Olberding revels in ABA memories

It’s understandable why former Spurs forward Mark Olberding still has such vivid memories of the ABA.

When that league folded in 1976, Olberding was the league’s youngest player. Olberding, who played 70 games for that final Spurs ABA team after arriving earlier in the year from San Diego, didn’t turn 20 until the day of Game 6 of the Spurs’ playoff series against the New York Nets.

Olberding, who has settled in San Antonio after his basketball retirement, is a natural to remember the intriguing days in the ABA. So his visit to “Spurs Flashback” Wednesday night at 9 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest sounds like an interesting show for ABA history buffs and those fans who are pining for pro basketball because of the lockout.

Spurs broadcasters Andrew Monaco and Sean Elliott will host the retrospective of ABA memories with Olberding as the featured guest. The program will include in-depth features with former Spurs owner Red McCombs, a piece on the ABA-NBA merger, a look at the 1975 ABA All-Star Game in San Antonio and another feature remembering HemisFair Arena.  

For grizzled Spurs followers like me, the only things missing are a guest appearance by Dancing Harry and a rendition of “San Antonio Rose” played by Al Sturchio on his trumpet. 

Olberding’s memories of the ABA should make the program.

“It was very special. I was very fortunate,” Olberding says in the program. “I got to the ABA in ’75 so that was the last year of the ABA before the ABA and NBA merged. We had some classic matches between the Nuggets and the Nets with Dr. J. and everything. It really was a wild league.”

The Spurs are  showing vintage highlights of the franchise and its history throughout the lockout on the Spurs Flashback series. And following the broadcast, the team will provide a 10-minute feature called  “Postgame” on Spurs.com that will feature interviews and additional commentary from Monaco, Elliott and the guest for the program.

And in answer to several email responses over the last week, DIRECTV and Dish Network customers will not receive the program due to regional agreements.