With the founding of the ABA on February 2, 1967 a charter franchise was awarded to a group of seven investors, including Morton Downey, Jr. The group obtained their franchise for $1,000 as opposed to the $30,000 fronted by most other original teams. Charles G. Smither, one of the seven owners, served as team president; another of the investors, Maurice M. Stern, was operations manager. The team was named the New Orleans Buccaneers and former Mississippi State University head coach Babe McCarthy was signed as its first coach. Among the team’s first players were Doug Moe, Larry Brown, Gerald Govan, Jimmy Jones and Red Robbins.
The team picked up Wendell Ladner in the draft and rechristened itself the Louisiana Buccaneers, planning to play its home games throughout the state during the 1970 – 1971 season including in New Orleans, Shreveport, Lafayette, Monroe and Baton Rouge. Like most ABA teams, the Bucs were never on strong financial ground, and the move to the smaller Tulane Gym combined with the marked drop off in their play caused revenue to dry up. It was hoped that becoming a “regional” franchise would provide more capital.
However, on August 21, 1970 the franchise was purchased by a new owner and ten days later it was moved to Memphis, Tennessee and renamed the Memphis Pros.
The New Orleans Buccaneers were an American professional sports franchise that played in Memphis, Tennessee from 1967 until 1970 as a member of the American Basketball Association.
New Orleans – Memphis – Baltimore
1967 – 1975 / American Basketball Association
1975 / Baltimore Claws (Only Played three exhibition Game)
1974 – 1975 / Memphis Sounds
1972 – 1974 / Memphis Tams
1970 – 1972 / Memphis Pros
1967 – 1970 / New Orleans Buccaneers
Buccaneers – The buccaneers were pirates who attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean Sea during the 17th century.
ABA Championships 0
*Emmitsburg, Maryland (Baltimore)*
1975 / St. Mary’s College
1970 – 1975 / Mid-South Coliseum
1969 – 1970 / Tulane Gym
1967 – 1969 / Loyola Field House
1975 / American Basketball Association Office
1972 – 1975 / Charles O. Finley
1970 – 1972 / P. W. Blake
1967 – 1970 / Morton Downey, Jr., Charles G. Smither and 5 other Owners
1974 – 1975 / Joe Mullaney
1972 – 1973 / Bob Bass
1967 – 1972 / Babe McCarthy
*Blue is this team’s history