The Colonels had to go through two bouts of being bridesmaids before they ever captured an ABA championship in 1975.
The first time was their runner-up effort against the Utah Stars in the 1971 finals. The second was the title tilt against the Pacers in '73.
Remember the ABA remembers that 1971 Colonels vs. Stars series this way...
The Kentucky series was a long, drawn-out affair which came down to a decisive Game 7 at the Salt Palace. 13,260 screaming Utah fans were present on May 18, 1971 to see whether Utah could claim the ABA title. Utah would not be denied.
The Stars dominated the Colonels en route to a 131-121 victory. It took 20 minutes to clear the court of all the rabid fans who stormed onto the floor at the final buzzer.
Both Willie Wise and Zelmo Beaty were carried off the floor on the shoulders of Stars fans (photo below). It was a satisfying end to a magical season that Utah fans will never forget.
It's not likely that there was an actual merch booth selling swag, but in our mind, there was one and here it is. Perfect for the basketball fan in the family. Perfect for the granddad that just won't shut up about how the ABA was better than the NBA will ever be!
• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (heather colors contain polyester)
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
Model is wearing a size M. He's 6.2 feet (190 cm) tall, chest circumference 37.7" (96 cm), waist circumference 33.4" (85 cm).