Remember the ABA:
Brett Ballantini Interviews

Bob Costas

Walt Szczerbiak

Dan Issel

Van Vance

Bob Netolicky

Dick Tinkham (coming soon)

General Introduction (by Brett Ballantini): For some time -- at least since reading Terry Pluto's Loose Balls years ago -- I hoped to write my own piece on the ABA. To make a long story fit into one sentence, after a few starts and stops, I got that chance at Basketball News magazine. The easy choice could have been to duplicate the anecdotal style of Loose Balls and other articles -- let's face it, the ABA is a league of such legend and lore that it's hard not to write a great piece that simply lets their voices tell the tale.

Instead I chose to look at the ABA in a different light -- namely, what impact did the ABA have on pro basketball both then and now? The chicken-and-egg question that hatched out of that premise -- did the NBA rescue the ABA, or did the free-flowing ABA style save pro basketball? -- was fetching enough to result in a provocative article that was, most of all, fun to write and (I hope) read.

This site is possible because of the tireless work of Arthur and his many contributors. When I first stumbled upon it a couple years ago, I was beside myself with excitement. Here was a resource that was more accessible and alive than any strand of microfiche or dusty bookstack. It brings to life a lost time. The very least I can do is contribute all I can to its richness and depth.

To that end, I'm offering the transcribed interviews -- of which I could use only whispers of in the actual article -- for all to read. My hope is that these exchanges have value unto themselves -- in every instance, the people I spoke with were thoughtful and passionate not only in reminiscing about those long ago times, but in placing the ABA in context with the modern era of pro basketball.

I plan on continuing to write about the ABA as time allows, so this could well be an ever-evolving project. You're welcome to e-mail me with your thoughts and reactions at I welcome your feedback!

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