Opinion

A new book, and old hoops team

 

The bookshelf of local history will have an addition in 2015.

The bookshelf of local history will have an addition in 2015.

Throw the Book at ‘Em: There’s more happening here at the Orange County Tribune than just our website. I’ve got a contract to write a book for History Press, a publisher based in South Carolina.

The book will be on the history of Garden Grove. I’ve completed the manuscript and am working on some last-minute formatting details. Tentatively titled “A Brief History of Garden Grove,” this work will be liberally illustrated but will not be primarily a “photo scrapbook.”

retortsInstead it will be a comprehensive account of the community from its founding in 1874 through the present day.

It’s expected the book will be published in 2015, and will be available through area bookstores and other venues. We’ll keep you posted on the timeline and other details.

By the way, I have also written a novel, “No Justice,” available in an e-book format through Amazon.com. Just sayin’ …

Not That Friendly: The NBA season is getting underway this week. How many Orange Countians know that we once had a major league hoops team here?

Well, maybe it was big league, maybe not. But the American Basketball Association did have a big impact on the sport, and four of its teams are still part of the NBA.

In 1967 the new ABA was launched. Gary Davidson, who grew up in Garden Grove, was one of the entrepreneurs who organized the league (he was also instrumental in the establishment of the World Hockey Association and the World Football League).

For that initial season, the ABA lineup included the Anaheim Amigos. Investors were attracted to the OC both by the attendance success of the California Angels (who in 1966 led the American League at the turnstile) and the opening of a new arena at the Anaheim Convention Center on Katella Avenue.

Other franchises were in Oakland, New Jersey, Indiana and similar large, but not huge markets.

The Amigos (Spanish for friends) were not much of a success. They lost their first five games and went on to post a 29-53 mark, good for fourth in the five-team Western Division. When the owners decided to put that memory behind them, they not only moved the team to Los Angeles (renamed as the Stars), but actually burned the old Amigos uniforms, as if they were somehow infected with the typhus of losing.

The Stars spent the next few years at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, but there wasn’t much more glory there. The franchise moved to Utah in 1970. When the ABA merged with the NBA in 1976, the Stars franchise was not one of the four (Pacers, Spurs, Nets and Nuggets) that made the cut, and therefore passed into oblivion.

For years, the Honda Center in Anaheim has sought to lure an NBA team to the city, and appeared to come close a few years ago with the Sacramento Kings. But the deal was never done and Orange County remains a “city” without pro roundball.

 

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