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Loose Balls  By  cover art

Loose Balls

By: Terry Pluto
Narrated by: Bo Foxworth,Jack Garrett,William Harper,Michael McConnohie,J. D. Jackson,P. J. Ochlan
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Publisher's Summary

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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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Memories for the middle aged male

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 and catching it 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 room on the bottom bunk at night while my little brother slept in the top bunk.

When I originally listened to this book the narrator was horrible, now there are several different voices telling the story and when they quote the players, coaches, executives of the league it even sounds like them. There are limits to how relevant some of the information is since this book was originally published in 1990. The changes in the world , not to mention the world of professional basketball have been legion in the last 30 years. If you're a hard-core fan of the ABA; or a fan of old school hoops from the seventies; this will probably be an excellent listen for you. For those who weren't even alive during the time of the ABA it is a look back at a world that might be hard to conceive of in today's sports climate. It was a mirror as to what the sport would become; The 3 point shot began there as did the original slam dunk contest. The league was years ahead of the NBA in promoting stars instead of teams, and focusing on providing the fans a show if not always great basketball. So like the fans of this mostly forgotten league did back in the day, sit back and enjoy.

9 people found this helpful

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Good read only if you lived then

If you're a basketball fan and lived during the ABA heyday and knew the great players from back then, it's a great story. However, it's too long and the narrators regularly mispronounced names which was a real distraction

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting Read

This is a very well researched and interesting book. I did not realize how much the NBA tool from the ABA.

I also did not realize how many great players came rom the ABA.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

It's pronounced de bush er. Not debooshay

A fine oral history with just one GIANT caveat. Mispronounced names are never ending. Through the entire book. The fact the pronunciations even change for the same name during the same chapters. From chapter one thru the conclusion it is non stop.

1 person found this helpful

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Basketball Heart

You know that you have a basketball heart when you spend the better part of two days listening to this book. I know that some of the inside stories are just a crock; The story about how the Dr. got his nickname has been proven incorrect buy the Doctor himself. So when you know that piece of information it does reduce the credibility of the rest of the "insider" story. However, if you love basketball and lived a few of these stories yourself then sitting down for an afternoon with this Audible book is not such a bad way to spend the afternoon.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book! Accurate and Factual.

As a basketball loving 10 year-old, growing up in Chicago, my game was starting to develop, and I became a better player than most of my friends. I learned how to make shots that I could not have imagined a year ago. I learned it from watching the ABA games that I watched on TV. I Remember Mack Calvin, Wise, Jabali ,Dampier, and Brisker, the great Colonels, Pacers, and Stars teams. My transformation came from watching a Squires team that had Dr.J and a young, skinny George Gervin. Doc did things that I never saw in the NBA!
The games were always exciting and usually close, and VERY exciting! But they played the games like we played, with a lot of enthusiasm and enjoyment. And that ball! Every year at Christmas for about five years, i received a new ball, and the only year I didn’t get the ABA ball, I had to earn the money to buy one. Thank you for the insight to the league, and the players and teams that helped fuel my love for this wonderful game!

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Interesting bio of the ABA 1967-1976

Terry Pluto offers the most interesting view of the ABA through a series of interviews which are at times hilarious but we’re also obtained by the author.
The only annoying thing is the mispronunciation of many of the players evidently the research into this issue but overall still a very satisfying book.

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Great Memories of My Childhood in the 70’s

I grew up in Indiana following the Pacers and then Dr. J. I had not heard all these player’s names in decades. Really great to relive this era of pro basketball and get such a detailed behind the scenes perspective.

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Fun and Entertaining

I vaguely remember the ABA having come of age as a hoops fan shortly after the merger. Accordingly, i do remember guys like George Gervin, Dr J and other less legendary players like Billy Paultz. My perception of the ABA at that time was that it was a wildcat league of rebels and free spirits. This book kind of backs that up. I found it to be a fun experience with one amusing story after the other. I also found myself looking up a lot of the players I never saw play and reading about their accomplishments. It was well done and while there’s an occasional faux pas in the pronunciation of various names, it’s not a big deal to me and I didn’t find it distracting. Very enjoyable and fun to sit through.

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Extremely comprehensive look back

Any diehard basketball fan should listen to this. So much history, and so much information about how today’s NBA really got kick-started. Only drawback - although it will be downright hilarious for those listeners that knew the right way to say them - was the massive amount of botched pronunciations of ABA players’ names. And the easiest one was the one they never got right: Larry KEE-nehn. Spurs’ fans will be yelling at their app! (The Dave DeBusschere attempts are pretty funny, too.)