“Relegated” to the ABA for most of his career, Ron Boone isn’t instantly called upon as one of the great “little men” in basketball history. He was a tough and magnificent finisher around the basket and also could catch fire with a streaky jump shot. What made him a true terror was his tremendous upper body strength and his spectacular leaping ability. That’s why someone only 6’2″ could slide over from guard and play forward without harm for his teams. Yes, the bigger forwards could sometimes out-muscle Ron, but he could blow by the opponent with even more ease on the offensive end.
Debuting with the Dallas Chaparrals in 1969, Boone found his greatest individual and team success with the Utah Stars in the early 1970s. As part of a well-rounded cast with the likes of Zelmo Beaty and Willie Wise, Boone helped lead the Stars to the title in 1971 over the Kentucky Colonels in a tough 4-games-to-3 victory. His personal fortunes peaked in 1975 when he averaged a career-high 25 points a game on 49% shooting, just a touch below his career-high of 50% in 1973.
When the ABA finally went asunder in the mid-1970s, Boone could be found all over its record books. He was, and obviously remains, in the top 10 in points, assists, steals, minutes played, games played, field goals made, and free throws made.
After the ABA’s integration with the NBA in 1976, Boone suited up for the Kansas City Kings and put together two more fine seasons in his early 30s before finally hitting the decline. The NBA never saw the best of Boone, as it did with many ABA legends, but he achieved a notable milestone in his NBA days and it came on his last day as a professional ball player.
Boone played pro basketball through January 1981 when he was waived by the Utah Jazz. Thereafter retiring Boone had nonetheless played in 1041 career games. He had also played in 1041 straight games. Yes, that means he played in every game possible in his 13-year career. And he played significant minutes in nearly every single one of them, only averaging below 20 minutes a game once in his career. At no time did he receive a pity play to keep the streak alive like A.C. Green did with his subsequent games played streak that broke Boone’s record.
Ron was the real deal and earned every bit of that magnificent 1041-game streak and he played some tough incredible basketball in the process. When it comes to iron men, Ron Boone is the gold standard.
Seasons Played: 1969 – 1981
All-ABA 1st Team (1975)
All-ABA 2nd Team (1974)
4x All-Star (1971, 1974-’76)
All-Rookie 1st Team (1969)
ABA - 662 Games
18.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.6 SPG, 46.5% FG, 83.0% FT
3rd All-Time Points, 3rd All-Time FGs Made, 6th All-Time FTs Made
6th All-Time Assists, 9th All-Time Steals, 30th All-Time Rebounds
5th All-Time Games Played, 5th All-Time Minutes Played,
14th All-Time FT%, 16th All-Time APG, 21st All-Time PPG
NBA - 379 Games
13.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, 45.4% FG, 85.4% FT