George Gervin Iceman

February 23, 2012 by staff 

George Gervin Iceman, George “The Iceman” Gervin (born April 27, 1952) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs, and Chicago Bulls. Gervin averaged at least 14 points per game in all 14 of his ABA and NBA seasons, and finished with an NBA career average of 26.2 points per game.

Gervin is widely regarded to be one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history.

Nicknamed Iceman for his cool demeanor on the court, Gervin was primarily known for his scoring talents. He led teams at both Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and Long Beach State. After leaving college due to an altercation, Gervin was set to try out for the Virginia Squires of the ABA. According to legend, Gervin made 22 of 25 three-point attempts at the tryout; he was immediately signed despite the fact that Virginia officials had never seen him play competitively.

His first scoring crown came in 1978, when he narrowly edged David Thompson for the scoring title 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 at the time 33 points 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.

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