/18/04 - Rodman's knee sidelines him (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/18/04 - Rodman worming his way back to the NBA (Arizona Republic)
01/17/04 - Rodzilla returns (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/17/04 - Rodman jams the Pyramid (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/16/04 - Rodman returns to pro basketball (San Francisco Chronicle)
01/15/04 - Rodman is ready to play (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/14/04 - Tickets going fast for Jam (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam turn up the offense and win (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
01/07/04 - Jam look to roost at home (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Knights spread it out, avenge earlier loss to Jam (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Long Beach beats KC as top teams meet (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Rattlers, ABA hampered by their own indifference (Las Vegas Sun)
- Rattlers beaten by Adams' three-point play (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- Rattlers put focus on community (Las Vegas Sun)
- Rattlers get win in first home game (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- Rodman's agent says it's not about money (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Rodman ends retirement in bid to return to the NBA (Reuters)
12/22/03 - ABA team to play home opener tonight (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- Get ready for Rodman (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
12/22/03 - Jam, Johnson are shooting for wins, not stats (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam to feature two new faces today (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam fall in KC (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam not rattled at Pyramid (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Columnist Ron Kantowski: Don't bet on new WHA coming to town (Las Vegas Sun)
- Jam ready to get back to winning ways (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
12/13/03 - Juarez hands Jam first loss of season (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- R.I.P.: Squires' run at a dead end (Asbury Park Press)
12/12/03 - Jam look to remain unbeaten (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Home Opener is a Success (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- ABA: Roosters surpass Las Vegas (El Diario)
- Columnist Ron Kantowski: Deceit in seats good idea at LVMS (Las Vegas Sun)
- Chase's Jam is a well-funded venture (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Not All Jam Players Will Stick (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Here's wishing BCS, ABA would simply go away (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- Squires' future could be determined in the next few days (Asbury Park Press)
12/08/03 - DEBUT TUESDAY: ABA to try again in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
12/06/03 - Squires' saga gets even uglier (Asbury Park Press)
12/04/03 - Squires' owner decides team will remain in Asbury Park (Asbury Park Press)
- Lukewarm Responses Predate HeatWave (Fresno Bee)
- Flu, Heat Wave Can't Slow Down Jam (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- League quick on floor, slow with fans (Fresno Bee)
12/02/03 - Will Fans Warm up to Shore's ABA team? (Asbury Park Press)
- Jam Stay Perfect With Win at Fresno (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Owner Threatens to Move Squires (Asbury Park Press)
- Squires fall in debut (Asbury Park Press)
- Season's greetings: Squires are set to play their first game (Asbury Park Press)
- Jam Continues Winning Ways (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam's Coach Bolts (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Jam Sign Hawkins (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- They Give to Roosters His First Song in ABA (El Diario)
- Jam Off to Good Start (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- Roosters with Misfortune Make Debut (El Diario)
- Jam Season Opens on Road (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
- (Jam) Travel to Juarez for Opener (Long Beach Press-Telegram)

League News from almostbasketball

Squires Not Quite Dead Yet
March 5, 2004

ABA Tournament action courtesy El DiarioCIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - The Jersey Squires pulled off a huge upset in the first round of the ABA Tournament Thursday night, crushing the Las Vegas Rattlers 138-96. The Squires, who had gone 2-23 during the regular season (we think), cruised to the win and eliminated Joe Bryant's team. In the other game Thursday, the Tijuana Diablos ousted the Fresno HeatWave 90-85. Ramel Curry had 20 points and James Penny had 16 to lead Tijuana, who now faces homestanding Juarez in the second game tonight. The first game will have the Squires taking on the Kansas City Knights.  [DISCUSS]

Bryant Brings Bizarre Season to Close
March 3, 2004

LONG BEACH, CA - In what was billed as a "tribute" to his son, Kobe, Las Vegas Rattlers' head coach Joe "Jellybean" Bryant played all but two minutes in the final game of the regular season Tuesday night, scoring 18 points, but it was not enough to keep the Jam from rolling to their 24th win of the season, 142-122 at The Pyramid. Bryant, who is 49 years old, last played in the NBA in 1983 for the Houston Rockets, but apparently this league isn't as good as they'd like you to believe, as in addition to his 18 points, he grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists. With the win, the Jam finishes 24-7 and awaits the winner of the tournament preliminaries in Juarez to find out who they'll face in the ABA Championship Game next Tuesday night. In Tuesday night's other game, the Kansas City Knights improved to 23-9 with a 99-83 win over the 2-23 Jersey Squires. [DISCUSS]

Tournament Format Set Just in Time
March 2, 2004

Click here for a tournament bracketJUAREZ, Mexico - All seven teams will participate in the 2004 ABA Tournament under the postseason format announced today by the host team, the Juarez Gallos de Pelea. Jersey and Las Vegas open things Thursday at 6pm CT, with Fresno and Tijuana playing the nightcap at 8pm. The Jersey/Vegas winner will face Kansas City at 6pm Friday, with the Fresno/Tijuana winner playing Juarez in Friday's second game. Friday's winners will face off Saturday night at 8pm CT for the right to travel to Long Beach on Tuesday, March 9 to face the Jam for the ABA title. Click the bracket to see it full-size. [DISCUSS]

Long Beach Makes Short Work of Vegas
February 29, 2004

Geno Carlisle courtesy CNNLONG BEACH, CA - Geno Carlisle's 42 points led the Long Beach Jam to a 154-117 whipping of the Las Vegas Rattlers Sunday afternoon, clinching the ABA's regular-season championship for the first-year team. Ronnie Coleman added 31 for the Jam, who will host somebody who manages to make it through the as-yet-formatless tournament at Juarez beginning Thursday. Despite the league's pronouncement on February 19 that the playoff format would be announced "in the next week," what will happen in Juarez is anyone's guess. If they are indeed only going to hold two games (as the Jam's press release says), there's really only one way to do it - Fresno will have to play Juarez in the first game, with the winner playing Kansas City Saturday for the right to face the Jam. Las Vegas, Tijuana and Jersey will have to sit this one out, and we'll see which of them folds first. 

Jam Hasn't Clinched it Yet
February 28, 2004

Schea Cotton courtesy ESPN.comLONG BEACH, CA - Schea Cotton scored 31 points to lead the Long Beach Jam to a 146-116 win over the Las Vegas Rattlers Friday night at The Pyramid, improving the Jam's ABA-leading record to 22-7. Despite the fact they will host the ABA Championship Game on Tuesday, March 9, the Jam still have not officially clinched the regular-season title. Long Beach has  two games to play (Sunday and Tuesday against Las Vegas) while Kansas City plays Jersey twice to end the season. The Jam need only to win one of the two against the Rattlers to clinch, while the Knights need a sweep and for Long Beach to get swept if they are to win the title by a half-game (gotta love a league that has teams going for a championship playing an unequal number of games). Not that it matters, it would be a major upset if Long Beach and Kansas City didn't play for the championship on March 9th. Friday's game was very nearly played shirts vs. skins, as the Rattlers showed up without their uniforms (nice) and had to wear Long Beach's road jerseys. 

The Iceman Returneth
February 27, 2004

George Gervin courtesy NBADETROIT - George Gervin is back in the ABA.  Again. The Hall of Fame player whose legend began in the original ABA and who coached the Detroit Dogs to the first championship of the reborn league three years ago, will head up a new expansion team in Detroit next season. The Motown Jammers are the ninth expansion team to be announced for next season. Hey, ABA, it would be helpful if, instead of announcing next year's expansion teams, you started announcing this year's scores a little more quickly, huh? [DISCUSS]

Playoff Format? Anyone? Anyone?
February 25, 2004

Juarez Gallos courtesy Juarez GallosLENEXA, KS - The ABA tournament begins in eight days, and there has been no announcement yet of the format. The league's handy-dandy, newly-revised-so-you-won't-notice-the-games-that-go-unplayed schedule page shows one "Playoff Game" on Thursday, March 4, another "Playoff Game" on Saturday, March 6 and the "Championship Game" on Tuesday, March 9 (you'll get a nice crowd on a Tuesday night, by the way - nice scheduling). That would seem to indicate two semifinals leading up to the championship game, but Long Beach president Steve Chase has been quoted as saying his team "won't be in Juarez," so what's the deal? If the Jam has a bye into the final, are they going to do a stepladder tournament, with Fresno playing Juarez the first night, the winner playing Kansas City the next night, and the winner advancing to play Long Beach? Strangely enough, based on the current standings (which are only as accurate as you want them to be), that might be the sanest thing the league has done this year. 

Dude, Where's My Games?
February 23, 2004

LENEXA, KS - The announcement that the ABA


Team Season W L Pct.
Kansas City 2001-02 32 5 .865
Long Beach 2003-04 22 6 .786
Chicago 2000-01 29 11 .725
Los Angeles 2000-01 28 12 .700
Kansas City 2003-04 21 9 .700

(Through games of 2/22/04)


would start its postseason tournament nearly two weeks earlier than expected was one thing - but the unannounced cancellation of several games in the last month is something else entirely. Since January 21, eight of the league's scheduled 34 games have disappeared - the scores have never been reported on the league's website, there's never been a mention of their "postponement," and they are simply not talked about. There appears to have been at least one forfeit, as Jersey is said in some press reports to be 2-19, but there has been no official word from the league on that (to no one's surprise). The Jersey Squires have had three home games go unplayed (as far as we can tell), and despite having announced a move to the Community College of Philadelphia's gym in late January, the team apparently played only one game there, according to a school athletic official. It is unlikely they will play any more. Meanwhile, Long Beach and Kansas City are involved in a chase for absolutely nothing, as everyone knows they'll meet in the championship game on March 9 in Long Beach (in fact, the Jam's president has been quoted as saying his team isn't going to Juarez for the quarterfinals and semifinals of the league tournament next week). Why not just cut to the chase and have the Jam and the Knights play for the title now? It's hard to have quarterfinals and semifinals of a tournament, have three games a day, and not have one of your seven teams involved. ABA math is creative, but it's not that creative. Anyway, the season may end this weekend, or it may not, but you can count on there being no official word from the league until after the fact. [UPDATE: The league has just tweaked its schedule so that you won't even notice the games that were originally scheduled are gone.]

Knock, knock! Who's there? Not Dennis Rodman
February 21, 2004

Dennis Rodman courtesy APLONG BEACH, CA - Dennis Rodman has sold his last ticket for the ABA. The league and the Long Beach Jam announced Friday that Rodman has been released from his ABA contract so he may "move forward in his quest to return to the NBA." The move came one day after Jam president Steve Chase was quoted in the El Paso Times as saying "(Rodman) is still on our team, and we're expecting him to play for us this weekend." Rodman's agent pronounced the 42-year-old former NBA rebounding champ "100% ready for the NBA," which is amazing considering he apparently wasn't 100% ready to play in the ABA. In case you missed it, Rodman played 47 minutes and grabbed 22 rebounds one weekend in January with the Jam, and then missed the next month with a leg injury. Fans turned out in droves on the road when they thought Rodman would be playing, but after removing himself from a game on January 18, he was never seen again. Meanwhile, the Jam moved to 21-6, or something, by beating Jersey 150-101 Friday night. Supposedly the Squires are now 2-18, but if you count up the wins and losses on the ABA scores page, things don't add up.  [DISCUSS]

Play It Again, Jim
February 18, 2004

LENEXA, KS - Proving once again that he learned at the foot of the master, ABA President Jim Clark has blithely announced that the ABA Tournament will begin on Thursday, March 4. The fact that there were still a dozen regular-season games scheduled on or after that date is not important, at least not in the league that for the third consecutive season has halted its schedule early in favor of a postseason tournament. "We are excited to have our playoffs start in Juárez, México and having every game televised and with packed arenas for our international audience," said Clark, with a straight face and his best Joe Newman "pay no attention to the unplayed games behind the curtain" demeanor. Juarez will apparently host the quarterfinals and semifinals of what is likely to be an all-comers tournament once again, with Long Beach hosting the championship game on Sunday, March 9. [DISCUSS]

It Would Be Funny if it Wasn't So Sad
February 10, 2004

LENEXA, KS - The ABA has not yet started looking in jail cells for prospective owners, but that day probably isn't too far off. With recent revelations that the former owner of the expansion team in Little Rock, Arkansas was indicted on 82 counts of fraud, and that the owner of the Portland expansion team has an outstanding arrest warrant and has declared bankruptcy three times, the ABA is continuing its tradition of due diligence that brought you Wayne Butler and Calvin Jarrett. Then, this week comes word that the league has hired Ricardo Richardson, who helped run the Indiana Legends into the ground, as Vice President - Special Projects. The ABA release didn't mention that Richardson was the General Manager of the Legends for just over four months at the end of the 2001-2002 season, and presided over falling attendance, the fiasco involving the mystery "leaky roof" at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and games being mysteriously cancelled before resigning on May 20, 2002, citing differences "with the direction of the team and owners." But, hey, they're making a movie about the league, right? What could be better?

Rodman Selling Tickets, Not Delivering
January 31, 2004

Dennis Rodman courtesy holyductape.comKANSAS CITY, MO - Whether Dennis Rodman is truly "serious about his comeback," has he is described by Long Beach Jam coach Earl Cureton or not, he is certainly having a serious effect on ABA ticket sales. Friday night a capacity crowd of 4,800, largest in the ABA this season, turned out in Kansas City hoping to at least catch a glimpse of the former NBA star. Rodman, however, remained in New York, where he had taped a TV show with radio personality Howard Stern, and did not make the trip to Kansas City. He was unlikely to play because of a leg injury, but the Knights had led fans to believe Rodman would be in attendance at the game, even staging a Rodman lookalike contest and handing out 2,000 posters of the 42-year-old forward. Oh, by the way, the Jam won anyway, has they have with or without Rodman this season, getting 27 points from DerMarr Johnson and 23 from Jannero Pargo in a 113-105 win over the Knights. Cortez Groves had 28 to lead Kansas City. The Jam's next game is a week from Sunday at home against Fresno.

ABA to add four more bad franchises
January 27, 2004

Memorial Stadium in Portland, OR courtesy KOIN-TVINDIANAPOLIS, IN - The ABA plans to add four more badly-run and underfinanced franchises with no place to play in time for the 2004-2005 season, assuming they can complete the 2003-2004 season. Besides teams in Louisville, Kentucky and Little Rock, Arkansas, the ABA will try again in Pittsburgh, where they have two old owners with plenty of money, and Portland, Oregon, where they have one young owner with no money. Portland's Memorial Coliseum (pictured) is one possible home for the Portland Reign. The former home of the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA is just yards away from the Rose Garden, the Blazers' current home (when they're not in custody). Long Beach Jam owner Steve Chase said Monday that expansion franchises are being confirmed without the approval of the existing ownership groups, which seems curious. 

Squires Put Down Stakes in Philly
January 23, 2004

Community College of Philadelphia gym courtesy ccp.eduPHILADELPHIA, PA - From Trenton to Asbury Park to parts unknown, the ABA's Jersey Squires have moved around from place to place this season while remaining firmly in the league basement. The 1-14 Squires will now apparently call the Community College of Philadelphia's 1,400-seat gym (right) their home court, at least for now, beginning with Wednesday night's game against the Long Beach Jam. Dennis Rodman is expected to make the trip with the Jam, but the former NBA rebounding champ, who has played just two games for Long Beach, may not be 100% fit after a leg injury and may not play. The Squires may be counting on people anticipating Rodman to play, as they've set their ticket prices at a ridiculously high level of $40 for courtside seats, $20 for general admission and $12 for students.  

When Will Worm Turn Up Again?
January 21, 2004

Dennis Rodman AFP/Getty Images/File/Robert LabergeLAS VEGAS - Dennis Rodman did not play for the Long Beach Jam in Tuesday night's 136-124 win over the Rattlers, and will not play in the second leg of the back-to-back games Wednesday night because of a sore right knee. Rodman, who had 14 rebounds in his debut last Friday night against Fresno, took himself out of Sunday's game against Jersey because he felt he was not yet in basketball shape. He told the Long Beach Press-Telegram, "I need to take a couple of weeks so that I can explode off the knee and really, really run and jump." If Rodman doesn't play for the next couple of weeks, it would be a blow to the ABA, who have pinned their hopes on the publicity the former NBA rebounding champ brings. Meanwhile, a former pro player wanted on suspicion of defrauding the city of Cincinnati was believed to have his sights set on trying out for the Jam, perhaps under an assumed name. 

 When You Stop Laughing.....ABA to Expand
January 6, 2004

Yuta Tabuse courtesy BYU-HawaiiINDIANAPOLIS, IN - This is what happens when ABA leadership makes the mistake of letting Joe Newman open his mouth again.  The league's co-founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee said with a straight face Monday  that the league would announce expansion plans this month. Newman went on to say that "our business model is proving itself to be attractive and workable." We assume that means the business plan that has one team playing in a roller rink and another dredging up warm bodies as it goes from town to town, without the bother of an actual home court or paychecks or other annoyances. Most familiar to those who have followed the league was Newman's pronouncement that "We have had over 40 inquiries from the US, Mexico and Canada about teams for next season," which sounds eerily similar to the same delusional stuff he used to spout when he was allowed to make public statements in the past. 

Jam Takes Round Two 
January 3, 2004

Yuta Tabuse courtesy BYU-HawaiiLONG BEACH - The Long Beach Jam may be the new kid on the block, but they're definitely acting like veterans. On Friday night in front of 1,200 fans at the Pyramid, the Jam beat the defending ABA champion Kansas City Knights for the second time in as many tries, 121-104. Point guard Yuta Tabuse (left) sparked the Jam with 9 assists and 7 points off the bench in his first action since being sidelined with ankle and knee injuries and Geno Carlisle scored 38 points as Long Beach came back from four points down at the half. The two teams play again Sunday afternoon. In other ABA action Friday night, the Las Vegas Rattlers and Jersey Knights played another mystery match, Las Vegas' second in three nights. How hard is it to let the league know the result of a game? Apparently too hard for whoever's running the show in Sin City. 

We've Turned Two 
January 1, 2004

That's right, almostbasketball turned 2 years old with the dawning of 2004. On January 1, 2002, we began as a message board devoted to the ABA, with our website following shortly thereafter. 

Not much has changed in two years. The ABA still has seven teams, at least a couple of them appear to be total jokes, a team from southern California and a team from Kansas City are atop the standings, games are going unplayed without explanation, and on a good night, maybe 1,500 people show up to watch. And we're still here, providing you with a place to find out information on the league, free from the ABA spin. 

Like any two-year-old, we need more love, so tell a friend and we hope to see more of you back here and on the board discussing the ABA. 

Knights Close in, Diablos Close out  
December 24, 2003

KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Knights played the Grinch Tuesday night, with eight players opening double-figure gifts in a 128-80 win over the visiting Fresno HeatWave. With Jamaal Davis and Antoine Johnson leading the balanced attack with 18 and 17 points, respectively, the defending ABA champs moved to within a game and a half of the Long Beach Jam's league lead going into the Christmas break. Kansas City jumped out to a 35-12 lead after one and was never threatened, with Fresno scoring just 30 points in the first half. Joe Smith led the HeatWave with 25.  Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Ben Adams hit a layup and was fouled, and converted the free throw with one second left to give the Tijuana Diablos a 93-92 win over the Las Vegas Rattlers. Adams scored 20 on the night, while John Humphrey's 22 led Las Vegas. 

Rattlers Roll 
December 23, 2003

Master P courtesy the411.comLAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas Rattlers used a big third-quarter run to break open a tight game and went on to claim a 100-90 win over the Tijuana Diablos Monday night for their first-ever win. Las Vegas (1-3) got 19 points (including 5 three-pointers) from guard Percy Miller (Master P) and 18 from Kevin Morris in claiming the win in front of an estimated 1,500 fans at a former roller rink at the Las Vegas Events Center. Tied 43-43 at halftime, the Rattlers exploded to outscore TJ 30-14 in the third to go up by 16 and held on for the win. The two teams play again tonight in Las Vegas. 

The Worm Returns 

December 22, 2003

Dennis Rodman courtesy homeofheroes.comLONG BEACH, CA - As if the ABA wasn't absurd enough, the Long Beach Jam have signed basketball's master of the art by inking Dennis Rodman to a contract. The 42-year-old Rodman, who last played in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks nearly four years ago, signed Friday and expects to play for the Jam in mid-January, with hopes of a return to the NBA. Rodman led the league in rebounding a record seven consecutive times but was arguably the flakiest player ever, with his on and off the court antics resulting in as many fines as slowly shaken heads. The Jam, who beat Tijuana 125-116 in front of 700 fans Sunday afternoon, expect Rodman to begin practicing after Christmas. [DISCUSS]

Gallos en fuego 

December 18, 2003

The Juarez Gallos de Pelea courtesy SOMEWHERE IN PHILADELPHIA, PA - No mira ahora, but Los Gallos de Pelea de Juarez have won three straight and are closing on the Long Beach Jam in the ABA standings. Wednesday night Brian Lewin scored 28 points and Cedric Patton added 24 to lift the Gallos to a 121-114 victory over the winless Jersey Squires. Sam Bowie scored 17 and David Shelton knocked in 16 to lead a balanced attack as the Gallos finished a two-game sweep of the embattled Squires. Jersey owner Wayne Butler moved his team from Asbury Park last week, and played Kansas City Saturday night at the University of Philadelphia's Bucky Harris gym, an 850-seat arena on the campus of the Division II school. UP Athletic Director Thomas Shirley told almostbasketball the Squires played on his school's campus as a "favor to help them out of a jam" and that there were no plans to have any more ABA games there. Tuesday night's game was apparently played at Neumann College's 300-seat Thomas A. Bruder Athletic Center. Neumann is a private Catholic school in Philadelphia whose teams play in NCAA Division III. There is no word yet on where Wednesday night's game was played or where the Squires will land on a permanent basis. 

ABA's Covert Ops Successful 
December 16, 2003

LENEXA, KS - The ABA's plan to conduct secret basketball operations is working brilliantly after less than three weeks, league observers say.  The first part of the operation, to release little or no information about one or more league teams, was successfully carried out by waiting until the week of its first game to announce details of the Las Vegas franchise. Part of that operation is still ongoing, with the league observing silence on where the Rattlers will play their home games, with less than a week to go before the team's home opener. The ABA is also conducting games without letting anyone know where they will be played, as well as not releasing the final scores of games until days after they have been played. "It's all a part of our master plan to keep a little mystery in the air," a league spokesman would have said if he wasn't going to be violating the directive not to release information. "We think if people knew everything about the league, it would take some of the fun out of it." Inside sources have revealed that the league may never announce where the Jersey Squires franchise will be moved, and instead will wait to see if anyone notices. 

Jersey Exits 
December 16, 2003

ASBURY PARK, NJ - Jersey no longer fits. The Jersey Squires, plagued by a poor arena and a worse owner, have left Asbury Park and will play in another city for however much longer they exist in the ABA this season. Unable to come up with the cash wanted by the Asbury Park Convention Hall management (who weren't born yesterday), owner Wayne Butler has moved the team. In typical ABA fashion, he didn't tell anyone where he has moved the team. In fact, Saturday night's game against the Kansas City Knights was apparently played (KC won 118-112), but no one seems to know where. Perhaps we'll find out today, when the Squires are supposed to host Juarez in the first night of back-to-back games. 

Knights in a Rut 
December 12, 2003

KANSAS CITY, MO - The Kansas City Knights only lost five games in the 2001-2002 ABA season on their way to the championship; they've already lost three in the 2003-2004 season, including back-to-back losses at home after previously winless Tijuana capped a mini-sweep with a 98-94 win at Hale Arena Thursday night.  The Knights, who went 32-5 in the league's last season, are 3-3 and three full games behind the Long Beach Jam two weeks into the season. 

Jelly Bean's Rattlers Chewed Up 
December 10, 2003

CIUDAD JUAREZ, MX - Yes, Virginia, there is a Las Vegas Rattlers. The last ABA team to take to the court in 2003 dropped its opener Tuesday night at University Gymnasium, 120-91 to the Juarez Gallos. New coach Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant, father of NBA star Kobe Bryant, had just nine players available and was without former NBAers Reggie Jordan and Mark Jackson, but the Rattlers jumped out to an 8-2 lead. Juarez recovered and ran off 10 straight points to take the lead for good, however, and led by as many as 40 points in the second half before settling for their third win of the season by a comfortable 29 points. 

Jam Discovers the Joy of Six 
December 10, 2003

DerMarr Johnson at the University of Cincinnati courtesy nbadraft.netLONG BEACH, CA - The Long Beach Jam are threatening to run away with the ABA after less than two weeks of play. On Tuesday night the Jam got 33 points from DerMarr Johnson (left) and 30 from Damion Dantzler in a 132-120 win over the Fresno HeatWave in front of 2,271 fans at The Pyramid at Long Beach State. In winning their home opener, the Jam improved to 6-0 and served notice that they are the team to beat. 

Same Old ABA in New Jersey  
December 9, 2003

Asbury Park Convention Center courtesy beachcomber.comASBURY PARK, NJ - The Jersey Squires won't play their scheduled ABA game tonight against the Tijuana Diablos, and it's not clear exactly when they'll play again, or who their players and coaches will be if they do. The Squires have postponed tonight's game officially due to the winter storm that pounded the Northeast this weekend, but it's a convenient excuse. The players haven't been paid, the coaches have been fired, and the Asbury Park Convention Center (right) wants its money up front from team owner Wayne Butler. Butler has until noon Thursday to meet a list of requirements, which includes adequate insurance, back pay for players, and the ability to field a competitive team, or the league will seek "alternative financing." This must be one of those "couple of bumps" league President Jim Clark talked about. [DISCUSS]


Three Wins in Three Knights 
December 5, 2003

Jamaal Davis while at the University of Cincinnati courtesy SI.comKANSAS CITY, MO - Three straight wins have the defending ABA champion Kansas City Knights closing in on first place in the ABA standings. On Thursday night, Joe Crispin scored 25 points, Jamaal Davis (left) had 22, and Doug Wrenn had 9 points and 10 rebounds in a 118-99 win over the Juarez Gallos de Pelea. Nate Driggers and Sam Bowie each had 17 points for Juarez, which lost its second straight. 


KC Sends Juarez to the Gallos 
December 4, 2003

Joe Crispin courtesy yahoo.comKANSAS CITY, MO - The Kansas City Knights have started a new winning streak after seeing their ABA-record 24-game run come to an end in the season opener. The Knights got 23 points from Joe Crispin (right), 22 from Jamal Davis, and 20 from Cortez Groves in a 124-106 win over the Juarez Gallos de Pelea. Sam Bowie and David Shelton led Juarez with 17 points apiece. With the win, Kansas City claimed second place in the ABA standings, with the two teams set to battle again Thursday night at Hale Arena. Another sparse crowd greeted the Knights, as they drew fewer than 300 fans for their second home game. 

Knights Back; Few Notice 
December 3, 2003

Cortez Groves while at Kansas State courtesy CITY, MO - If there were any doubts about what effect  sitting out nearly 20 months will have on the ABA, there shouldn't be after only about 500 fans turned out for the home opener of the league's flagship franchise, the Kansas City Knights, Tuesday night at Hale Arena. The Knights got 18 points from former Kansas State player Cortez Groves (left) in a 117-81 win over the Jersey Squires, but the crowd was the Knights' smallest ever. Kansas City had averaged 2,265 and 2,722 fans per game in its previous two seasons. The defending league champs host Juarez the next two nights.

Ill Jam makes HeatWave sick
December 3, 2003

Matt Barnes courtesy eurobasket.comFRESNO, CA - The Long Beach Jam improved to 5-0 with a 153-102 win over the Fresno HeatWave Tuesday night despite having two key players sick with the flu. With Juaquin Hawkins playing limited minutes and DerMarr Johnson unable to play at all, the Jam got 31 points from Matt Barnes and 26 points and 23 rebounds from Jack Hartman in picking up the easy victory. Long Beach will host Fresno in its home opener at The Pyramid at Long Beach State next Tuesday night. 

Jam Goes to 4-0 
December 2, 2003

Geno Carlisle courtesy Eurobasket.comFRESNO, CA - The Long Beach Jam improved to 4-0 on the young ABA season Monday night with a 125-109 win over the Fresno HeatWave. Geno Carlisle (left) poured in 25 of his game-high 37 points in the second quarter as Long Beach outscored Fresno 45-17 in the period. Matt Barnes had 24 points, Jack Hartman and Juaquin Hawkins had 13 apiece, and DerMarr Johnson chipped in with 11 as the Jam stayed perfect. Only about 500 fans attended the HeatWave's home opener at Selland Arena. 

Are Squires "Born to Run" from Jersey Already?
December 1, 2003

The Asbury Park Convention Center courtesy beyondthepalace.comASBURY PARK, NJ - A month after announcing his team's move from Trenton to Asbury Park, Jersey Squires owner Wayne Butler is already threatening to move his team again if improvements aren't made to the team's Convention Center home (left). After about 80 people attended Sunday night's 108-103 loss to Juarez, Butler said "major improvements" to the building's heating system and locker rooms would have to be done by the team's next scheduled home game on December 9 or "the team won't be here." It's doubtful anyone would notice, as the city has little idea the team exists. Butler did virtually no marketing of the team, prompting one player to remark, "It's like he wanted to sneak up on people or something." [DISCUSS]

Westhead Makes Fast Break to NBA
November 28, 2003

Paul WestheadLONG BEACH, CA - The Paul Westhead Era is over in Long Beach after just one game. The Jam's head coach has taken a position as an assistant with the Orlando Magic of the NBA, an opening made possible when the Magic fired Doc Rivers and assistant Dave Wohl earlier this month. Assistant coach Earl Cureton has been named the Jam's new head coach. Long Beach won its only game under Westhead, 144-109 over Juarez on November 20. Westhead was also the coach of the ABA's Los Angeles Stars in the 2000-2001 season. [DISCUSS]

Knights' Streak Es El Finito
November 25, 2003

JUAREZ, Mexico - The Kansas City Knights may yet defend their ABA title, but it appears as though it won't be as easy as the last time out. The Juarez Gallos de Pelea snapped the Knights' 24-game win streak dating back to the 2001-2002 season with a 136-123 win. Behind 29 points by Nate Driggers and 23 more from Sam Bowie, the Gallos notched their first win ever, while dealing the Knights their first loss since a 122-120 loss at Southern California on February 2, 2002. Kansas City won the last 22 games of that regular season (including a forfeit win), and two playoff games in the league-record streak. 

ABA Off and Running as Jam Rips Roosters
November 21, 2003

JUAREZ, Mexico - Geno Carlisle scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Long Beach Jam to a 144-109 rout of the Juarez Gallos de Pelea Thursday night in the first game of the 2003-2004 American Basketball Association season. The Jam had three scorers with more than 20 points, as Matt Barnes added 25 and DerrMar Johnson 23 in the win. Cedric Patton led the Gallos with 22, while Sam Bowie had 21. A 12-0 first-quarter burst put the Jam in front 36-24 after one.

No Teams Have Moved Lately as ABA Begins Season
November 19, 2003

JUAREZ, Mexico - More than 19 months after it last played a game, the American Basketball Association is set to begin its third season on Thursday when the expansion Juarez Gallos de Pelea host the Long Beach Jam in the first game of the new campaign. 

The league is especially proud that it hasn't had a team move in nearly a month, since the San Joaquin Sun Devils abruptly picked up and landed in Fresno in October. 

"Our objective is to try to make it another few weeks before we have to move another team," a league spokesman didn't say. 

ABA Inaugurates "So Happy It's Tuesday" Promotion
November 18, 2003

LENEXA, KS - The ABA is unveiling a league-wide promotion that will celebrate the most popular night on its schedule. 

Because 24 of its 125 scheduled games this season fall on Tuesdays, the league's new "So Happy It's Tuesday" program, or SHIT, will offer fans special incentives to ensure they have fun on the popular weeknight.

"This season, we're planning to actually play the games that we put on the schedule," a league spokesman didn't say. "We think this will be a big step up for us. Fans are more likely to come to games if they know they're not going to be suddenly and mysteriously cancelled, not that we've ever done that.

"We think SHIT is a perfect way to describe our league," the spokesman didn't go on to say. "That's all we've heard for three years."

League Finalizing Cable TV Deal
November 18, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS, IN  - After years of promises, ABA co-founder Joe Newman has revealed he has finally worked out a cable television deal.

"They said they'd be here next Tuesday between 9 and noon, or between 1 and 5," Newman would have said, optimistically. "But you know how those cable guys are, they make you wait around all day. That's okay, though. I don't have anything else to do since the ABA won't let me get near any of the actual workings of the league anymore. I can wait all day."