category :: aba today

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Harwood Paroxysm Podcast with Bob Netolicky & Ted Green

Over&Back NBA – Jason Mann

The life of an ABA player is discussed in the third episode of the Over and Back Classic NBA podcast’s summer series — Basketball Mysteries of the 1970s. Jason Mann is joined by Indiana Pacers great Bob Netolicky, who played all 9 seasons in the ABA, and Ted Green, who has produced documentaries on Pacers legend Roger Brown and coach Slick Leonard.

Listen Here:

Discussion topics include: How the ABA forced innovations into the pro basketball world, including bigger salaries and a wide-open style of play; on- and off-court highlights of the Pacers from 1969 through 1975, where they won three ABA championships and appeared in five Finals; the excellence of Roger Brown and how he’s been forgotten among the great small forwards of all-time; tales from Netolicky’s club in Indianapolis, including sneaking in an underaged Spencer Haywood and giving visiting players free beer the night before games; Slick Leonard’s legendary motivational tactics, including nearly attacking Neto with a hockey stock; how it felt to win a championship in 1970 after blowing it in 1969; why Netolicky was never tempted by the NBA; whether the ABA ever felt stable; and how the former ABA players have forged a deep brotherhood all these years later.

Netolicky and Green are both part of the Dropping Dimes Foundation, which helps former ABA players who are dealing with financial distress.

Donate to Dropping Dimes Foundation TODAY.

Visit Hardwood Paroxysm’s Over&Back NBA Podcast HERE.

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SLAM Magazine: ABA Players Get Back on Their Feet

SLAM Magazine – Anel Ganic

The ABA, American Basketball Association, was renowned for its flashy play that was a favorite amongst basketball fans back in the league’s heyday. The rival to the NBA featured legends like Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Dan “The Horse” Issel, Rick “The Miami Greyhound” Barry, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame. In short, the ABA was basketball entertainment at its finest during the nine years it was around.

In ’76, the ABA merged with the NBA, but only the four most successful franchises were welcomed into the Association. Those four franchises were the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York (now Brooklyn) Nets and the San Antonio Spurs. While some players found success in the NBA, the merger left plenty of ABA guys high and dry. These ballers didn’t have any pension benefits and fell into difficult financial situations.

This is where the Dropping Dimes Foundation comes in.

This not-for-profit Foundation was founded by Scott Tarter and Dr. John Abrams in an effort to lend a hand to many of these old-school ballers.

A few years ago Tarter was working with documentary film producer Ted Green when he met Abrams, who is a local doctor in Indianapolis and the Pacers’ eye doctor. While both of them were supporting Green, they found out that they had a mutual love for the ABA. They ended up working with a lot of their ABA heroes who would always talk about a lot of lesser-known players who needed help. After doing research, Tarter and Abrams found out that there aren’t any programs that help with getting ABA players back on their feet. Noticing that there is a void, the two linked up and started the Dropping Dimes Foundation.

“These guys were being contracted in a range of $12,000-$50,000 a year,” says Tarter. “There were no established or viable healthcare or pension plans. They were at a huge disadvantage.”

One of the great aspects of Dropping Dimes, besides the work they do to assist old ABA players, is that its advisory board is filled with ABA and NBA legends. The advisory board consists of ex-players like Bobby Leonard, Issel, George McGinnis, Reggie Miller and ancillary members of the basketball community, such as renowned sportscaster Bob Costas. All these guys go above and beyond to volunteer with the foundation.

“I got a call from the guys who started the foundation. It was trying to find a way to help some of those guys who played in the old ABA,” says McGinnis. “[Scott] talked to myself, Bob Leonard, Mel Daniels, Darnell Hillman, Billy Keller, and a few other people. We all got on board with it and that’s kind of how it all started.”

Dropping Dimes doesn’t just help out these ABA players financially, they do much more. For example, Ron Thomas who played for the Kentucky Colonels during the ’70s lives in a nursing home and Tarter and some of the advisory board members paid him a visit. They gave him shoes and clothing. Another gift they gave him was a blown up Topps basketball card. Tarter says they do that for every player and if the player doesn’t have a card, they make one for them. After that, they just hung out with him and Thomas was loving it.

“There are a lot of ABA players that didn’t make a lot of money,” adds Issel. “Some of those former players need some help right now. I have very fond memories of me in my ABA days. It was a fun league and we had a lot of exceptional talent. My ABA days hold a special place for me.”

Tarter’s hopes to help as many ABA players as he can so that in a few years this Foundation won’t be necessary.

“We’ve got some guys here who are great people. There’s just a lot of people involved,”Leonard said. “When you can help somebody else, especially guys that you knew and coached against. You want to do that.”

 

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Dr. Dunk and DDF join Super 70’s Sports

American Basketball Association All-Star Darnell Hillman and Dropping Dimes Foundation President Scott Tarter sat down with Ricky Cobb for The Super 70’s Sports podcast.

Throughout the conversation they move from the story that Hillman – also known as Dr. Dunk – could grab money off the backboard, to his ABA championships with the Indiana Pacers. The three also discuss the many important activities that the Foundation is involved in and the former players Dropping Dimes is helping.

Listen to the full podcast HERE

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Passionate Lang’s Perseverance with Spurs Paid Off

San Antonio Express News

The year was 1973. San Antonio, Lang’s hometown, had a chance to vault itself onto the national pro sports landscape via entry into the American Basketball Association. But for the landmark event to occur, business titan B.J. “Red” McCombs and stockbroker Angelo Drossos needed investors to help them relocate the struggling Dallas Chaparrals to the Alamo City and HemisFair Arena… Drossos began by appealing to Lang’s civic pride, saying the presence of an ABA team would raise the city’s profile and help attract Fortune 500 companies. Lang listened intently, partly because of his love for basketball but also because he enjoyed hearing Drossos talk.

Read more here.


 

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Pacers Stand on Mel Daniels’ Shoulders

Indy Star

635822518194428944-MelDaniels-1-1-In the days following Mel Daniels’ death, friends and former opponents have echoed this same truth. Daniels was a strong man. Strong enough to have had a 48-year dunking shelf life – first rising and slamming as a teenager in Detroit then throwing one down as a 61-year-old man with an AARP card, because he wanted to show he still had it.

Read more here.

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Celebrating the ABA After 48 Years

aba-photo48 years ago tonight, the American Basketball Association tipped off into full gear. Over its nine year span the league saw some of basketball’s greatest players to ever step onto the hardwood. While the league was full of Hall of Famers, however, some of the greatest acts came from what so many of the ABA family did and continues to do off the court.

In line with the Dropping Dime Foundation’s mission to serve former American Basketball Association players who have become disadvantaged, we would like to reflect on all the excitement and amazing achievements with the players, coaches, and personalities we have been able to work with to date.


 

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Getting McGinnis into the Basketball Hall of Fame

McGinnis1HanderSimonMountMark Montieth & NBA.com

Four former Pacers remain on the list of players eligible for direct selection from the ABA to the Hall of Fame, bypassing the standard nominating process. One in particular stands out. George McGinnis was as good as any player in the game during his peak period in the mid-Seventies, ABA or NBA.

McGinnis was co-Most Valuable Player of the ABA with Julius Erving in the 1974-75 season, when he averaged 29.8 points, 14.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.6 steals. He led the Pacers to a surprising journey to the ABA finals that season, averaging 32.3 points, 15.9 rebounds, 8.2 assists, two steals and 6.2 turnovers in the playoffs.

Read more here.

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The Brilliant Career of Basketball Player Moses Malone

Washington Post

Moses Malone, a three-time NBA MVP and Hall of Fame player who was one of the most dominant centers of his era, has died at the age of 60. Malone became one of the first high school players to turn pro, choosing to sign with the Utah Stars of the ABA rather than attend the University of Maryland after he graduated from Petersburg, Va., High School. After the ABA and NBA merged, Malone went on to play for the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs.

Read more here.

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Louie Dampier’s Devastating Road to the Basketball Hall of Fame

635595493685115393-AP7404130101Indy Star

Dampier may be the only man to ever play the game of basketball who, deep down within his soul, secretly hoped he would never get into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Read more here.

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Battle for the Soul of Basketball: Meet the All-1970s NBA and ABA Team

Wes_Unseld_and_Kareem_Abdul-Jabbar_0_0SB Nation

Tim Ziller has defended the ’70s before, notably in Free Darko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History. [His] argument was that it was a time of testing new limits, of parity and of transition. The glory of the ’80s was only possible because of the work done by Dr. J, Skywalker, The Ice Man, Kareem and the Rolls-Royce backcourt in the ’70s. Here’s another argument: the ’70s represented a battle for the soul of basketball.

Read more here.