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

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

by Terry Pluto

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416540618
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/06/2007
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 219,892
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.40(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Introduction Cast of Characters Year-by-Year Standings and Franchise Histories ABA Team Logos Prologue

Part I: Opening Gambits Birth Pangs The Ball The First Jumper The Shakeout Begins Finding Players Opening Tip The 3-Pointer Larry and Doug The Hawk Bad Times in Oakland First-Year Notebook: 1967-68 The $1.3 Million Glass Ring: An ABA "Success" Story The Leaders Crumble Second-Year Notebook: 1968-69 Saved from the Brink Washington: First in War, First in Peace, and Third in the Western Division? Sideshow in Miami Third-Year Notebook: 1969-70 Raiding the Refs The Indiana Pacers: The Boston Celtics of the ABA

Part II: Middle Game Star Wars Fourth-Year Notebook: 1970-1971 The Stars Rise in L.A., but Shine in Utah The Meanest Men in the ABA Fifth-Year Notebook: 1971-72 Enter the Doctor From the Sublime to...Johnny Neumann Memphis Follies Sixth-Year Notebook: 1972-73 Carolina: Where the Cougars Roamed Wendell Ladner: An ABA Original Seventh-Yearh Notebook: 1973-74 Coach Chamberlain Doctor J and the Rest The Rivalry A Big Move Spurs a Texas Revival

Part III: EndGame The Legend of Doctor J Moses Malone: The Ultimate Underclassman The Kentucky Colonels: The ABA's Frontline Team Eighth-Year Notebook: 1974-75 The Wildest Team of Them All

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Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 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.
ovistine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A remarkable in-depth look at the ABA, the little-brother basketball league that changed the face of the NBA. Three-point line? Slam dunk contests? You think the NBA invented those? Think again. This book collects interviews from hundreds of people involved with the ABA, from players to coaches to sportscasters (Bob Costas got his start as an ABA commentator!) and much, much more. What's more, this gives you a great look at the 1970s and some of the fashions and trends of the day -- what was popular among the young and newly rich athletes in 1972? Find out here.
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.