Ladies and Gentlemen, Your ... Dall-LLUS ... GENERALS ... ?

Don't look now, but retro is current.

As a kid I remember Dad taking me to Fair Park Coliseum to watch an ABA team called the Dallas Chaparrals. They had the red-white-blue basketball. Wooden bleachers. A hand-operated scoreboard. They had my favorite player - Laverne Tart - and his red high-top canvas Chuck Taylor Converse.

I'll never forget my excitement at going to see the Chaps play the Virginia Squires and a youngster named Julius Erving. Expecting the big afro and the outlandish dunks, you can imagine my slump-shouldered disappointment when I checked out the names on the back of the warm-ups, found my idol and - what the hell? - discovered a dumpy, balding, white dude practicing perfect-fundamental bank-shots in the layup line.

Sensing my tears, Dad politely informed me that I was looking at Squires reserve George "Irvine."

"That," he said, pointing to the superhero doing the windmill slam, "is Dr. J."

Basketball's been my first love ever since.

So you can imagine my excitement at yesterday's official unveiling of the Dallas Generals, the city's reincarnation of an ABA team that will use a red-white-blue ball, charge as little for $5 a ticket and, sure enough, play in the old Fair Park Coliseum.

During a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel - ironically, same place that the Chaparrals were officially sold and transferred down south to become the San Antonio Spurs - the Generals announced head coach Chris Terrell, key players like former NBA-er Anthony "Pig" Miller and Mr. 720 and, best of all, ridiculously cheap tickets.

The Generals first game is Dec. 5. Tickets go on sale Monday.

I'll go to a game or two. You?

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