Dennis Murphy, Impresario of Alternative Leagues, Dies at 94

Dennis Murphy, the impresario of various athletic leagues, together with the American Basketball Association, who additionally shook up tennis and ice hockey and launched imaginative, generally quixotic ventures in different sports activities, amongst them indoor curler hockey, died on Thursday at an assistant residing facility in Placentia, Calif. He was 94.

His son, Dennis Jr., instructed The Associated Press that the trigger was coronary heart failure.

Mr. Murphy’s most lasting achievement was the A.B.A., the competitor to the National Basketball Association from 1967 to 1976, when 4 of its groups — the New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers — joined the N.B.A. Over time, A.B.A. improvements turned fixtures of mainstream skilled basketball — most notably the three-point shot, which has more and more turn out to be central to offensive technique.

“The three-point shot was exactly what our league was supposed to be about: something a little wild, a little out of the ordinary basketball they played in the N.B.A.,” Mr. Murphy was quoted as saying by the sportswriter Terry Pluto in his 1990 historical past of the A.B.A., “Loose Balls.”

Mr. Murphy was the league’s chief founder. Mr. Pluto known as him its “patron saint.”

Perhaps no single occasion with which Mr. Murphy was related had better cultural affect than the “Battle of the Sexes,” the 1973 tennis match between 29-year-old Billie Jean King and 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. Mr. Murphy co-produced the sport, which drew an estimated 90 million viewers worldwide, stimulated by the drama of Mr. Riggs and his taunts about male supremacy being put to the check.

Mr. Murphy’s skill to get impressed and check out one thing new didn’t all the time result in enduring success. His various ice hockey league, the World Hockey Association, lasted solely from 1972 to 1979. He was the principle power behind Roller Hockey International, which created knowledgeable system for skating on concrete, which started in 1993 and resulted in 1999.

Besides his son, Mr. Murphy is survived by his daughters, Dawn Mee and Doreen Haarlamert; 9 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren, in accordance with The A.P. His spouse, Elaine, died in 1985.

An entire obituary will likely be printed quickly.