National Basketball Association, NBA, American Basketball Association, ABA, records, statistics, history


In the case of the legal settlement between the (merger of the NBA and ABA, one of those legacies is that the NBA chooses not to officially recognize the ABA’s statistics. By arguing in favor of the NBA officially adopting ABA statistics, this Article addresses a question that lies at the intersection of law, race, sports, history, and corporate policy. Part II discusses the 1976 legal settlement between the two leagues. Part III, in turn, analyzes concerns over morality and why they weigh heavily in support of the NBA acknowledging ABA records. Part IV offers an evaluation of historical factors influencing whether a former professional sports enterprise should be considered a “major league” as a matter of policy andtherefore whether it deserves to have its records recognized. Part V reveals the illogic of the NBA’s posture regarding the ABA statistical question. Finally, Part VI weighs potential counterarguments that the NBA has put forward or that may quietly animate its posture. Ultimately, those views prove unpersuasive and indeed strongly reinforce the case for full NBA recognition of ABA statistics.