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Legends I had never heard of – Spalding Basketball Ad

October 11, 2010

The great Jack Davis, primarily of Mad fame, illustrated this nifty little ad. I can remember seeing it in the books I read when I was little (in the mid-80’s), long after some of the stars listed at the end had left the scene. I was a huge basketball fan (Magic Johnson was my main man), and I knew Dr. J, but I had absolutely no idea who the *bleep* Rick Barry was. Being a lanky, gangly white guy myself, perhaps I should have taken some inspiration from him.

The caricature of Barry in this ad reminds me a lot of the Harrison Ford caricatures that I’d see in Mad and Cracked back in the 80’s. Maybe it’s just me…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2010 1:41 pm


    Totally agree with you on this one! I was — and remain — a huge basketball fan, and Dr. J was one of Little Me’s main hoops heroes (until Barkley came into the league; for some reason, short, chubby me took a fast liking to the Round Mound of Rebound). But I had NO clue who Rick Barry was. Of course, in our defense, this was long before ESPN Classic!


  2. Edo Bosnar permalink
    October 12, 2010 5:35 am

    Man, can’t below Rick Barry is drawing blanks here. I think I’m only slightly older than Andrew at least, & I was not at all a sports fanatic (not back then nor now), but I totally knew who Rick Barry was – he played quite a few seasons with the Golden State Warriors and really was one of the better known players in the NBA during the ’70s, right up there with, yes, Dr. J. I even remember that he was popular, or perhaps notorious, for taking free throws underhanded and almost never missing.

    • October 12, 2010 9:01 am

      I’m well aware of who he is now, but when I was still in the single digit age bracket I had no idea. Now I mainly associate him with his basketball playing progeny — good hoop genes in the Barry family.

      As an aside, when I was in college in the late nineties, I worked in a Big Brother Big Sister type program, and a kid I was a “big brother” to, who was a big sports fan, asked me who my favorite players were. I started with Magic Johnson. His reaction? “Who’s that?”

      How quickly they forget.


  1. Jack Davis is fine, thank you very much!

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