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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.
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. Find out more athttps://droppingdimes.org/