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 was a professional basketball team that competed in the American Basketball Association (ABA) from 1974 to 1976. The franchise was founded by Ozzie Silna and his brother, Daniel, who wanted to bring major league sports to their hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. During its two-year existence in the ABA, the Spirits made an immediate impact with star players such as Marvin Barnes and Moses Malone, leading them into contention for championships each season they played there.
In the 1975–76 season under head coach Bob MacKinnon Sr., the team had one of its best seasons ever, finishing first place overall with a record of 48 wins and 34 losses, only losing five home games all year long at Kiel Auditorium where they drew near capacity crowds every night! Despite having success on the court during this period, court issues plagued the organization, including financial troubles causing them not to be able to make payroll for their players at times throughout both years playing ABA, which led many great talents leaving before playoffs even started that particular year making it hard for them compete against other teams come playoff time despite having successful regular seasons prior those years respectively.
However, given their situation, while playing there, the Spirit's two-year run in St Louis was still awe-inspiring. They provided the city with excellent entertainment showcasing some of the most talented athletes around the country, competing for the highest level possible during an era when the NBA wasn't as popular as it is today. The team also helped pave the way for modern-day basketball by introducing new rules like the three-point line now used across all levels of play today, thus helping shape the game we know, love, and enjoy in the present day!
St. Louis Products
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 – The Spirits of St. Louis is a nickname for the American Basketball Association (ABA) team from 1974-1976. This historic franchise was one of the most successful teams in ABA history, reaching the playoffs every year they were active and even winning an ABA championship in their inaugural season. But many fans don’t know how this unique nickname came about.
The story starts with owner Ozzie Silna, who purchased a majority stake in the franchise shortly before it began play during its first season in 1974–75. Silna’s idea was to name his new team after St Louis’s famous monument – The Gateway Arch – which stands tall over downtown as a symbol of city pride and progressivism since 1965 when it opened as part of America's bicentennial celebration project. Thus, he named them “Spirits Of Saint Louis."
It wasn't just an homage to local architecture, though; for Ozzie Silna had another goal: To capture some intangible spirit inherent within St Louis itself—a sense that anything could be accomplished with hard work and determination regardless if you're born rich or poor - something he felt strongly about having grown up on Missouri's rural side himself before making his fortune through real estate investments back east near New York City. He wanted this sentiment reflected within his basketball team, too, so they'd represent success and resilience against all odds while inspiring others around them simultaneously!
So there you have it: The origins behind why our beloved Spirits Of Saint Louis are called what they are today! We may no longer have our professional basketball club here anymore. However, we can still take pride in knowing how much passion went into giving birth to such an iconic moniker almost 50 years ago...and cheer for those brave few players who put their hearts out on the court each night wearing these colors proudly across the country!
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