Lively Tales About Dead Teams

World Team Tennis (1974-1978)

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Billie Jean King was a co-founder and the face of the original World Team Tennis league (1974-1978), which launched just months after her historic exhibition win over Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” in 1973.  King’s husband at the time, Larry King, was a co-founder and team owner (Golden Gaters), alongside Dennis Murphy who was involved in the launch of the American Basketball Association and the World Hockey Association.

Material from this league is pretty rare these days, despite the fact that some of the biggest stars of sport (particularly the women’s game) moonlighted in WTT during the mid-1970′s:

 

==Key Players==

  • Bjorn Borg (Cleveland Nets)
  • Jimmy Connors (Baltimore Banners)
  • Chris Evert (Phoenix Racquets & Los Angeles Strings)
  • Evonne Goolagong (Pittsburgh Triangles)
  • Ilie Nastase (Hawaii Leis & Los Angeles Strings)
  • Martina Navratilova (Boston Lobsters)
  • John Newcombe (Houston E-Z Riders)

World Team Tennis also provided the first entry into professional sports ownership for future Los Angeles Lakers and Kings owner Dr. Jerry Buss (Los Angeles Strings) and future New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (Boston Lobsters).

 

==Franchise List==

Franchise Years Active Home Page Tagged Posts
Anaheim Oranges 1978 Oranges Home Tagged Posts
Baltimore Banners 1974 Banners Home Tagged Posts
Boston Lobsters 1974-1978 Lobsters Home Tagged Posts
Chicago Aces 1974 Aces Home Tagged Posts
Cleveland Nets 1974-1977 Nets Home Tagged Posts
Denver Racquets 1974 Racquets Home Tagged Posts
Detroit Loves 1974 Loves Home Tagged Posts
Florida Flamingos 1974 Flamingos Home Tagged Posts
The Golden Gaters 1974-1978 Gaters Home Tagged Posts
Hawaii Leis 1974-1976 Leis Home Tagged Posts
Houston E-Z Riders 1974 E-Z Riders Home Tagged Posts
Indiana Loves 1975-1978 Loves Home Tagged Posts
Los Angeles Strings 1974-1978 Strings Home Tagged Posts
Minnesota Buckskins 1974 Buckskins Home Tagged Posts
New Orleans Nets 1978 Nets Home Tagged Posts
New York Apples 1977-1978 Apples Home Tagged Posts
New York Sets 1974-1976 Sets Home Tagged Posts
Philadelphia Freedoms 1974 Freedoms Home Tagged Posts
Phoenix Racquets 1975-1978 Racquets Home Tagged Posts
Pittsburgh Triangles 1974-1976 Triangles Home Tagged Posts
San Diego Friars 1975-1978 Friars Home Tagged Posts
Seattle Cascades 1978 Cascades Home Tagged Posts
Sea-Port Cascades 1977 Cascades Home Tagged Posts
The Soviets 1977 Soviets Home Tagged Posts
Toronto-Buffalo Royals 1974 Royals Home Tagged Posts

Written by andycrossley

April 18th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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