Today’s logos comes to us from the American Basketball League. This team traveled through 3 states and in each state attendance was an issue. We were establishd in 1967 in our original city of Oakland we were owned by a group that included singer Pat Boone. We were able to sign NBA Star Rick Barry from cross town NBA rivals San Francisco Warriors who lead us to our only championship in the 1968-1969 season. Our attendance was poor and Boone’s group was forced to ell the team to a Washington DC lawyer Earl Foreman who moved the team to DC but for some unexplained reason the team stayed in the Western Division making travelling more expensive.
As the NBA/ABA merger talks were swirling around NBA owner Abe Pollin wanted to move his Baltimore franchise to DC but did not want another team in his city. Foreman wanted to regionalize the team in Virginia so after the only season 1969-1970 the team was moved again. In Virginia we lasted from 1970-1976 before finally folding under financial restraints.
Rick Barry, who originally played with the inaugural Oaks, appeared on the August 24, 1970 front cover of Sports Illustrated in a Squires uniform; in the accompanying article inside the magazine, Barry made several negative remarks about the Commonwealth of Virginia. (He angered Southerners by remarking that he didn’t want his children to grow up saying, “Hi, y’all, Dad.”) On September 1, 1970, the Squires traded Barry to the New York Nets for a draft pick and $200,000. The negative comments weren’t the primary reason; rather, Foreman was still bogged down by financial troubles and sold Barry to help meet his expenses.
In 1971 we drafted DR J Julius Erving and by the 1972-1973 seasin we paired him with a young George Gervin. But they only played together for a half a season as DR J was sold to the Nets in the off season and Gervin was sold to the Spurs during the 1974 season. With financial problems mounting and top players being sold the losses mounted and popular coach Al Bianchi was fired. The team was bouncing payroll checks and the franchise was not deemed valuable enough to keep. After the 1976 season the ABA folded the franchise.
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