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Published on Jun 23, 2008
The American Basketball Association also succeeded in signing a number of major stars, including Julius Erving, in part because it allowed teams to sign college undergraduates. The NBA expanded rapidly during this period, one purpose being to tie up the most viable cities. From 1966 to 1974, the NBA grew from nine franchises to 18; the New Orleans Jazz (now in Utah) came aboard in 1974. Then, following the 1976 season, the leagues reached a settlement that provided for the addition of four ABA franchises to the NBA, raising the number of franchises in the league at that time to 22. The franchises were the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and New York Nets. Some of the biggest stars of this era were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, Dave Cowens, Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, Dan Issel and Pete Maravich.