Today’s #TBT sports blog highlights NBA “Iceman” George Gervin – one of my favorite NBA players ever.
An uncommon cool on the basketball court, coupled with an icicle thin stature, earned this NBA Hall of Famer the nickname The Iceman.
Silky-smooth George Gervin possessed a feathery shooting touch. He repeatedly made very difficult shots look easy during his high scoring ABA and NBA playing days. One of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, The Iceman’s brilliant stroke and dizzying array of shots made him impossible to guard.
At 6’7” Gervin was too long for shorter guards to cover as he easily shot over them. At 185 lbs. Gervin was also too quick and athletic for taller players to guard. He easily drove by bigger opponents and finished his drives with a stop-on-a-dime pull-up jumper, a fluid reverse lay-up or his signature finger-roll shot.
George Gervin Inducted into Naismith HOF in 1996
A 1996 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee, Gervin was also selected as one of the NBA’s Greatest 50 Players and voted as a member of the ABA All-Time Team. Gervin’s storied professional career began after two years of college ball at Long Beach State and then Eastern Michigan University.
The Iceman earned a spot in 1972 with the Virginia Squires in the upstart ABA after hitting 22 of 25 three point shots during a tryout. Gervin played alongside the legendary Dr. J. with the Squires, but was surprisingly traded to the San Antonio Spurs in 1974 in a cash deal. Shortly after the trade, the Squires franchise folded.
The Iceman’s career flourished with the Spurs where he led the NBA in scoring on three different occasions – 1978, 1979 and 1980. He won his first scoring title in 1978 by dropping 63 points on the then New Orleans Jazz on the final game of the season. The Spurs retired The Ice Man’s #44 jersey in 1996.
After 14 NBA seasons, Gervin ended his career with 26,595 points and an impressive 25.1 ppg average. He carried an amazing 50.1% career shooting percentage. He also collected 5,602 rebounds and dished out 2,798 assists. A five-time NBA All First Team selection, The Ice Man was also voted to play in nine NBA All-Star games and won the game’s Most Valuable Player award in 1980.
Gervin helped transform the pro game into the fast-paced, high-flying sport played by highly skilled athletes today.
Because of his timeless, ultra cool nickname, The Iceman is featured in my sports comic book – Favorite Sports Nicknames – available on Amazon for only 99 cents.
Though today’s top NBA players may be cultural icons exuding super cool personas, let’s never forget that there will always be just one finger-rolling, rail thin NBA Hall of Fame player known for playing his game ultra cool – The Iceman.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!