Alright, enough of this nonsense about the 71-72 ABA watering down and detracting from the NBA talent the Lakers had to face during their 33 game win streak.
In today's L.A. times, another reader sent a letter in saying that the 1971-72 ABA had significant stars including, Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Rick Barry, etc., etc. Unfortunately for that argument, it's the "etc., etc." that doesn't hold water. Truth be told, the ABA garnered a miniscule handful of high profile players that made the rest of the sports world take notice. And The reason "etc., etc.", is used in the argument is because there really are no more big names after those five. The likes of Rick Mount, Mel Daniels, Louie Dampier round out that list of names.
Let's just jot down a few of the NBA's players from the 71-72 season, shall we?
Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Jerry Lucas, Bill Bradley, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Walt Bellamy, Lou Hudson, Pete Maravich, Gus Johnson, Wes Unseld, Jo Jo White, John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Don Nelson, Nate Archibald, Bob Lanier, Dave Bing, Cazzie Russell, Nate Thurmond, Calvin Murphy, Elvin Hayes, Sidney Wicks, Lenny Wilkens, Spencer Haywood. Shall I go on?
The ABA Made a splash by adding a very few high profile players. The owners gambled on the concept that throwing money at a veritable handful of recognizable players would get them the attention they needed to exist and move forward. To suggest that the ABA's acquisition of those few significantly depleted the NBA's wealth of talent is simply untrue and ludicrous.