A classic Sports Illustrated profile on Pete Maravich focused on how he turned from basketball star to clean, religious family guy. The quietness and tranquility of it all was a sharp contrast to the amount of flash and intensity Maravich brought to the NBA. His former nickname brings an equal sense of irony: Pistol Pete—a weapon who was lethal in a variety of ways on offense.
The Pistol was the prototype to the flash and showmanship seen in many NBA stars from the '80s onwards. His ball handling skills were nothing less than remarkable (legend has it he used to practice by dribbling while riding moving cars), his scoring ability was astounding especially during his college years, and you'll be hard pressed to find better no-look passes from the era than his. His LSU scoring numbers may never be matched.
There's always been this one flaw in his game, though; contrary to those Uncle Drew commercials, not everything is about buckets. Maravich just could not get much luck in the win column. He only had two winning seasons out of his ten in the NBA. The second time happened while Maravich rode the bench as a rookie Larry Bird started his Hall of Fame career. The question remains: Was Pistol Pete's teammates so mediocre that he could not have possibly made them better?
But for now let's focus on the tangibles: the highlights. In honor of what would've been his 66th birthday, here's The Best of Pistol Pete Maravich.
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