In celebration of the NBA’s 75th season, the league has announced the 75 greatest players in league history and three former LSU greats made the cut.
Shaquille O’Neal, Pete Maravich, and Bob Pettit were all named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team this week.
Maravich, the greatest scorer in collegiate basketball history, made four All-NBA teams, and a five-time All-Star. He was also the NBA’s scoring champ in the 1976-1977 season with the then New Orleans Jazz. It’s a testament to Maravich’s greatness that he was recognized as one of the 75 greatest NBA players ever despite only playing six seasons.
Pettit was the first great LSU basketball player and an even greater professional. Pettit averaged 26 points and 16 rebounds, and was an All-Star and All-NBA selection in all 11 of his NBA seasons. He was a two-time MVP, a four-time All-Star game MVP, and led the then St. Louis Hawks to their only NBA championship where he was also named the Finals MVP. Pettit was the first player in NBA history to amass 20,000 career points.
Shaq’s accomplishments are too great to fit in one paragraph. Over a 19 year career, Shaq made 15 All-Star teams and 14 All-NBA teams. He won four championships, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat. Shaq was the Finals MVP when the Lakers won three straight titles; he was also the Rookie of the Year with the Orlando Magic who took him first overall in the 1992 NBA Draft and was league MVP with the Lakers in the 1999-2000 season. He retired ranking sixth in league history in scoring (28,596 points), 15th in rebounds (13,099), and eighth in blocks (2,732).