We are at the coast and I will post about that later, but for right now I'm bored sooooo.
Pete Maravich was born in Aliquippa, a small steel town in Beaver County, western Pennsylvania. Maravich amazed his family and friends with his basketball abilities from an early age. He enjoyed a close but demanding father-son relationship that motivated him toward achievement and fame in the sport. Maravich's father, Peter "Press" Maravich , the son of Serbian immigrants and a former professional player-turned-coach, showed him the fundamentals starting when he was seven years old. Obsessively, Maravich spent hours practicing ball control tricks, passes, head fakes, and long range shots.
This dedication and inventiveness manifested itself in early success: Maravich played high school varsity ball at Daniel High School in Central, South Carolina a year before being old enough to attend the school. While at Daniel from 1961 to 1963, Maravich participated in the school's first ever game against a team from an all-black school. In 1963, his father, departing from his position as head basketball coach at Clemsen University, joined the coaching staff at North Carolina State University. The Maravich family's subsequent move to Raleigh, North Carolina allowed Pete to attend Needham B. Broughton High School. His high school years also saw the birth of his famous moniker. From his habit of shooting the ball from his side, as if he were holding a revolver, Maravich became known as "Pistol" Pete Maravich. From there "Pistol" then transferred to Edwards Military Institute where he averaged 33 points per game.
While Maravich would tell friends later in life he always desired to play basketball for West Virginia University and was all set to be a Mountaineer, his father was the varsity coach at LSU and his father offered the "Pistol" a spot at LSU. In his first game on the LSU freshman team Maravich put up 50 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists against Southeastern Louisiana College.
In only three years playing for his father at LSU, Maravich scored 3,667 points — 1,138 of those in 1968, 1,148 in 1969 and 1,381 in 1970 while averaging 43.8, 44.2 and 44.5 points per game. In his collegiate career, the 6' 5" (1.96 m) guard averaged an incredible 44.2 points per game in 83 contests and led the NCAA in scoring in each of his three seasons.
Maravich's longstanding collegiate scoring record is particularly impressive when two other factors are taken into account:
- First, NCAA rules at the time of Maravich's collegiate career prohibited freshmen from taking part in varsity competition, preventing Maravich from adding to his career record for a full quarter of his time at LSU. During this first year, Maravich scored 741 points in freshman competition.
- Second, Maravich played before the advent of the three-point line. His long-distance shooting skill thus produced far fewer points than would have been the case in a later era. Years later, former LSU head basketball coach Dale Brown charted every college game Maravich played, taking into consideration all shots he took. Brown calculated that at the NCAA rule of a three-point line at 19-foot (5.8 m), 9-inches from the rim, Maravich would have averaged thirteen 3-point scores per game, lifting the player's career average to 57 points per game.
More than 35 years later, many of his NCAA and LSU records still stand. Maravich was a three-time All-American. Though he never appeared in the NCAA tournament, Maravich played a key role in turning around a lackluster program that had posted a 3–20 record in the season prior to his arrival.
At Louisiana State University, Maravich was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
NCAA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-Goal percentage||3P%||3-point percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
The Atlanta Hawks selected Maravich with the third pick in the first round of the 1970 NBA Draft. He was not a natural fit in Atlanta, as the Hawks already boasted a top-notch scorer at guard in Lou Hudson. In fact, Pistol Pete's flamboyant style stood in stark contrast to the conservative play of Hudson and star center Walt Bellamy. And it did not help that many of the veteran players resented the $1.9 million contract that Maravich received from the team — a very large salary at that time.
Still, the rookie's talent was undeniable. Maravich appeared in 81 games and average 23.2 points per contest — good enough to earn NBA All-Rookie Team honors. And he managed to blend his style with his teammates, so much that Hudson set a career high by scoring 26.8 points per game. But the team stumbled to a 36–46 record — 12 wins less than the previous season. Still, the Hawks qualified for the playoffs, where they lost to the New York Knicks in the first round.
Maravich struggled somewhat during his second season. His scoring average dipped to 19.3 points per game during the regular season, and the Hawks finished with another disappointing 36–46 record. Once again, they qualified for the playoffs, and once again, they were eliminated in the first round. However, Atlanta fought hard against the Boston Celtics, with Maravich averaging 27.7 points in the series.
It was a sign of things to come. Maravich erupted in his third season, averaging 26.1 points and dishing out 6.9 assists per game. With 2,063 points, he combined with Hudson (2,029 points) to become only the second set of teammates in league history to each score over 2,000 points in a single season. The Hawks soared to a 46–36 record, but again bowed out in the first round of the playoffs. However, the season was good enough to earn Maravich his first-ever appearance in the NBA All Star Game, and also All-NBA Second Team honors.
The following season (1973–74) was his best yet — at least in terms of individual accomplishments. Maravich posted 27.7 points per game — second in the league behind Bob Mcadoo — and earned his second appearance in the All-Star Game. However, Atlanta sank to a disappointing 35–47 record and missed the postseason entirely.
In the summer of 1974, an expansion franchise was preparing for its first season of competition in the NBA. The New Orleans Jazz were looking for something, or someone, to fire up basketball fans in "The Big Easy". With his exciting style of play, Pistol Pete was the perfect man for the job. Of course, it helped that he already enjoyed celebrity status in Louisiana thanks to his legendary accomplishments at LSU. To acquire Maravich, the Jazz sent two players and four draft picks to Atlanta.
Predictably, the expansion team struggled mightily in its first season. Maravich managed to score 21.5 points per game, but shot a career-worst 41.9 percent from the floor. The Jazz posted a miserable 23-59 record, worst in the NBA. From there, New Orleans had nowhere to go but up.
Jazz management did their best to give Maravich a better supporting cast, and it worked – to an extent. The team posted a 38-44 record in its second season (1975–76), but did not qualify for postseason play, despite the dramatic improvement. Maravich struggled with injuries that limited him to just 62 games that season, but he averaged 25.9 points per contest and continued his crowd-pleasing antics. The entire league took notice of his extraordinary skills, electing him to the All-NBA First Team that year.
The following season (1976–77) was his best-ever as a professional player. He led the league in scoring with an average of 31.1 points per game. He scored 40 points or more in 13 different games, including a 68-point masterpiece against the Knicks. At that time, it was the most points ever scored by a guard in one game. In fact, only two players in league history had scored more points in a single game: Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. Baylor had a front row seat for Maravich's performance - because he was serving as head coach of the Jazz.
Maravich earned his third All-Star Game appearance and was honored as All-NBA First Team for the second consecutive season. He was in the prime of his career, seemingly scoring at will and showing off his flashy dribbling and passing skills in arenas all across the country. But that all changed the following season. Injuries to both knees forced him to miss 32 games during the 1977–78 season. Despite being robbed of some quickness and athleticism, he still managed to score 27.0 points per game, and he also added 6.7 assists per contest, his highest average as a member of the Jazz. Many of those assists went to a new teammate: Truck Robinson, who had joined the franchise as a free agent during the offseason. In his first year in New Orleans, he averaged 22.7 points and a league-best 15.7 rebounds per game. His presence prevented opponents from focusing their defensive efforts entirely on Maravich, and it lifted the Jazz to a respectable 39–43 record — just short of making the club's first-ever appearance in the playoffs.
The good times did not last for long. Knee problems plagued Maravich for the rest of his career. He played in just 49 games during the 1978–79 season. He worked hard to overcome his injury troubles, scoring 22.6 points per game and earning his fifth (and final) All-Star appearance. But his scoring and passing abilities were severely impaired. The team struggled on the court, and faced serious financial trouble as well. Management became desperate to make some changes. The Jazz traded Robinson to the Phoenix Suns, receiving draft picks and some cash in return. But it was too late to save the franchise. In 1979, team owner Sam Battistone moved the Jazz to Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Utah Jazz began play in the 1979-80 season. Maravich moved with the team to Salt Lake City, but his knee problems were worse than ever. He appeared in 17 games early in the season, but his injuries prevented him from practicing much, and new coach Tom Nissalke had a strict rule that players who didn't practice were not allowed to play in games. Thus, Pistol Pete was parked on the bench for 24 straight games, much to the dismay of Utah fans (and to Maravich himself, of course). During that time, Adrian Dantley emerged as the team's new star player.
The Jazz placed Maravich on waivers in January 1980. He was claimed by the Celtics, the top team in the league that year, led by rookie superstar Larry Bird. Maravich adjusted to a new role as part-time contributor, giving Boston a "hired gun" off the bench. He helped the team post a 61-21 record in the regular season, best in the league. And, for the first time since his early career in Atlanta, Maravich was able to participate in the NBA playoffs. He appeared in nine games during that postseason; the Celtics eventually lost to Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference finals.
Realizing that his knee problems would never go away, Maravich retired at the end of that season. It is noteworthy that the NBA instituted the 3-point shot just in time for Pistol Pete's last season in the league. He had always been famous for his long-range shooting, but his final year provided an official statistical gauge of his abilities. Between his limited playing time in Utah and Boston, he made 10 of 15 3-point shots, a sizzling 67 percent.
During his ten-year career in the NBA, Maravich played in 658 games, averaging 24.2 points and 5.4 assists per contest. In 1985, the Jazz honored his contributions to the franchise by retiring his jersey #7. Two years later, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame
- Points, career: 3,667 (three seasons)
- Highest scoring average, points per game, career: 44.2 (3,667 points/83 games)
- Points, season: 1,381 (1970)
- Highest scoring average, points per game, season: 44.5 (1,381/31) (1970)
- Games scoring 50 or more points, career: 28
- Games scoring 50 or more points, season: 10 (1970)
- Field goals made, career: 1,387
- Field goals made, season: 522 (1970)
- Field goal attempts, career: 3,166
- Field goal attempts, season: 1,168 (1970)
- Free throws made, game: 30 (in 31 attempts), vs. Oregon State, December 22, 1969
WELL THAT'S ALL FOLKS.