1968 Retrospect: Professional Basketball

A new professional basketball league, the American Basketball Association (ABA), started up in 1968. It saw only limited success and all teams lost money in the first year. The league lasted only 8 years before merging with the NBA in 1976.

In the NBA, Wilt Chamberlain was the Player of the Year for the 3rd consecutive year. In the 1967-68 season, Chamberlain became the all-time leading career scorer at the time with 25,434 points. In July, Chamberlain was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for 3 players and cash.

The St. Louis Hawks won the Western Division and the Philadelphia 76ers won the Eastern Division. However, neither team made it to the finals. In the end, it was the Boston Celtics going up against the Los Angeles Lakers. With the scoring of John Havlicek and the defensive skills of player-coach Bill Russell, the Celtics beat the Laker 4 games to 2 to win their 9th championship in 10 years.

The NBA also added two new teams for the 1968-69 season: The Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. They each paid a franchise fee of $2 million. Contrast this with the $300 million franchise fee that the Charlotte Bobcats paid 3 years ago.

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