Monday, August 9

The strange case of John Brisker

John Brisker - Don't make fun of the hat.

Last month, The P.I. ran a great story about one of my all-time favorite players: John Brisker. Brisker played briefly for the Sonics in the mid-70's, but is best remembered for his days in the ABA, where he was known as the ultimate tough guy in a league full of loonies.

Unfortunately, his thug tendencies overshadowed the fact that the dude could play. He was an All-Star in the ABA and once scored 47 points in a game for the Sonics. After an argument with coach Bill Russell, however, he was blackballed from the league. Somehow, Brisker ended up in Uganda, where he disappeared and was never heard from again. Even though no body was ever found, Brisker was declared dead in 1985.

To find out more about John Brisker and the ABA, I highly recommend Loose Balls by Terry Pluto, and the excellent Remember The ABA website.

(Be warned: After reading about how cool the ABA was, you may never want to watch an NBA game again!)


Anonymous said...

Interesting comments about Brisker. I am reading Slick Watts' book and he has some interesting tidbits about the talented by thuggish player.

Anonymous said...

Great player that has left behind a lot of mystery about happened to a once great player.

Anonymous said...

I covered the defunct Pittsburgh Condors of the ABA for the Pittsburgh Press when Brisk played for that zany ABA franchise. An interesting guy who had no control over his temper. At one moment he could be a charmer, warm and friendly; the next, he was enraged, often over imagined slights. One anecdote, although there are many worth repeating: a Tactical Squad cop working a Pirate game early in the 1970 season playfully swatted Brisker's rather sophisticated girlfriend across her very attractive rear end; it took nine more cops to get Brisker off the cop in question and into a paddy wagon.
If anyone out there has any information about Brisker's death in Uganda, please contact me at:

Anonymous said...


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