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Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the…
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Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association (edição 2007)

por Terry Pluto

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1944109,853 (3.96)7
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.… (mais)
Membro:JerryGarcia
Título:Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association
Autores:Terry Pluto
Informação:Simon & Schuster (2007), Paperback, 464 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association por Terry Pluto

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Good Anecdotes, Not Much Research

"Loose Balls" is a collection of oral histories about the ABA. Those oral histories, told mostly by businessmen, although a few coaches and players make contributions, are sometimes a little dry. The owners talk quite a bit about the deals they made, their Spartan front offices, and their thoughts about merging with the NBA. The anecdotes from the coaches and players really shine, though. They are much more interesting than the self-congratulatory businessmen.

The book follows a very loose chronological order. There are no details about specific games or championships. There are no insights into the minds of specific players or the logic behind decisions. Stories about locker rooms, outrageous players, and amazing athletes give the book interest. ( )
  mvblair | Aug 9, 2020 |
“Bill, it would seem that the Spirits have this one well in hand. But you can bet that the last thing Coach Bob MacKinnon wants to see is a repeat of Friday night’s blow job.” [A young Bob Costas, then St. Louis Spirits radio announcer, on air]

The ABA’s life was short. It was wild. It made a difference.

In Loose Balls, Terry Pluto has assembled an oral history of the league by going to its actors: the athletes, coaches, owners, general managers, referees, members of the press, etc. Since the league’s games received little TV coverage, these are the people who can testify to its crazy history and its claim to be remembered.

Where the NBA was hidebound, the ABA was colorful, a trait symbolized by its trademark red, white, and blue basketball. The ABA introduced fans to 3-point shots, All-Star slam-dunk contests, and Dr. J. It made official such stats as offensive rebounds, individual turnovers, steals, blocked shots, team rebounds. It was the league of innovation and financial chaos, and at the same time a financial boon to players in both leagues because of the competition for top talent that it created and because of the expanded opportunities for capable players needed to fill those extra rosters.

The teams that came into the NBA when the ABA expired (the Spurs, Nuggets, Pacers, and Nets) proved their play was of NBA caliber. Despite its near invisibility in the media and the often precarious financial stability of its franchises, by its end the ABA was a “major” league on the court itself.

One ABA innovation deserves special mention. At the time, collegiate underclassmen and recent high school graduates weren’t free to begin professional careers as players in a major basketball league, in marked contrast to baseball or individual sports such as golf and tennis. It was as if freely pursuing one’s goals in basketball, as one could do in almost any other paying endeavor, was an un-American abomination. That changed when the ABA signed Spencer Haywood, an underclassman at the University of Detroit and already a great player.

The signing of Haywood was revolutionary and controversial. The NBA was mad and the NCAA was mad. It also demonstrated the hypocrisy of collegiate big-time sport:
“Johnny Dee of Notre Dame was the head of the NCAA Basketball Coaches Association and he wrote letters to every major coach not to allow ABA people on campus as a protest of Haywood’s signing. George Mikan [NBA Hall-of-Fame center and the ABA’s 1st commissioner] contacted the general managers of every ABA team and he told us to ask the players what they got above and beyond their scholarships and books [beyond that allowed under NCAA rules]. So I went to our team and all but two guys with Dallas were getting extras—payoffs, cars, things like that. Mikan then contacted the NCAA Basketball Coaches Association and said he would make all this information public if they didn’t back off and let the ABA people in their gyms. Right after that, the letter banning the ABA was withdrawn.”

If you love basketball, find this book and enjoy. Some of it could be a rough journey. As one eloquent witness attested: “You almost had to present your X-rays to get a free throw.” [Jim Murray, LA Times columnist] ( )
  dypaloh | Dec 1, 2017 |
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. ( )
  ovistine | Dec 10, 2008 |
Maybe my favorite sports book of all time. The ABA was a crazy place and this book tells the story through the words of the people that lived it. ( )
  ardh | Dec 7, 2005 |
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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.

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