Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association
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Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association

4.7 4
by Terry Pluto
     
 

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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.

What do Julius Erving, Larry Brown, Moses Malone, Bob Costas, the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Slam Dunk Contest have in

Overview

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.

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"ABA veterans say 'you had to be there,' and now, thanks to this book, we are." — Steve Gietschier, The Sporting News

"Loose Balls is either the great American novel in oral-history sound bites or the definitive book on the 1970s, or both: sex, drugs, platform shoes, sideburns, slam dunks, midnight franchise shifts, million-dollar deferred-payment player contracts, the three-point shot, Dr. J., Marvin (Bad News) Barnes, LaVerne (Jelly) Tart and Pat Boone (yes, Pat Boone). Pro sports, the way they oughta be." — Newsweek

"I assure you I could not recommend this book more highly. This is one of the funniest sports books of all-time." — Bob Ryan, The Boston Globe

"The best sports book of the year? Loose Balls..." — USA Today

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pluto, sports journalist for the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal , coauthored such bestsellers as Forty-Eight Minutes , with Bob Ryan, and Tark , with Jerry Tarkanian. This time, however, he will disappoint his readers. The story of the ABA--which lasted from 1967 to 1976, spawned such stars as Julius Erving and Moses Malone, and originated the three-point shot as well as the annual slam-dunk contest--should be an absorbing one, but it falls victim to Pluto's odd approach. Having interviewed many of the owners, managers, players, officials and commentators involved in the league, he cuts up their comments into short snippets (some only two or three sentences long) and arranges them according to a roughly chronological scenario. The resulting discontinuous, herky-jerky text is difficult to follow. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The ABA was born in 1967 and in nine tumultuous seasons introduced such legendary stars as Julius Erving, Connie Hawkins, George Gervin, and Moses Malone. Pluto, a basketball writer for the Akron Beacon Journal , spins an irreverent history in interview format of the league with the three-point shot, the slam dunk contest, the red, white, and blue ball. The ABA saga includes unsettled finances, ever-changing teams, and constant war with the more established National Basketball Association. As well as the stars, we meet the owners (Earl Foreman, John Y. Brown, and Charles O. Finley), the coaches (Hubie Brown, brother Larry Brown, Bob Bass, and Slick Leonard), the bad boys (Warren Jabali and John Brisker), the characters (Wendell Ladner and Marvin Barnes), and dozens of others. Well-told by participants, this is a history laced with humor from a league filled with fun. A must for any basketball fan and highly recommended for all libraries.-- Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416540618
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
11/06/2007
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
292,908
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Terry Pluto is an award-winning sportswriter who writes primarily for The Plain Dealer. He was a sportswriter for the Akron Beacon Journal from 1985-2007. He has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and twice been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the nation's top sports columnist for medium-sized newspapers. He is an eight-time winner of the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year award and has received more than fifty state and local writing awards. He is the author of twenty-one books, including The Curse of Rocky Colavito, Unguarded, and Loose Balls. He lives in Akron, Ohio.

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Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Tylo More than 1 year ago
In Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association by Terry Pluto, the story of a basketball league like no other is portrayed in a very interesting way. The American Basketball Association (ABA) was a basketball league that was very loosely formed to compete with the National Basketball Association (NBA). In Loose Balls Terry Pluto uses first hand experiences of those involved in the ABA to help fans better understand the mysteries of the short lived league. Loose Balls is a great book for fans of the NBA. I am a very avid NBA fan and I found this book very interesting because Pluto does a great job of pointing out all of the things in the NBA today that were adopted from the ABA during the NBA – ABA merger. The ABA was originally founded with a main goal in mind of merging with the NBA. The owners of the ABA were willing to take any suggestion, no matter how odd, just to set the league apart from the NBA. Some of these radical suggestions were the red, white, and blue ball; the dunk contest; and the addition of the three point line. The new style of play in the ABA drew the attention of a large number of NBA fans, and eventually it was enough for the NBA to merge with the ABA and form one league. When the merger happened, the ABA influenced the NBA greatly, not only by adding teams, events, and ways to score. The players that transferred over to the NBA like Julius Erving revolutionized the way the game was played. Loose Balls by Terry Pluto tells a tale of how a basketball league, that was so poorly organized it was almost comical, became one of the most revolutionary events in basketball history. This story is unique because not much is known about the ABA except by those who were a part of it. I really enjoyed this book because it combined history which I like with basketball which I love.
77blazersRULE More than 1 year ago
This is the best e-book on basketball that you can buy!!! (and the 2nd best ever on basketball behind Breaks of the Game which is not an e-book.) my original book is rather worn through so it's nice to have a copy to carry anywhere
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read and I would definitely recommend it for fans of basketball and the NBA in particular. The style is a bit different with the author simply relaying stories from the actual participants, but once you get used to the style it becomes a great story telling technique. The fact that it is the actual members of the ABA telling the story makes it more of a primary source for information. All in all the book is entertaining, and the stories of life in the ABA are almost too crazy to seem true. I would recommend this to anyone with a passion for basketball and its history, it was informative, a quick read and really did spark more of an interest for me in the ABA.