The Memphis Sounds were eliminated by the Colonels and would be the last meaningful game that the franchise would play. Although the 1974 – 1975 season saw the highest attendance figures during the team’s stay in Memphis, both Wilson and Hayes were having financial troubles that required them to sell their shares. After the 1974 – 1975 season the ABA franchise was sold to a group of businessmen in Baltimore, Maryland who used it to create a team that was first briefly known as the Baltimore Hustlers and then the Baltimore Claws. However, the team had serious financial problems and collapsed before the season started, playing only three exhibition games in its brief history.
Not long after the Claws folded, the San Diego Sails and then the Utah Stars folded early in the 1975 – 1976 regular season, abruptly shrinking the league from 10 teams to 7. The failure of those franchises was a factor behind the ABA–NBA merger in the summer after the 1975 – 1976 season ended.
The Baltimore Claws was an American basketball team which was supposed to appear in the 1975 – 1976 season in the American Basketball Association. The team collapsed before the season started, playing only three exhibition games, all losses, in its brief history.
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
Claws – The new owners first named their team the “Baltimore Hustlers,” and sent out a season ticket brochure using that moniker. When the ABA league office got wind of the “Hustlers” nickname, it strongly objected. The ABA higher-ups felt that the name “Hustlers” had too many negative connotations, and strongly encouraged the Baltimore owners to choose another nickname. Soon after this directive, the “Baltimore Hustlers” quietly became the “Baltimore Claws.” A second season ticket brochure was sent out, with the new nickname.
Name is derived from the claws of a crustaceans species such as a crab or lobster, which is a huge industry in the Baltimore area.
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