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Boom, Baby!: My Basketball Life in Indiana Hardcover – November 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (November 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600788599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600788598
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bobby “Slick” Leonard has been a broadcaster for the Indiana Pacers since 1985. He coached the Indiana Pacers to three ABA championships in the late 1960s and early 1970s and played seven seasons in the NBA. He was a star player on Indiana University’s NCAA champion “Hurrying Hoosiers” team in 1953. He lives in Carmel, Indiana. Lew Freedman is an award-winning journalist and the sports editor at the Republic newspaper in Columbus, Indiana. He has previously worked for the Anchorage Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is the author of more than 50 books, including The 50 Greatest Plays in Chicago Bears Football History, Cubs Essential, “Then Ozzie Said to Harold . . .”, The Best Chicago White Sox Stories Ever Told, White Sox Essential, and Fergie: My Life from the Cubs to Cooperstown with Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins. He lives in Columbus, Indiana. One of basketball's all-time greats, Larry Bird led Indiana State to the 1979 NCAA championship game. The Hall of Famer was a 12-time All-Star in 13 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics. He led the Celtics to three NBA championships and was named the league's Most Valuable Player three times. Bird later coached the Indiana Pacers for three seasons and later served as team president. He is the only person in NBA hsitory to be named Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year. He lives in Naples, Florida.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bob mccorkle on December 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a Pacer's fan, a fan of the NBA, a fan of the ABA or just want to read a great story, this is it. Great story, great man, I feel privileged to have lived thru the Bobby Leonard era and to have met Slick a number of times.
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When I heard about this book, I knew I had to have it. My Dad, who passed away some time ago, and I use to go the Indiana Pacer ABA games at the old Coliseum at the Indiana State Fiar Grounds in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a wonderful experience for me growing up and living just up on E. 38th Street; it was easy for my Dad and I to attend and affordable then for a blue-collar family. This book captured and brought back many fond memories for me about the ABA Championship teams of the Indiana Pacers, plus Indiana University and Branch McCracken's Hurrin' Hoosiers, fast break basketball - which was probably the first college team that as a kid I followed and watched in awe. It's a must read for any true Indiana Pacers fan or an ABA fan, or for that matter any NBA fan who wants to know the history of pro-basketball and how meager and different the early days were to the multi-million dollar contracts of the players, coaches, GMs and Presidents of today. I'll never forget Bobby "Slick" Leonard for what he did for the City of Indianapolis, establishing the Indiana Pacers as an ABA Championship team and ultimately an NBA contending team. Without Bobby Leonard and his wife there would be no Indiana Pacers today, as they basically saved the team which is modestly mentioned in the book. Plus the memories of Roger Brown, Freddie Lewis, Mel Daniels, Bob Netolicky and Billy Keller and even Rick Mount that Bobby Leonard made legends of - for Indiana Pacers fans. What Pacers fan can ever forget Reggie Miller and Bobby Leonards many "Boom Babys" when the NBA Pacers came of age against the evil New York Nicks in the palyoffs?Read more ›
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In the interest of full disclosures, I attended my first Pacers' game in 1969 and I followed last night's horrible Pacers loss online. So yeah, I'm a Pacers fan.

Further, my mother worked for Bob and Nancy Leonard for a few years in the late 1970s and early '80s. I met Bob on a couple of occasions.

So along with those, one last caveat: This book would have to be awful for me not to like it. And if that were the case, I simply wouldn't post about it. But here I am.

I am partisan, but Boom Baby is a lot of fun. It is curiously formatted, with co-author Lew Freedman introducing each chapter with a thumbnail and then Bob reminiscing about the same time period in what seem to be more - or - less is own words. One does get the sense that his-own words have been cleaned up a bit for grammatical purposes and edited to make it a bit more family-friendly (hard to imagine that there weren't some tray expletives littered here and there in the original transcripts), but the voice is clearly Bob Leonard and if you have listened to more than a couple of Pacers' broadcasts over the years you can pretty much hear him saying it.

And what you hear him saying is an informal story of his life and, for the past 50 years, the story of the Indiana Pacers.

Of course, Slick did some living before he came to Indianapolis, and you'll hear about all of that, too. His childhood, his glory years playing ball at IU and then his all-too brief professional career (derailed by injuries). And all that is great.

The meat of the book, though, is his life and career(s) with the Pacers. This is not a detailed history, of course, that we are still waiting on, but this will satisfy most Pacer fans with stories of the great ABA teams and the struggles of the early NBA teams.
Read more ›
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By Allen B. Snively on February 19, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bobby Leonard is a true "Hoosier" in every way. He played Indiana High School basketball at Terre Haute, he was a champion at IU, a great coach and announcer with the Pacers and a strong advocate for Indiana basketball. He is a legend in Indiana and his book related a lot of truths about Indiana basketball and was a rewarding read. "Boom Baby, Boom Boom Boom".
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It's amazing when you think that in the storied history of basketball in Indiana, the person who is the thread that unites everything from high school success, to IU championships, to Pacers glory is Slick Leonard.

He's had a remarkable life...and his fans should read this book that celebrates both the quantity of his achievements and the quality of the man.
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This book is a MUST READ for anyone who has any interest in the Pacers. It is written exactly as if Bobby is sitting in front of you telling the story. I could not put it down until I finished the entire book.
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