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Old 02-21-2014, 01:48 AM
 
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If so, what were some of the things you remember? Who were the players or coaches or other people (like the Floridians' bikini-wearing ballgirls) you most remember?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3243 View Post
If so, what were some of the things you remember? Who were the players or coaches or other people (like the Floridians' bikini-wearing ballgirls) you most remember?
Good topic. I never got to an ABA game but watched plenty on TV. The NY Nets were on local TV just as much as the NY Knicks so I saw a ton of Nets games. Some impressions:

* Dr J (Julius Erving) was dominant on the boards and defensively, IMO the NBA/Sixers version of Dr J wasn't nearly the player he had been.
* Even though the ABA had a reputation as a run-n-gun/no defense league, in important games the defense was there.
* Even though the ABA was the first league to have the 3 point shot, they actually didn't shoot it that much by today's standards. Only certain guys (like Louie Dampier, Billy Keller, Freddy Lewis, Darrel Carrier) shot the 3s and a typical team 3 point stat line for a game might have been 5 for 13.
* I thought the NBA was boring in the 70s compared to the ABA, many people did.
* All the best afros, mustaches, beards, headbands, uniforms, and characters were in the ABA. It really felt at the time that the NBA was repressed in terms of personal expression.
* Bob Costas called many ABA games... who knew he was so hip?

** Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Assn. by Terry Pluto is an absolutely superb book commemorating the league and all you ask about. Best sports book I've ever seen, just buy it.

** Will Ferrell's movie Semi Pro (2008) is a decent movie about the league but mostly unsatisfying. I certainly think there is room for another movie based on the ABA, comedy, dramady or otherwise.

Last edited by Back to NE; 02-21-2014 at 07:34 AM.. Reason: forget something
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:04 AM
 
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I went to quite a few games when Denver was known as the Rockets. Probably the most memorable was the ABA 1975 finals. I saw Julius Erving beat Denver almost by himself. A young Julius- just unreal!

Then there were stars with nicknames that definitely fit them--David "Skywalker" Thompson, George "Iceman" Gervin.

I often wonder why they called Billy Paultz "The Whopper". Heh, snarfing down those BK sandwiches maybe?

Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, Darell Carrier, Louis Dampier all on one club! The Kentucky Colonels.

The players who bolted from the NBA to the ABA for higher salaries--Rick Barry, Caldwell Jones, Billy Cunningham, and more.

Noted ABA players who had long time coaching careers--Doug Moe, Larry Brown

Moses Malone, Mel Daniels, Spencer Haywood, Zelmo Beatty, and a great talent who was denied (at first) an NBA career but a guy who was a great, great player --Connie Hawkins.

And there were more great players who got this league going, a lot more. A lot of history to this league!

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 02-21-2014 at 02:51 PM.. Reason: spelling, deletion
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:35 AM
 
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How about the cash-strapped Virginia Squires, who if they had more money and better financial management, could have had Julius Erving, George Gervin, Rick Barry, and Charlie Scott ALL on their roster at the same time, and in their prime?

Or the Spirits of St. Louis, who featured Marvin "Bad News" Barnes (a star, but one of basketball's all-time "what could have been" stories), Maurice Lucas, Freddie Lewis, and a young play-by-play man named Bob Costas.

Or the player who SHOULD have been nicknamed "Bad News" (because no one did more to live up to it than he): John Brisker, the ABA's All-Time MVP (Most Violent Person).

Speaking of nicknames, how about Julius "Dr. J" Erving, George "Iceman" Gervin," "Fly" Williams, "Red" Robbins, "Goo" Kennedy, "Fatty" Taylor, Wendell "Mr. Excitement" Ladner, and even a coach, "Slick" Leonard?

Charles "Helicopter" Hentz, who, a decade before Darryl Dawkins shattered two backboards in one season, demolished two backboards--IN ONE GAME.

And of course, Dr. J's signature dunk from the free throw line in the first-ever Slam Dunk Contest, in the 1976 ABA All-Star Game.
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