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Showing 1-10 of 72 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 142 reviews
on February 16, 2014
Loose Balls was written by Terry Pluto in 1990 documenting the short but eclectic life of the American Basketball Association. I read this book two years ago but I had to do a review. This book was very entertaining. Anyone who enjoys basketball from the 70's should pick it up. It is an easy read detailing the wild ride by players and owners of the upstart ABA. While not specifically written in a comedic manner the shenanigens pulled during the life of the ABA can't help but make you smile and even laugh. The book does a great job in detailing what went on in a league with crazy characters, future NBA stars, teams that were lucky to last a full season, and where nothing surprised you if it happened. This isn't a long review and is short on details but again pick it up if you have any interest whatsoever in basketball of that era, the ABA, or the NBA. You won't be disappointed.
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on May 25, 2017
The best sports book I have read in years and a contender for the best ever. Great nostalgia trip for guys in their 50's who remember the ABA.
What I didn't expect is how much I would laugh at all the great anecdotes from the people who were actually involved with the ABA. I got a comprehensive history of the ABA and and one of the funniest reads at the same time. As they say, "Truth is stranger than fiction".
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on August 19, 2013
Wonderful book - one of the best, informative sports books I can recall reading. Incredible information on all the zany characters, marketing efforts, ongoing franchise changes/relocations. Everything here including many famous NBA players who got their start in the ABA. Gilmore, Erving, McGinnis, Barry, Bobby Jones, Malone, etc - all figured greatly in this wonderful, brief league.

ABA deserves a HELLUVA lot of credit for making NBA product better league when they merged the Spurs, Nets, Pacers and Nuggets into the league in 1977. The NBA was better for my 76ers were one of the chief beneficiaries with McGinnis, then Erving, and then Bobby Jones coming on board. In fact, the '82-83 NBA Champion Philly 76ers' best players were ALL former ABAers (Erving, Malone and Jones).

Pluto does amazing job here...DEFINITELY read this if you're hardcore, old school (ie 60s/70s) pro basketball fan. Tremendously informative.
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on June 24, 2013
This is one of those rare books that over delivers. Delightful read as the memories of long lost innocence are revealed in rich detail by the participants. The memories of these halcyon days are quickly fading as there is so little video/film/photo evidence of this outrageous outlaw league that changed the game and professional sport forever. Some of the most flamboyant players of the era (Doc, Artis, Mount, Berry, Marvin Barnes, Ice, Spencer Haywood) were the circus performers in the league that invented the all star celebration, 3 point shot, the slam dunk contest, the red white and blue ball ). Outlaw owners and creativity ruled the league and pushed the conservative NBA to not only merge with the ABA but above all welcomed the players to "let their freak flag fly!" Long live the ABA. The Will Ferrell comedy "Semi-Pro" brilliantly captured the mad cap under dog madness-and this book brings you inside the true story of an American Revolution. 5 Stars!!
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on July 24, 2011
If you're a hoops junkie, this is a must read. There is such a limited amount of info available on the ABA, not much video, and no real reading materials or summaries of those great days of professional basketball. This is the only book out there that I've been able to find that covers the ABA in fantastic detail from its inception to the great merger with the NBA. I won't call it the demise of the ABA because many of our favorite players from that era became stars and superstars in the NBA. You will be surprised how many household names got their start in the ABA in one form or another - playing, coaching, broadcasting, reffing, team management, etc.

The writing style is a little unique, it is written in interview format. Don't let that deter you from getting the book, this adds to the authenticity. The author went to painstaking lengths to track down all these old characters and get their stories directly from them. The stories are as incredible as the characters themselves. Total pleasure reading here, it's a must-get.
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on May 18, 2010
I just finished reading this book. While I feel like I have learned a lot about the ABA and even NBA I think the book could have been written much better.

The writing style got boring and jumbled. The book reads more like a transcript at times. Chapters open up with just blocks of text that look like run on sentences with no paragraphs or breaks. Basically when the writer actually had to write about a topic and not just copy what someone else said the writing was poor.

I read the book Rebel League about the World Hockey Association before Loose Balls and the former set the bar high (that book was great). I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn about the ABA. I am glad I read the book but I just couldn't give a higher rating given the writing style, I feel it could have been so much better.
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on October 9, 2015
I wish I could crawl into this book & relive those days! Love the "oral history" format. Terry Pluto has done his homework! I lived in Indianapolis & went to many Pacers games & the book enlightened me on many things I was not aware of. I laughed out loud numerous times reading this book. A lot of great memories were stirred up. Important historical information saved for posterity also.
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on December 18, 2002
Hey, if you don't take MY word that this is an excellent read, refer to the 2002 Sportsman of the Year issue of Sports Illustrated. It has this in the top 100 sports books of all time.
As a kid who had one of those ABA basketballs in the 70's this brought back a LOT of memories...
It is the perfect book for someone on the go, or on a plane, or in other situations where a long drawn out read is not possible. It consists of short stories, woven together around various themes (the barnstorming nature of the ABA, tough guys in the league, etc.)
The most AMAZING thing about this book is a picture of Julius Erving, during his rookie year, shooting a free throw for the Virginia Squires. If you look in the background, you can count the number of fans in the stands on ONE HAND. Can you imagine? The chance to see Julius Erving (who gets his own special section of this book) in his ROOKIE YEAR?
Also, I never really knew the Connie Hawkins story until this book. Larry Brown, Dan Issel, Doug Moe, Zelmo Beaty, all your old ABA faves are here.
Plus, for stat geeks, a list of all the seasons, the standings, playoff results, etc are contained.
And pictures of the Miami Floridian 'ball girls' in tight-tights! :)
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on May 8, 2017
Really enjoyed the look back at the 1970's and the ABA. Good insight and loved all the different stories. Well written.
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on October 2, 2015
Tremendous David vs. Goliath story. A well organized and effective narrative history of a very influential, but sadly now almost forgotten, organization that literally revolutionized basketball in a very American way...teamwork...innovation...competition...hard work...pride...perseverance...and lots of guts. Should be a Harvard Business Case Study.
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