For real ball handling…

A comic book ad for Spalding from 1977.
A comic book ad for Spalding from 1977.

Bone shards:

Who is that white dude, err, I mean that nearly unstoppable offensive juggernaut?

Rick Barry’s free throws were underhanded, granny-style, or granny shots, which some of you may remember from a certain Will Ferrell basketball movie.

Behold, the great and wondrous Julius Erving / Dr. J.

During World War II, Spalding helped manufacture M1918 Browning Automatic Rifles.

The ad copy:

A division of Questor

Spalding presents Street Ball with Rick Barry and Dr. J!

Hey look! It’s Rick Barry and Dr. J!!

Glad to see you’re playing with a Spalding rubber ball like I grew up with.

Yeah, those vinyl balls are just too slick!

Aw, what difference can the ball make?

My man, for real ball handling, you need that …Spalding touch!!!


What moves!

He plays up in the lights!

Now it’s my turn, Julius!


A 30-footer!

What a magic touch!

You don’t need magic — Just practice with a Spalding Autograph ball. It’s got a rubber cover so you can really get a grip on it.

I believe it! I believe it!

“If you want the ball with the sure-handed feel, look for our signatures at your sporting goods dealer. Other autograph balls are signed by Wilt Chamberlain, ‘Pistol Pete’ and ‘Ernie D.’”

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