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The NBA's Roots Are Showing

Will Ferrell's mocking portrayal of the ABA in "Semi-Pro" turned into a box office success this weekend, refreshing in the minds of its fans the league's wackiness. David Waldstein reminisces about the league's --and the Nets'-- early days, including tidbits like how the Spurs almost moved to New Jersey and who had the best Afro. And Mark Herrmann in Newsday suggests the Ferrell character his based on Wendell Ladner, the former Net whose uniform was retired after he died in a 1975 air crash.