By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Box & One With George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin
SEATTLE — There are a few moments in sports when an athlete is given a nickname that lives forever in the memories of our minds and often played in a highlight reel when the greatest of the game are mentioned.
Ladies and Gentlemen at this time, I would like to introduce you to No. 44, George “The Iceman” Gervin. The Hall of Fame inductee is listed as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest and in my opinion one of the best shooting guards to ever play in the league.
In his 14-year career, he averaged 26.2 points and had the most blocked shots by any guard in the league. “During my career I shot 51 percent so it was obvious that I could shoot the ball but many people don’t know how hard I practiced on this craft.”
The Iceman spent the off season taking shots from sun up to sun down. “It wasn’t just jumpers, I worked on my right and left hand hooked and of course my patent finger roll. These are the things that always made scoring easy for me and made me a threat with any type of defense that I was thrown at me.”
One of Gervin’s most memorable moments was when he was competing with Denver’s David Thompson for the scoring title during the 1977-78 NBA season. “I scored 63 points in 33 minutes to win my first scoring title”, said Gervin.
“What was so special about that accomplishment is the special relationship that I with my teammates, I couldn’t have done it without any of them.”
Some of his favorite teammates were James Silas, Larry Kenon, Johnny Moore, Swin Nader, Artis Gilmore, Mike Mitchell, and Julius Erving. “These guys enjoyed that game as much as I did, they were competitors and we enjoyed playing together.”
Despite all of his scoring accolades George Gervin faced some of the best defenders in the game. “Whew, Jamaal Wilkes, Michael Cooper, T.R. Dunn, Bobby Jones were very aggressive and came hard at me every time we faced each other but Dennis Johnson was the guy that guarded me the toughest. I may have still scored 30 points that night but you better believe it was a hard 30 points.”
At this time, Gervin is part of “The Legends Circle” which is his way of bridging the gap between our historic greats and the younger generation of high potential players. “We want them to maximize every available resource that we have, to bolster their lives as well as their playing career.”
At press time “The Iceman” is in Seattle to meet with the Sonics Jeff Green and Kevin Durant. “It is so important to teach these guys to appreciate and respect the game and utilize that opportunity that exist for them. I haven’t played in years but no matter where I got I’m received as if I just got off the court.”
The isn’t anything new for Gervin he has always been involved in the community as a San Antonio Spur and now he’s just spreading a little more love around his NBA family.