Pittsburgh Xplosion
Pittsburgh Xplosion logo
LeaguesABA 2004–2006
CBA 2006–2008
HistoryPittsburgh Xplosion 2005–2008
Pennsylvania Pit Bulls (ABA) 2004–2005
Pittsburgh Hardhats (ABA) 2004
(never played)
ArenaPittsburgh Civic Arena
Petersen Events Center
LocationPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Team colorsblack, gold, orange
Head coachCarlos Knox
OwnershipFreddie Lewis
Richard Hersperger

The Pittsburgh Xplosion was a professional basketball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh were members of the Continental Basketball Association from 2006 to 2008. Founded in 2004 as the Pittsburgh Hard Hats as a member of the ABA, the team, following an ownership change, took the court as the Pennsylvania Pit Bulls. The team became the Xplosion in 2005, and joined the CBA in 2006. It has been replaced in the ABA with the modern day Pittsburgh Phantoms and later the Pittsburgh Bassets . The Xplosion played at Pittsburgh Civic Arena and on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center, both in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Season by season

Note: W = wins, L = losses, % = win–loss %

Season W L % Playoffs Results
Pennsylvania Pit Bulls (ABA)
2004-05 8 9 .471
Pittsburgh Xplosion (ABA)
2005-06 18 11 .621 Lost Quarterfinals Bellingham 122, Pittsburgh 115
Pittsburgh Xplosion (CBA)
2006-07 10 38 .208 Won Quarterfinals
Lost Semifinals
Pittsburgh 119, Indiana 103
Minot 2, Pittsburgh 0
2007-08 29 19 .604 Won Quarterfinals
Lost Semifinals
Pittsburgh 129, East Kentucky 121
Minot 2, Pittsburgh 0


Pittsburgh Hardhats

The Pittsburgh Hardhats were an American Basketball Association team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team was created by Joseph Dydek after he failed to start an NBA team in Pittsburgh. To his surprise, the "Hardhats" were not very financially stable[citation needed]. The team essentially existed on paper only, as it folded prior to the start of the season due to financial difficulties. The team was replaced October 12, 2004, by the Pennsylvania Pit Bulls, who competed in the 2004-2005 ABA season.[1]

Pennsylvania Pit Bulls/Xplosion

After the dissolution of the Hardhats, the Pennsylvania Pit Bulls were admitted to the ABA on October 12, 2004, to play in the 2004-2005 ABA season. They finished with an eight win-nine loss record, good for 7th place in the Blue Division, but not good enough to advance to postseason play. The team's first game (19 November 2004) was marred by the myocardial infarction-induced death of coach Tom Washington, who collapsed on court in the fourth quarter.[2][3] The game was suspended; assistant coach Pat Blue was tabbed to be the team's head coach for the remainder of the season.

The Pit Bulls played a majority of their home games at Penn State Greater Allegheny, but later moved to McKeesport High School.

For the 2005-2006 season, the Pit Bulls became the Pittsburgh Xplosion. The team finished league competition with an 18 win-11 loss record, good for second place in the Freddie Lewis Division of the ABA White Conference. The Xplosion were eliminated in the playoffs by the Bellingham Slam. The team subsequently left the ABA and entered the Continental Basketball Association, in which it continued to play as the Xplosion through the 2007-08 season.[4][5]

Former Pitt stars, Antonio Graves, John DeGroat, and Carl Krauser started on the 2008 season roster.

In the 2008 American Conference Finals, the Xplosion lost to the Minot SkyRockets. The SkyRockets won the first two out of three games in Minot, but ceased operations after the 2008 campaign. The Xplosion lasted a little longer, folding just prior to the start of the 2008-09 season, citing the economy.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Pennsylvania Pit Bulls replace Hardhats
  2. ^ Pit Bulls' coach collapses, dies[permanent dead link] - The Daily News (McKeesport, Pennsylvania), 20 November 2004
  3. ^ Former Pitt star Page bumps into death again - Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 26 November 2004
  4. ^ "Pittsburgh Xplosion join Continental Basketball Association - OurSports Central". www.oursportscentral.com. September 27, 2006. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  5. ^ Waldstein, David (2009-02-08). "Continental Basketball Association Confronts an Uncertain Future". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  6. ^ Wilkin, Tim (2008-12-05). "Shaky CBA getting help from ABA". Albany Times Union. Retrieved 2009-02-02.[dead link]