Skip to main content

The story behind the ABA ball


Viagra was supposed to be heart medication when during clinical trials men reported an interesting side-effect and the rest is history. It is not uncommon for pivotal moments to have quite simple explanations. The ABA ball follows in that line of quite prosaic stories. Sometimes the best decisions are made by accident.

ABA was founded in 1967 as a competitor to the NBA so it is reasonable to assume the color of the ABA ball was a branding strategy. Someone must've had meetings, brainstormed or whatnot and decided they needed to visually differentiate themselves from the NBA. It was flashy, had much more African-American players who brought moves from the street, it introduced the three-point line and dunking became a regular occurrence. A colourfull ball makes perfect sense.

Well, the explanation is much simpler than that. The first commissioner of the ABA was George Mikan, a powerhouse at the center position. You know someone was a badass when they had to install a rule to give other players a fighting chance. "The Mikan Rule" widened the lane from 6 to 12 feet so players would have a chance to deal with him. Mikan had all this influence despite having severe eye-sight issues. You see where this is going, right?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Yep, Mikan as the commissioner couldn't really see the ball if he wasn't on the field so he had the balls painted hoping that would help him see the ball. This was such an improv move the league never patented the color scheme so they couldn't make money off it! Gotta love the ABA


"I smell pus*y Lord!"-Iman Shumpert reveals a crazy Kevin Garnet trash-talking story

"Boy, I dunked that ball the next play and called him all types of bit*h!"-Shumpert took KG's trash talk personal.

Shaq & Kobe go head to head with Magic & Kareem for the title of the greatest Lakers' duo

The battle of the two greatest duos in Lakers' franchise history

Magic & Kareem or Kobe & Shaq -- two greatest duos in LA Lakers' history go head to head in NBA 2k22


Eddy Curry opens up about his time with the New York Knicks — “That was the year I started experiencing knee problems”

If there’s one way to define Eddy Curry’s basketball career, it’s probably “untapped potential"

Lebron James and Michael Jordan on court during halftime during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James’ $45 Lobos tequila defeats Michael Jordan’s Cincoro tequila in the 2022 Spirits tequila competition

This year's Spirits tequila competition was reportedly the largest iteration ever, with almost 5,000 different alcoholic brands participating.

NBA analyst and former player Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal names the only 4 real superstars in the NBA

Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo immediatley came to Shaq's mind. The other two guys, he had to be reminded of. And then the Kawhi Leonard issue came up.

Orlando Magic first overall draft pick Paolo Banchero

Number one overall pick Paolo Banchero reveals his top five NBA players of all time

Many were quick to notice the heavy presence of the Los Angeles Lakers on Banchero’s list, and it immediatley started speculation from Laker Nation.