why you need more than subjectivity
2008 and 1968

1968: january 9th

On this date, the American Basketball Association held its first All-Star game. The game's MVP was Larry Brown, now a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach. Perhaps the most interesting participant in the game was Connie Hawkins, also a Hall-of-Famer, as a player. Larry Brown himself called Hawkins "the greatest individual player I have ever seen." An excellent book about Hawkins' life is Foul! The Connie Hawkins Story, by David Wolf, which as far as I can tell is out of print, but worth hunting down.

The ABA's story is much like other stories out of the 60s. When it came on the scene, it represented a fresh new approach to something that had become a bit stuffy. Compared to the NBA, the new league emphasized offense. They had a three-point arc (a new thing at the time) and a red, white and blue ball. The ABA created the Slam Dunk Contest. The league showcased the great Dr. J, Julius Erving.

And, after ten years, it merged into the NBA. It's most useful inventions were merged as well ... the NBA now has three-point shots and slam dunk contests, if you consider such things useful. The ABA is considered a failure by many, because it only lasted a decade, because when it merged, only four franchises made the move. Innovative, entertaining, co-opted: the ABA, a product of the 60s.