ABA book signing set for Sept. 29

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You can judge this book by its cover.

“The title of the book is, ‘We Changed the Game,’ and we did,” said former Indiana Pacers player Bob “Neto” Netolicky, a former Carmel resident who now lives in Noblesville. “Today’s NBA would not be the way it is if not for the ABA.”

The book, which was released earlier this year, was written by Netolicky, Richard Tinkham and Robin Miller. A book signing is set from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 29 at the American Legion Hall, 852 W. Main St., Carmel. The book is full of stories about the league’s many characters.

“Ninety-nine percent of the books out there about the ABA are third-, fourth-, fifth-hand stories,” said Netolicky, an original Pacer who played most of his career with Indiana. “This one kind of nails it. Dick Tinkham helped start the league and was the league lawyer. Robin followed us for three or four years when we started. He was a cub reporter, so he knows the real happenings.”

Bob Costas, who was a radio announcer for the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis, praised the book.

“If you loved the ABA as I did or are simply curious about a fascinating slice of sports history, you will love this book,” Costas said.

Ten percent of proceeds from book sales go to the Indianapolis-based Dropping Dimes Foundation that advocates for former ABA players.

“Dropping Dimes has taken the lead and is getting involved in our pension fight with the NBA,” Netolicky said. “We’ve got some heavy hitters helping us. We have eight or nine Hall of Famers on the advisory board, guys like George Gervin, Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore. Bob Costas is on. Reggie Miller is on it and so is Myles Turner.”

The ABA 50th reunion in Indianapolis in April benefited Dropping Dimes.

“(Dropping Dimes) does a lot of things people don’t know about. They’ve helped guys with medical bills,” Netolicky said. “One guy had a house that was repossessed, and they helped him. They can only do so much, but they are doing good for a startup organization.”

For more, visit droppingdimes.org.

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