On behalf of the American Basketball Association (ABA), I would like to thank you for all you have done for professional basketball in the US and around the world.  Under your leadership, the NBA has grown to become one of the premiere leagues in the world and is certainly the ultimate goal of every kid who laces up his shoes and takes his first shot.
Many attribute the success of the NBA to players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird,
Jerry West, Kobie Bryant, LeBron James and other marquee players in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today.  But there were incredible players before them – Oscar Robertson, Dr. J., Wilt Chamberlain, Patrick Ewing,
George Gervin, Bill Russell, etc. It wasn’t until you showed up that it all came together and the NBA became what it is today.  You should be very proud.
Every ABA player aspires to be a part of the NBA.  It is truly the “golden ring” of basketball, and the ABA is proud to have been associated with the NBA during these past 13 years.  Your contributions to our sport will not be forgotten.  May the years to come be great ones for your family and you.  We will miss you.
Joe Newman