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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.

What listeners say about Loose Balls

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 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.

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; either way, sit back and enjoy.

8 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.

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great book

really enjoyed the story telling. it was a fun listen to book. i liked it

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One of the best sports books.

Incredible, entertaining, and unbelievable story of the ABA. Crazy innocent times and Pluto captures that aura through meticulous interviews and prose. The audio disappointment is the countless mispronunciations of player names. Isn’t there someone who polices/reviews the performances prior to publication? That being said, I didn’t want this to end.

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Can’t someone narrate

The history of the ABA is great but the narration is amateurish. If you have a book on sports, perhaps you need narrators who have actually watched the sport. Or at least know how to pronounce a player’s name like Dave DeBusschere or Wes Unseld.

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Must listen for any Professional Basketball fan

The performance of this reading is superb. Excellent insight on the ABA. Timelines are a bit confusing but still worth the listen.

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Great details, little oversight

Terry Pluto has done a marvelous job assembling all of the terrific interviews with players and coaches and league officials. The voice actors are excellent. It’s just so disappointing that the quality control here was missed. Far too many mispronounced names of key figures in the ABA’s history. As narrators, we know credibility and authenticity are the first things to go when you don’t do your research and due diligence. What a shame that a top production didn’t stay that way.

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Best Book About The ABA

The American Basketball Association is and has always been hated by the nba and that makes absolutely no sense. The nba has taken so many things from the ABA and now they act as if they were the ones who thought it all up. The ABA added excitement to the game when nba basketball was boring. I recently saw a special from KDKA in Pittsburgh which celebrated all of that cities Championships and there was one glaring error. They made no mention of the Pittsburgh Pipers who with Connie Hawkins, had won the 1st ABA Title in the 1967-68 season. When I called to enquire about this, I was greeted by a very snobby young man who proclaimed to me "The ABA wasn't a real pro league!" Wow, I wonder if he'd say that to the likes of Julius Erving or David Thompson? Anyway, this book was a great read when I purchased the 1st edition in 1990 (I didn't put it down until I'd read it all) and is still great today. I will ALWAYS love the ABA!

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Great story lots of mispronunciation

I loved learning about the history. The narrators mispronounced SO many names!! Still worth it

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Better late than never

I took too long to get around to it. Really glad I did! Your turn.