1975–76 Utah Stars season

The 1975–76 Utah Stars season was the 6th and final season of the Utah Stars in the American Basketball Association. They folded due to financial pressures sixteen games into the regular season. As a result, the Stars were not part of the ABA–NBA merger that occurred at the conclusion of the season. Professional basketball would return to the Salt Lake City area when the New Orleans Jazz of the National Basketball Association relocated there following the 1978–79 season.

1975–76 Utah Stars season
Head coach Tom Nissalke
Arena Salt Palace
Record 412 (.250)
Playoff finish Folded midway through the season

. . . 1975–76 Utah Stars season . . .

  • May 1975: Stars sign Steve Green

Like most ABA teams, the Stars played several preseason exhibition games against NBA opponents. Their first for the 1975 preseason came on October 1, 1975, against the Philadelphia 76ers. The two teams met in the 76ers’ home arena and the 76ers prevailed, 116-111.

On October 7 the Stars hosted the Seattle SuperSonics. The two teams combined for 119 shots from the free-throw line. Ron Boone scored 23 points and led all scorers. Seattle’s Leonard Gray was ejected for punching Utah’s Steve Green. The Stars won, 122-119.

On October 11, 1975, the Kansas City–Omaha Kings met the Stars in the Denver Nuggets‘ home arena in Colorado. The game was part of a double-header, with the Nuggets facing the NBA’s Golden State Warriors in the other half. 17,018 fans attended, which at the time was a record crowd for a basketball game in Colorado. Ron Boone led the Stars with 40 points (18 of them in the first quarter) and the Stars defeated the Kings 114-111.

On October 14 the Chicago Bulls came to Salt Lake City to face the Stars. The game went into overtime and the Bulls pulled it out, 122-119. In a sign of what was to come for the Stars later in the season, the Bulls later filed a lawsuit against the Stars, claiming that Utah failed to pay the Bulls a guaranteed $17,000 for playing the game at the Salt Palace.

The next day, on October 15, the Stars went on the road to face the Seattle SuperSonics again, this time in Seattle. John Roche scored 33 points for the Stars as Utah won 108-98.

On October 21, 1975, the Milwaukee Bucks came to the Salt Palace to face the Stars. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, this would be the final exhibition game ever played between ABA and NBA teams, as the two leagues merged at the end of the season. The final ABA vs. NBA contest ended with the Stars victorious, 106-101.[1]

. . . 1975–76 Utah Stars season . . .

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. . . 1975–76 Utah Stars season . . .