- George Gervin
birthdate=birth date and age|mf=yes|1952|4|27
college=Long Beach State
San Antonio Spurs(1974–1985)
* Banco Roma (1986–1987)
* ABA All-Rookie Team
* 3x ABA All-Star
* ABA All-Time Top 30 Team
* 7x All-NBA Team
* 9x NBA All-Star
* NBA All-Star MVP (1980)
NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
* San Antonio Spurs #44 retired
George "The Iceman" Gervin (born April 27, 1952 in
Detroit, Michigan) is a retired American professional basketballplayer; a shooting guardfor the American Basketball Association's (ABA) Virginia Squiresand San Antonio Spursand the National Basketball Association's (NBA) San Antonio Spursand Chicago Bulls. Gervin averaged at least 14 points in all 14 of his ABA and NBA seasons, and finished with an NBA career average of 26.2 points per game. Despite his lack of defensive recognition, Gervin retired with the second-most blocks of any NBA guard.
Nicknamed Iceman (or Ice) for his cool demeanor on the court, Gervin was primarily known for his scoring talents. He led teams at both
Eastern Michigan Universityin Ypsilanti, Michiganand Long Beach State. After leaving college due to an altercation, Gervin was set to try out for the Virginia Squires of the ABA. It is rumored that Gervin made 22 of 25 three-point attempts, after which he was signed without Virginia officials having seen him play competitively.
His first scoring crown, which took place in 1978, was one of the most memorable moments in NBA history. He defeated David Thompson by seven hundredths of a point (27.22 to 27.15). Although Thompson came up with a memorable performance for the last game of the regular season, scoring 73 points, Gervin maintained his slight lead by scoring 63 points (including an NBA-record 33 in the second quarter) in a loss in his last game of the season. With the scoring crown in hand, he sat out some of the third, and all of the fourth quarter. Gervin went on to lead the NBA in scoring average three years in a row from 1978 to 1980 (with a high of 33.1 points per game in 1979-80), and again in 1982. The Spurs drafted high scoring guards Oliver Robinson of UAB and Tony Grier from South Florida to take some offensive pressure off Gervin. Prior to
Michael Jordan, Gervin had the most scoring titles of any guard in league history.
When he left the NBA he played for several years in Europe: in Italy for
Banco Romaduring the 1986-87 and in Spanish National Basketball League, in TDK Manresa team (when he was already 38). [http://www.acb.com/redaccion.php?id=43884 George Gervin: una leyenda entre nosotros] , ACB.com sp icon] [ [http://www.geocities.com/tzovas/nbastars/gervin_george.html George Gervin ] ] At this point in his career he had lost some of his quickness, but his scoring instinct remained; he averaged 25.5 points, 5 rebounds and 1.2 assists and in his last match he scored 31 points and got 15 rebounds to stay Manresa in the first Spanish division.
His trademark shot was the
finger roll, a shot where one rolls the basketball along his or her fingertips. While others mimicked this style when shooting layups, Gervin was known to "finger roll" from as far as the free throw line.
While sitting out 3 games due to injury, Gervin's replacement,
Ron Brewer, averaged over 30 ppg. When Gervin returned, he scored 40+ points. When asked if he was sending a message, Gervin said, "Just the way the Lord planned it" and added, "Ice be cool" (with Ron Brewer).
Gervin's legacy has inspired other athletes, such as
Gary Paytonwho said Gervin was his favorite player to watch as a kid. Asked to elaborate, Payton said that it was because "he was just so saucy." He was also idolized by former NFLand Heisman-winning quarterback Ty Detmer. Detmer records in his autobiographythat he was elated to receive Gervin's autographone day as a youth in San Antonio.
Awards and Records
Gervin was inducted to the
Basketball Hall of Fame, had his #44 jersey retired by the Spurs and was named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players. Gervin was ranked #25 on SLAM Magazine's Top 75 NBA Players of All Time in 2003.
He remains active in the San Antonio community in part through the
George Gervin Youth Center. Gervin is beloved in San Antonio.
At the time of his trade to the Bulls, he held nearly every significant scoring record in Spurs history. Many of his records have been shattered by
David Robinson, but Gervin is still the Spurs' all-time leader in field goals made (9,201), field goal attempts (18,111) and points (23,602).
Though a revered NBA and ABA All-Star and Hall of Famer, Gervin never made an appearance with a team in either an NBA or ABA championship series during his 13-year career in American professional basketball.
Gervin holds the distinction of being a former teammate of both
Julius Erving(with the Squires) and Michael Jordan(with the Bulls).
Personal and Family Life
Gervin met his wife when playing high school ball. She attended an opponent's school. When rooting against Gervin in high school, she used to implore her team to "not let them throw the ball to that skinny kid."
Derrick Gervin, played collegiately at University of Texas at San Antoniowhere his number is retired. Has a son, George Gervin Jr, nicknamed Gee, who has played for the Harlem Globetrottersand is one of the best players ever to play in the Swedish League, for Norrköping Dolphins.
List of National Basketball Association players with 60 or more points in a game
List of individual National Basketball Association scoring leaders by season
* [http://www.nba.com/history/players/gervin_summary.html Gervin @ NBA.com]
* [http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gervige01.html George's page @ Basketball-Reference.com]
* [http://www.remembertheaba.com/TributeMaterial/Gervin.html Gervin tribute @ Remember the ABA.com]
* [http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/Gervin.htm Basketball Hall of Fame profile]
* [http://databasebasketball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=GERVIGE01 Career Stats]
* [http://www.iceman44.org George Gervin Youth Center]
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