One of the more rare developments in the world of sports is when we see an individual play who truly stands out compare to the others. Their level of play looks to be something of another world, and we gaze upon the player in a state of complete awe. When it comes to the sport of basketball, players like this come along throughout our lives. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan...all examples of players who we realized as fans, were something different. Something special.
One of the great all-time point guards who could have fallen into a similar category was Pete Maravich.
Sure, you've probably heard stories about how much of a wizard Pete Maravich was with the basketball in his hands. But it's more complex than that. Pistol was years ahead of the game. His vision and basketball IQ were laughable. You would see Pistol grab a defensive rebound and dribble up the floor, and announcers would mutter out loud "Let's see what Pistol is going to do this time..." There was that much excitement in the air every time the ball touched his hands. The idea that you were about to see something that's never been done on a basketball court was a realistic possibility each time the Pistol touched the ball.
Some might watch Pete Maravich highlights and think he was just an incredible passer. Honestly, I can't argue with that point. If anything, I would probably say that the word "incredible" wasn't doing proper justice when it came to the Pistol. Like for example, let's take a look at an "ordinary" outlet pass from Pete Maravich.
Yes, the passes are what some might call "eye-candy." If you take a look at the numbers throughout Pistol's career...the odds are you would be surprised. Did you know that during one season, Pistol Pete averaged 31.1 PPG? In fact, in Pete Maravich's first nine seasons in the NBA, he only averaged less than 20 points per game one time. That year, he averaged only 19.3.
Maravich was a star. Well ahead of his time. His combination of ball handling wizardry and playmaking ability made it seem like you were watching a famous artist composing his masterpiece every game. Your eyes were glued to him, as you feared to miss the next "new" move in basketball history. Maravich was such a fascination as a ball-handler, that he even appeared in one of the most legendary segments with famous Boston Celtics legendary head coach Red Auerbach. Please take a brief moment today and watch the clip below.
Also we should probably make it a point to