Jack McMahon took over as coach. John Brisker and Mike Lewis played in the 1971 ABA All-Star Game, but the Condors could only manage a 36-48 record, fifth place in the Eastern Division and out of the playoffs (one game behind The Floridians). While the Condors had a potent offense (5th in the 11-team ABA with 119.1 points per game), they were often undone by their defense (8th in the league (essentially 4th worst), allowing 121.8 ppg). Attendance remained poor, with an announced average of 2,806, though some observers close to the team thought the actual average was less than half that. After a slow (4-8) start, general manager Marty Blake decided (in an infamous ABA stunt) to give away every available seat for an early-season game against Florida on November 17. The game attracted the biggest crowd that the team would ever draw under the Condors name; however, it was still only 8,074 (in a 12,300-seat arena), and 3,000 season ticket holders didn’t even bother to attend the contest, which Pittsburgh lost, 122-116. Ownership was not amused, and Blake was fired soon after.
Haven and the league tried to move the Condors to a bigger market. However, they were unable to do so, and in June 1972 the ABA canceled the Condors franchise. The Condors’ roster was put into a dispersal draft; George Thompson went to the Memphis Tams, Mike Lewis to the Carolina Cougars, Skeeter Swift and James Silas to the Dallas Chaparrals, and Walt Szczerbiak to the Kentucky Colonels. John Brisker jumped to the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA.
The Pittsburgh Condors were a professional basketball team in the original American Basketball Association. Originally called the Pittsburgh Pipers, they were a charter franchise of the ABA and captured the first league title. The team played their home games in Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena.
Pittsburgh – Minneapolis – Pittsburgh
1967 – 1972 / American Basketball Association
1970 – 1972 / Pittsburgh Condors
1969 – 1970 / Pittsburgh Pipers
1968 – 1969 / Minnesota Pipers
1967 – 1968 / Pittsburgh Pipers
Condors – A “name-the-team” contest yielded the nickname “Pittsburgh Pioneers.” However, local NAIA school Point Park College (now Point Park University) already had that nickname and threatened to sue. Ownership resolved the objection by changing the name to “Condors.”
ABA Championships 0
1967 – 1968, 1969 – 1973 / Pittsburgh Civic Arena
1968 – 1969 / Bloomington’s Met Center
1970 – 1972 / Metro Sports Haven Industries
1967 – 1969 / Gabe Rubin
1971 – 1972 / Jack McMahon and Mark Binstein
1970 – 1971 / Jack McMahon
1969 – 1970 / John Clark and Buddy Jeanette
1968 – 1969 / Jim Harding and Vern Mikkelsen
1967 – 1968 / Vince Cazzetta
*Blue is this team’s history