Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy 40th Anniversary, ABA!

Hello reader(s). Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the league that changed basketball for the better, the ABA. I must say, they had one great-looking logo. To celebrate, I am going to do a little celebration of the ABA's all-time greats, and the guys who were almost great. Without adieu...

Titans of the ABA

Obviously we know where this list starts. Mr. Dr. Julius Erving, Esq. Wow. I had the privilege of collecting this fine human being's autograph once as well as shaking his hand. Let me say this: it was without question the largest hand in the history of humanity. I felt like I had plunged my hand into the pacific ocean, or the Sahara desert. It disappeared. Dr. J probably could have picked Shaq up by his head and dunked him. I like Dr. J. (Also, he crammed on Bill Walton whom, if you are a regular reader, you know I am no big fan of.)

Magic Johnson was on the court when Dr. J did an unbelievable baseline reverse: "Here I was, trying to win a championship, and my mouth just dropped open. He actually did that! I thought, 'What should we do? Should we take the ball out, or should we give him the ball back and ask him to do it again?' It's still the greatest move I've ever seen in a basketball game, the all-time greatest."

Dr. J is also very humble, considering he's so damn good. At UMass, he played center despite being only 6'6" and 200 pounds (17 less than Jordan). "I remember my first college game as a varsity player. I had a 27 point/28 rebound game. I wasn't a big guy, but I was able to chase rebounds down, and that set a school record in the first game," he once noted. Dr. J went back to school to get his degree despite leaving early, was never caught up in drugs or scandal (that we know about), and was just a great athlete and person. This is a nice little tribute set to Whitney Houston. Give it a chance, there are actually some neat highlights after all the sappy bologna.

The next greatest ABA player was probably George Gervin. When Gary Payton was asked who his favorite basketball player to watch used to be, he said George Gervin. When asked why, Payton replied "...he was just so saucy..." I know what you mean, Gary.

George Gervin could score him some points. Oh my gosh, could he score some points. He once scored 33 points in a quarter. (A record that still stands, by the way.) He once scored 63 points and sat out some of the third and all of the fourth quarter. Kobe Bryant's 81 doesn't look quite so good in comparison. He was a great jumper, as evidenced here, but he was also a great shooter. The Virginia Squires signed him without a tryout after he came to their gym and made 22 of 25 three-pointers. That's not a very easy thing to do. The man was a statistics machine.

For anyone who already read this, you probably won't see this, but something got screwed up and about half of my post got eaten...David Thompson, Moses Malone, and some other cool cats are in a bag at the bottom of the pond right now... I will rectify this as part of a part-two post on Monday. Sorry!

As always, e-mail me at


MattG21 said...

Dr. J had some marital problems if I remember correctly. "In 1999 it was revealed that Dr. J was the father of rising tennis star Alexandra Stevenson, the product of an adulterous liaison with a Philadelphia sportswriter." Also, "his 31-year marriage to his wife, Turquoise, disintegrated in messy divorce proceedings that revealed a second child born out of wedlock." Nice guy -- but just like many other pro athletes. I was with you on that day in Springfield, and my hand was swallowed up even more.

Kodijack said...

Michael Jordan should probably be sending Dr. J. royalty checks.

When I was a teenager I had the computer game "Bird versus Dr. J.". That was literally all it was, you either played as Dr. J or Bird and went one on one. Bird could hit from outside but the Doctor could always dunk on him. It was fun.

Kodijack said...
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