Pete Maravich is one of the best offensive players in the history of the league, but it is easy to forget about him due to the lack of success he had outside his personal statistics. Maravich would have been a perfect modern-era player as the electric shooter was leading the NBA in scoring with long-range shots in an era where there was no 3-point line in the NBA.
Maravich was always great on the court, but his New Orleans Jazz would never make it to the playoffs because of a lack of help from his teammates. After he was finally given a competent teammate in 1977 in Truck Robinson, Maravich realizes that Jazz GM Lewis Schaffel had no intention of letting Maravich and Robinson build chemistry, trying to trade 'Pistol' Pete away behind his back. Safe to say, Maravich wasn't happy when he found out and absolutely laid into the GM in public.
"He's a lying, backstabbing son of a bitch who's been out to get me from the start." Then he said, "Schaffel doesn't know a basketball from a turkey bladder. We could make the playoffs if he'd take a vacation. Like, to Iraq."
Is Pete Maravich One Of The Most Underrated Greats Of The '70s?
When we think of '70s basketball, the name of Pete Maravich often goes unsaid because of how his career was cut short due to injuries. Maravich would also have an early death, dying after suffering a heart attack during a pick-up game. At least he passed away while playing the game he loved the most.
During his career, Maravich became a 5-time All-Star, 4-time All-NBA, and a 1-time scoring champion. He's had his number 44 retired by the Atlanta Hawks and his number 7 by the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz. He averaged 24.2 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds in his career that spanned 10 seasons. He sadly never won a championship.
Maravich was recognized for his achievements on the 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams named by the league, but fans can have a greater appreciation for a scoring guard that was playing 2000s basketball in the '70s.