Synopses & Reviews
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.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;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.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;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 stilland#8212;decades later and#8212;just the ABA without the red, white and blue ball.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt;Loose Ballsandlt;/iandgt; 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 sportsand#8212;told entirely through the (often incredible) words of those who played, wrote and connived their way through the league's nine seasons.
"ABA veterans say 'you had to be there,' and now, thanks to this book, we are." -- Steve Gietschier, andlt;iandgt;The Sporting Newsandlt;/iandgt;
"The best sports book of the year? Loose Balls..." -- USA Today
"andlt;iandgt;Loose Ballsandlt;/iandgt; 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." -- andlt;iandgt;Newsweekandlt;/iandgt;
"I assure you I could not recommend this book more highly. This is one of the funniest sports books of all-time." -- Bob Ryan, andlt;iandgt;The Boston Globeandlt;/iandgt;
"The best sports book of the year? andlt;iandgt;Loose Ballsandlt;/iandgt;..." -- andlt;iandgt;USA Todayandlt;/iandgt;
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Terry Plutoandlt;/Bandgt; is an award-winning sportswriter who writes primarily for andlt;Iandgt;The Plain Dealerandlt;/Iandgt;. He was a sportswriter for the andlt;Iandgt;Akron Beacon Journalandlt;/Iandgt; 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 thanandnbsp;fifty state and local writing awards. He is the author ofandnbsp;twenty-one books, including andlt;Iandgt;The Curse of Rocky Colavitoandlt;/Iandgt;, andlt;Iandgt;Unguardedandlt;/Iandgt;, and andlt;Iandgt;Loose Ballsandlt;/Iandgt;. 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