The Spirits (who took their name from the Atlantic Ocean-crossing plane flown by Charles Lindbergh) were the third incarnation of a franchise that began as the Houston Mavericks and later the Carolina Cougars. However, only a few players from the 1973–74 Cougars followed the team to St. Louis, so the Spirits were essentially an expansion team.
After a slow start in their inaugural season, 1974 – 1975, the Spirits reached the playoffs with a late rush, then upset the defending ABA champion New York Nets in the first round of the playoffs. But the team squandered this good start the following year. Despite inheriting several players (including Malone) from the Utah Stars after that franchise failed ...
History of the Spirits
The Spirits of St. Louis were a basketball franchise in the American Basketball Association (ABA) that existed from 1974 to 1976. This was the third and last city of a franchise that had begun as a charter member in 1967 as the Houston Mavericks before a shift to the Carolinas in 1969 to play as the Cougars. They were one of two teams still in existence at the end of the ABA that did not survive the league's merger with the National Basketball Association (NBA). They were a member of the ABA in its last two seasons, 1974–75 and 1975–76, while playing their home games at the St. Louis Arena. Under terms of the ABA–NBA merger, the owners of the Spirits continued to receive a portion of NBA television revenue until 2014, when a revised agreement was reached with the league.
Houston – Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh – St. Louis – Salt Lake City
1967 – 1976 / American Basketball Association
1976 / Utah Rockies (Never Played a Game)
1974 – 1976 / Spirits of St. Louis
1969 – 1974 / Carolina Cougars
1967 – 1969 / Houston Mavericks
Spirits – Took their name from the Atlantic Ocean-crossing plane flown by Charles Lindbergh.
ABA Championships 0
1974 – 1976 / St. Louis Arena
1969 – 1974 / Greensboro Coliseum
1969 – 1974 / Bojangles’ Coliseum
1969 – 1974 / J.S. Dorton Arena (Raleigh)
1967 – 1969 / Sam Houston Coliseum
1974 – 1976 / Ozzie Silna and Daniel Silna
1969 – 1974 / Southern Sports Corporation
1967 – 1969 / T. C. Morrow
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
1976 / Joe Mullaney
1975 / Rod Thorn
1974 – 1975 / Bob MacKinnon
1972 – 1974 / Larry Brown
1971 – 1972 / Tom Meschery
1971 / Jerry Steele
1970 – 1971 / Bones McKinney
1968 – 1969 / Art Becker and Jim Weaver
1967 – 1968 / Slater Martin and Art Becker
*Blue is this team’s history