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Loose Balls Paperback – December 15, 1991
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About the Author
Terry Pluto is a columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal. He's the author of 22 books, has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and has been named "Ohio Sportswriter of the Year" eight times. He has been called "perhaps the best American writer of sports books" by the Chicago Tribune. He lives in Akron, Ohio.
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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 it...plus 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.
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! :)
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.