“I don’t see why no one took our team seriously.”
~Owner of the Memphis Houn’Dawgs
Obviously by this point we’ve made enough jokes about the American Basketball Association that we don’t really need an intro to this article. So, sure, you might think we’ve covered it all, from the league’s history to its current and former teams. Except, remember, this is a league that has 350 teams disappear in its short history. So of course there are a lot more former teams than current teams. A lot lot more. Here are the last teams we’ve decided to make fun of in this silly, unnecessary, wonderful league.
A Brief, Incomplete History of the American Basketball Association (No, The OTHER ABA): Part 4- Even More Defunct Teams
Lol, you save up for 100 registration fees and you can afford to buy a whole team.
Yes. Just drink that in. Soak in that name, that mascot, that everything. Back in 2006, according to the Los Angeles Times, Duane Hughes, a “former old-school rapper” (sure, with that attitude), paid $10,000 to buy a franchise, and named it the Charlotte Krunk, because, just, lol. Sometimes “lol” is the only way you can actually describe the ridiculousness of a sentence. Now even more lol (but also, like, a kind of sad lol) is the fact that the team never played a single game, in a true testimony to a league that claims to have over 90 teams playing currently but probably has closer to 40. Hughes booked Mike Jones to put on concerts after games, got jerseys, dropped $30,000 on TV commercial spots, and paid referees in cash, because the refs refused to be paid by check to work the ABA, which again, sad lol.
And then just about all of the teams in their division shut down, and the team had to fold. They moved to the CBA (Continental Basketball Association, come on America, basketball is great and all but have you considered that we may have too many semi-pro leagues? Just a thought) and moved to Georgia where they became the Atlanta Krunk, which again, they were really married to naming a team “Krunk.” It’s beautiful.
Now any and all iterations after the “we never played” squad were not owned by Hughes, who the previously linked Times article estimates that he pumped $80,000 of his own money into, and which folded $200,000 in the red. So he had to deal with all that, and just watch the team move and stay weirdly determined to keep the name Krunk. 2006? The Atlanta Krunk. 2006-2007? Atlanta Krunk Wolverines. (haha, seriously.) 2007-2008? Back to the Atlanta Krunk. And finally, 2008-2009, their last season in existence? The Augusta Groove.
Farewell, you magnificent Krunks, you. You will be missed.
Listen, when you name your team after a pop culture phenomenon, you’re never really going to be happy with the decision down the road. The Krunk are an example of that. And if we want to go into real actual leagues with money behind them, think about when Disney bought an NHL Team and was like, “you know what movie we’re trying to get people to see? The Mighty Ducks.” And so that was a fucking team name for like, a long time, and even now, they’re stuck with the ducks, which is a shitty name for a team.
Anyway, the Montreal Matrix didn’t necessarily name themselves after the movie, The Matrix, and in fact they probably didn’t. But it seems highly suspicious if you ask us, considering that it came out in 2005 when that movie was still near its peak of cultural relevance.
So we think that’s pretty stupid. They were unremarkable at the time, playing from 2005-2008, making the playoffs their first season, and then they faded away, leaving a blurry name and a boring legacy. The Matrix.
When you, an American, see this name, you think, the Kebs? That sounds fucking dumb. But then you realize they were originally based out of Quebec City, Quebec, and that the word “Kebs” is short for “Kebekwa” which is a phonetic spelling of the French word for “Quebecers” and you can take a step back, re-evaluate your opinion, and think, the Kebs? That sounds fucking dumb.
And it is. Canadians should not be allowed to name their own teams. They have like 17 NHL teams whose name is basically “some way to describe a Canadian.” If Canada got their shot at another professional sports franchise they’d probably call themselves the fucking “Alberta Friendly Folks Named Doug From Alberta.” Get this bullshit out of our face, Canada.
Anyway, they played two seasons in the ABA starting in 2006, and by 2012, two semi-pro leagues later, they called it quits. But this name, Jesus.
Not that we are much better at names down here in the states. We know next to nothing about this team. All we know is that they were created as a charter franchise for the ABA and disbanded after one season of 19-21 ball. But their name. Jesus, their name. Who…who thought of this? Like, the Hound Dogs are bad enough, but we’re pretty sure if we write “Houn’Dawgs” two more fucking times our keyboard will catch fire out of protest. Let’s test it out.
Vermont Frost Heaves
And finally, we have the Frost Heaves, a testament to the fact that if a state is not used to professional sports, they’re very easily excitable. Here was a team that played in Cornwall, Vermont that was purchased by a writer for Sports Illustrated in a move that feels like it was meant to be an elaborate tax write off for this story. Andrew Wolff heard about the ABA, and it’s low, $10,000 cost of entry, and said, sure, let’s go with it. And, of course, because the ABA is hilarious, they won the championship the first (and only) two seasons they played in the league.
Think about that. A writer bought a team in the ABA for shits and giggles and was able to become the best team in the league immediately.
And that is why the American Basketball Association is pure idiocy. But also kind of America at it’s finest.