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A very enjoyable and informative book on the American Basketball Association, the league that introduced hoops to the red, white blue basketball, the 3 point shot and hardship players Being a native of Indiana and a big fan of the early Pacers, I never really knew that the ABA was a league in constant turmoil during its nine year existence Indiana was a reasonably stable franchise during those years I vividly recall Roger Brown, Bob Netolicky, Mel Daniels, Freddie Lewis, Billy Keller, George McGinnis, Don Buse, Danny Roundfield, Billy Knight, Darnell Hillman, Coach Bobby Leonard and others on the Pacers team KY had Gil, Issel, Dampier and Carrier Utah had a talented group led by Zelmo Beaty, Willie Wise and Ron Boone Other great ABA players were Connie Hawkins, Doug Moe, Spencer Heywood, George Gervin, Jimmy Silas, Moses Malone, David Thompson and the great Dr J It was a wild and crazy league with some real characters players, coaches and owners If you have any interest in the ABA then this is the book to read Full of facts and anecdotes, often funny and some hard to believe The league included Pat Boone, Bob Costas, Charlie Finley, Bad News Barnes, and enforcers Wendell Ladner, John Brisker and Warren Jabali Fun read for me Note Many of you have probably never heard of Roger Brown, small forward for the Pacers A New Yorker, he was one of the best basketball players I ever saw They pulled him off an auto factory job in Dayton, OH in 67 and what a treat to watch him on the court. Warren Jabali deliberately stomped on a dude s head during an ABA game Also the Spurs held a Dime Beer Night that ended in a riot These are the things that are sorely missing from modern basketball. A mildly entertaining listen about the ABA, a weird pro league that existed from 1967 1976 The ABA gave us some incredible players Julius Erving, Artis Gil, Rick Barry, David Thompson, Moses Malone and some great innovations the 3 pointer, a quicker pace of play, the dunk contest, and basically any gimmicky promotional thing ever It was pretty interesting learning about those guys and events, especially many of the really whacky players they had The league was a real mess, with teams folding and moving constantly, crappy gyms, horrible travel schedules, and poor press coverage However, you also learn how the ABA gave players way leverage in getting better contracts There were some genuinely funny anecdotes in this book too.However, this book was way too long and the format stunk Pluto s idea was that the ABA had so little TV or press coverage that most of what we know of it comes from lore, legend, and hearsay Thus 95% of the book is just passages from interviews arranged chronologically to tell various stories in the ABA s career To be honest, as a history dude, it s an interesting idea to put a book together as an oral history of a sports league However, the execution just doesn t work The segments are way too long and go into mind numbing detail about every dang trade, coaching move, and managerial dispute that happened in this 9 year period In hindsight, the book would have been much better had it been 25% shorter or just written as a normal 300 pager or so fun sports book That s why I don t really recommend it If you want a fun and much shorter hoop book, check out Showtime about the 1980 s Lakers I think you would have to be older or just a hardcore hoop fan than me to really like Loose Balls kudos on a great title though. Good oral history of a fun league and where my love for hoops started, back when the San Antonio Spurs first arrived on loan from Dallas The league was full of real characters and some great talent That said, this book is so out of date and would benefit from an updated or revised edition. HANDS DOWN THE FUNNIEST BOOK ABOUT PRO BASKETBALL EVER WRITTEN It helps that it s about the brief, crazed history of the ABA, but the chapter about the St Louis Spirits with Marvin Bad News Barnes, Fly Williams of Austin Peay, and a first year sportscaster named Bob Costas is worth the price of the book alone Pluto s book on the Cleveland Indians, The Curse of Rocky Colavito, is almost as funny, and ranks with Seasons in Hell With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and The Worst Baseball Team in History The 1973 1975 Texas Rangers, by Mike Shropshire, and Jim Bouton s Ball Four, as the funniest book about major league baseball ever written. Loose Balls is a highly enjoyable account of the wild days of the American Basketball Association I m an off and on NBA fan and a long time fan of the game of basketball I can tell you stats and stories about many NBA players, but until I read this book, I basically knew nothing about this short lived league other than the fact that it birthed the San Antonio Spurs The book chronicles the several years in the Seventies that the league burned bright and how strongly it affected the NBA that we know today One odd aspect of the book is that it is told in a non linear fashion, in an atypical way Rather than stick to a chronological form, the book is divided into compartments to follow particular players Like Moses Malone or teams The fabled Indiana Pacers The tale is also told from a patchwork of quotes from a wide variety of players, coaches, owners, and even journalists who experienced the ABA This style ends up leading to lots of repetition, which at times can be maddening I listened to this on Audible, so I imagine that it would be a different experience on the page Every fan of the basketball pro game should be required to spend time with Pluto s loving look at the days when afros and red white and blue balls captured the imaginations of fans young and old. In Loose Balls by Terry Pluto, he goes through anecdotes and stories from players who took part in the American Basketball Association ABA to form a collage of knowledge that gives the reader a great narration of the league the ABA was a competitor of the NBA in the 1970s and added a 3 point line, a multi colored ball, and generally had athletic but less coached players The ABA eventually merged with the NBA in 1976 Anyway, the book starts in the late 1960s as the idea of the ABA was being formed and put into place It is essentially a collection of anecdotes from people who were critical at one point in the ABA for example, Calvin Murphy and Connie Hawkins were crucial to the early ABA but not so much in the early mid 70s when Spencer Haywood and the Indiana Pacers were the talk of the town It details each time period and important players, coaches, and executives, letting the people involved do the storytelling One thing that works well with this is the chaos of the anecdotes One moment Roger Brown is being lauded by Bobby Leonard, the next George McGinnis is saying that he carried the Pacers and Roger Brown was his wingman Different people tell stories about how they were the founder of the league In not telling a singular narrative, it tells all of them The book also does a good job not picking too broad of topics, but focusing on one topic from one era to give it detail Instead of talking about the complicated contract clauses and how ABA players were getting tricked out of money, it talks about Spencer Haywood and his story and how he fell victim to these ploys, making it a relatable and interesting book. An intriguing behind the scenes look at the American Basketball Association, but in the introduction chapter Terry Pluto includes the line True Stories Who knows and you get that sense in this book Pluto did a great job interviewing a bunch of players coaches announcers owners from the ABA days, but he spills everything out into this book, and I got the sense that little effort was made to back up claims that were made, etc It is written in that lazy transcription style where Pluto simply gives you the dictation from his tape recorder rather than put any effort into crafting the information he gleaned into a story I enjoyed the insights from Bob Costas the most, and was impressed at the number of voices Pluto tracked down, I just wish he had organized it better Many parts of the book become repetitive and you get disjointed chapters that go from telling behind the scenes stories to a simple list of facts stats from a season Despite my frustrations with the style of the book, as a basketball fan, I enjoyed a look at an era of basketball that pre dates me C mon NBA adopt the red, white and blue ball. If you re a basketball fan this oral history of the ABA is well worth your time I never realized how important the ABA was to the current NBA s health and success The book is equal parts history and and hilarious It gives first hand accounts of the intricacies and insanity of the ABA Really enjoyed it and learned quite a bit about how pro basketball in the U.S got to where it is today. `DOWNLOAD E-PUB ☙ Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association ☈ The American Basketball Association Gave Birth To Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Bob Costas, The Indiana Pacers, The San Antonio Spurs, The Slam Dunk Contest, Flashy Moves, And The Three Point Basket During Its Nine Seasons, The ABA Generated Scorn And Laughter And Made A Lasting Impact On How The Game Is Played Pages Of Photographs