By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
Author Adam Criblez came on the podcast to talk about his book “Tall Tales and Short Shorts” on the 1970s NBA, Pete Maravich’s struggles in the NBA, Julius Erving joining the Bucks as the best what if of the decade and plenty of other 70s basketball minutiae.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
02:20 – Being inspired by Dan Epstein’s baseball book “Big Hair and Plastic Grass”;
04:45 – The trips he made while researching the book, the benefits of visiting the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame;
08:15 – The chapter on Pete Maravich, Julius Erving and Maravich representing the “new NBA” of the 1970s, Maravich’s upbringing and struggles in the NBA;
15:30 – His most enjoyable revelations being the “Save the Pacers Telethon” and the impact of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ “Miracle of Richfield”;
19:05 – The story behind the Philadelphia 76ers selecting Al Henry in the first round because of a computer error;
21:20 – Best what ifs of the decade – Julius Erving being allowed to play for the Milwaukee Bucks and Bill Walton staying healthy;
25:35 – The most significant or forgotten title swings of the 70s, the Phoenix Suns losing in the classic 1976 Finals, that being the one chance for that Suns team, Alvan Adams making the All-Star Game only in his rookie year, his versatile game;
30:15 – The 1974-75 Bulls taking the Warriors to seven games, Dick Motta being furious over Bob Love and Norm Van Lier sitting out games as players grew unhappy due to Howard Porter‘s contract, Motta having both the role of the head coach and an executive;
33:15 – Is there a team of the decade? Adam suggests that the Washington Bullets and their longevity present a case, Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld allowing them to contend the whole 70s, the criticism against players like Hayes and Bob McAdoo who relied on the jump shot as bigs;
39:20 – The Philadelphia 76ers as his favorite 70s team, their personalities, George McGinnis finally making the Hall of Fame;
42:40 – No film existing of the legendary night during which George Gervin and David Thompson battled for the scoring title, the handful of games during which Pete Maravich, Bernard King and Adrian Dantley played together for the Utah Jazz;
46:30 – The aesthetics of 1970s NBA basketball, growing to appreciate the mid-range game, Dick Barnett kicking his legs back on his jumper, Gervin’s finger roll, Rick Barry‘s artistry;
52:15 – Going down the rabbit hole of Basketball Reference, the random career of defensive stopper E.C. Coleman who was out of the league six games after being selected to the All-Defensive 2nd Team, the CBS one-on-one tournaments, Geoff Petrie beating Barry Clemens in the final.
The media related to the podcast:
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Adam for coming on the podcast and telling us more about his book!