Houston Mavericks were a charter member of the American Basketball Association.
The Mavericks were one of the first ABA franchises, announced on February 2, 1967 when the ABA was formed. One of the Mavericks' early owners was Bud Adams, who owned the Houston Oilers of the American Football League.
In their first season of play, 1967-1968, the Mavericks finished with a record of 29 wins and 49 losses, which put them in fourth place in the Western Division. They played in the Sam Houston Coliseum and their regular season attendance average was 1,543. Willie Somerset and DeWitt Menyard of the Mavericks played in the ABA All Star Game. Art Becker was named First Team All ABA. Financial problems were severe and the ABA took over the team, making transactions to limit costs. The Mavericks made the playoffs but lost to the Dallas Chaparrals in the Western Division semifinals 3 games to none.
In their second and final season of play as the Houston Mavericks in 1968-1969 they finished with a record of 23 wins and 55 losses. Willie Somerset again played in the ABA All Star Game. During the season, ownership transferred to a corporation headed by James C. Gardner, who later became the ABA's commissioner. The Mavericks' average home attendance was 1,147 but figures were often padded. Attendance for Mavericks home games was often below 100. The Houston Mavericks played their final game on April 2, 1969 before only 89 fans (announced attendance), defeating the New York Nets 149-132. The 149 points was an all time high for the Mavericks; the 89 fans was an all time low. Another notable mark during the season was the Mavericks hitting 43 consecutive free throws in a row. The streak began with 7 straight in a double overtime victory over the Minnesota Pipers on January 16, 1969. The next night on the road against the New York Nets the Mavericks went 36 of 36 from the line. The streak ended with the team's first free throw against the Kentucky Colonels on January 18, 1969. The free throw streak and mark for a single game remain to this day as unbroken professional basketball records. The Mavericks finished the season in sixth place in the Western Division and did not make the playoffs.
After the conclusion of the 1968-1969 season the team moved to North Carolina to play as the Carolina Cougars. After a few years in North Carolina the team moved to St. Louis, Missouri and competed as the Spirits of St. Louis. After the 1975-1976 season the team was moving to Salt Lake City, Utah to play as the Utah Rockies but the ABA-NBA merger did not include the Spirits/Rockies or the Kentucky Colonels and the franchise disbanded, its players put into a dispersal draft.