What do Julius Erving, Larry Brown, Moses Malone, Bob Costas, the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Slam Dunk Contest have in common? They all got their professional starts in the American Basketball Association.
The NBA may have won the financial battle, but the ABA won the artistic war. With its stress on wide-open individual play, the adoption of the 3-point shot and pressing defense, and the encouragement of flashy moves and flying dunks, today's NBA is still -- decades later -- just the ABA without the red, white and blue ball.
Loose Balls is, after all these years, the definitive and most widely respected history of the ABA. It's a wild ride through some of the wackiest, funniest, strangest times ever to hit pro sports -- told entirely through the (often incredible) words of those who played, wrote and connived their way through the league's nine seasons.
©1990 Terry Pluto (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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I grew up in North Carolina in the early seventies and I was occasionally able to watch the Carolina Cougars. The ABA was a freewheeling league, where a lot of weird things happened; and the game appeared to be a lotta fun; both for the fans and the players. I watched the game where George McGinnis set a new rebounding record by banging the ball of the rim and backboard a few times. I can still remember the voice of the Cougars; Bob Laney of WSOC-AM doing the play-by-play as I lay in my bunk bed at night.
Now for the negatives. I'm not sure which reader it was who was constantly mangling every name more complicated than Smith or Jones, but he was extremely difficult to listen to. It was disconcerting and affected my enjoyment of the format. It could have done without so many redundant comments as well. It might have been a better listen if it had been a few hours shorter.
So if you're a hard-core fan of the ABA; or a fan of old school hoops from the seventies; this might be a good listen. For anyone else; I have a hard time recommending it.
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