Going Retro: NBA Reveals 2011-12 ABA Throwback Uniforms

A slew of teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, will sport some rather retro uniforms at various times throughout the rest of the 2011-12 season. In homage to some of the ABA’s more distinct-looking threads, franchises will be going old school this season.¬†

ESPN.com has a breakdown of each team participating and pictures of all the uniforms (for what it’s worth, ESPN gives the Tams jerseys an “A” grade), but here’s a list of the current NBA teams participating and the original ABA team:

  • Charlotte Bobcats = Carolina Cougars
  • Denver Nuggets (same team today)
  • Indiana Pacers (same team)
  • Los Angeles Clippers = Los Angeles Stars
  • Memphis Grizzlies = Memphis Tams (Flickr Photos)
  • Miami Heat = Miami Floridians
  • Minnesota Timberwolves = Minnesota Muskies
  • New Jersey Nets = New York Nets
  • San Antonio Spurs = Texas Chaparrals

Tams History

The Tams sported green and gold uniforms – different than any other Memphis sports team – back in the day. Charles O. Finley, who also owned the Oakland A’s and the NHL’s California Golden Seals, decided to use the same colors for all of his teams.

Formerly known as the Memphis Pros (1970-72), the Tams existed for just two seasons (1972-73 and 1973-74) before later becoming the Memphis Sound for the 1974-75 season. The team then moved to Baltimore but folded before it played a game.

The ’72-73 season was a tumultuous one that saw a dismal record of 20-64 despite having all-star George Thompson on the roster. Heading into the next season, the Tams added Memphis State superstart Larry Kenon and Larry Finch to the roster in hopes of increased support.

Rumors swirled throughout the summer leading up to the season that the owner, Finley, was trying to move the team. He tried to sell it to a group of investors, but the deal broke down and in August, Finley announced the Tams would play the season in Memphis. Before the season started, Kenon was traded away to the Knicks. Finley’s perceived lack of interest in the franchise would prove to be its downfall, as the Tams averaged just over 2,000 fans per game and would change ownership after the season.

Preston McClellan covers the Grizzlies for MemphiSport. Follow him on Twitter @p_mcclellan.

– Photo taken from www.reason.com


  1. Mike Bullard says:

    I usually love throwback uniforms. But most of these are really bad. The TAMs is not too bad either but does not deserve an A grade. A C grade at best.

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