This article appears in the December 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com. **use this link https://www.loumag.com/subscribe.aspx
The Kentucky Colonels of the Old American Basketball Association may be the most beloved former sports franchise this side of the Baltimore Colts. Behind Artis Gilmore-- he of the finger roll and Hall of Fame mutton-chop sideburns-- the Colonels on the ABA title in 1975, playing their home games at Freedom Hall in Louisville. Alas, when the ABA and NBA merged in 1976, the Colonels were purged. But maybe, one day, if the NBA were looking to expand, or move a struggling team to a new city, and there was a new state-of-the-art arena on a downtown street corner in the biggest city of a renowned basketball state... Oh, a Colonels fan can dream, can't he? Meanwhile, you can read about Louisville's ABA days in a new book by Gary P. West, with Lloyd "Pink" Gardner: Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association: The Real Story of a Team Left Behind. Who knows? Maybe one day there'll be a sequel.