LAS VEGAS (AP) — If there was a decade when the NBA nearly disintegrated under the weight of its own problems, the 1970s was that decade. It was a fight-filled, drug-addled operation that had made Black players an integral part of the show, only to be left wondering if those players were chasing away the fans.

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The NBA turned 75 this season but had a much different look during the 1970s. It featured a plodding brand of basketball that looked even worse when compared to the game being played by the upstart ABA — a free-flowing, 3-point-shooting fun-fest that wasn’t above using trumped-up contract deals to poach away some of the sport’s most promising talent.


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