He takes shots other people haven't even tried before
December 11, 2017 6:43 AM   Subscribe

“Pistol” Pete Maravich vs. George “Iceman” Gervin — H-O-R-S-E
posted by timshel (22 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Background info
posted by timshel at 6:43 AM on December 11, 2017

I like that Maravich at least tried to make it interesting with an array of oddball shots.
posted by oddman at 6:51 AM on December 11, 2017

I will never think about playing H-O-R-S-E without hearing Samuel L. Jackson's voice in my head.
posted by phooky at 8:02 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have had that commercial stuck in my head for almost twenty years and I hope I have cursed you all now as well
posted by phooky at 8:06 AM on December 11, 2017

1) Why was this on broadcast TV?
2) Why did I just spend five minutes watching it?
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:17 AM on December 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

1) Why was this on broadcast TV?

Because the silly season for sports was full of stuff like this, and cable wasn't really much of a thing back then at all. Personally, I looked forward to Superstars.

2) Why did I just spend five minutes watching it?

Because it was awesome, and you're awesome for watching it.
posted by parliboy at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2017 [13 favorites]

Where are their muscles?
posted by srboisvert at 8:42 AM on December 11, 2017

Iceman's jumpers off the glass were sublime.
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:43 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

That was very civil.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:51 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

1) Why was this on broadcast TV?

Oh sweet summer child.
posted by rhizome at 10:10 AM on December 11, 2017 [8 favorites]

Without any background I'd have assume Gervin was a pro player and Maravich was a trick shot guy and this was a stunt competition. Gervin looks so much more fluid and graceful.
posted by Brockles at 10:31 AM on December 11, 2017

What's amazing is how small the crowd is, and how dim the lighting is. They look like they're playing in a high-school gym. And this is for a contest between two recent NBA scoring champions!

My guess - given that they say that Gervin is the reigning NBA scoring champion - is that this is from 1978, which was just about when the NBA bottomed out in popularity.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 10:55 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Last season they put NFL pro-bowlers playing dodgeball and other stuff.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:29 AM on December 11, 2017

They look like they're playing in a high-school gym.

They're actually playing in CNN Center in Atlanta before it was CNN Center (and if you're right about that 1978 date, a few years after the World of Sid and Marty Krofft theme park imploded financially over the space of a few months).

And while phooky hears Samuel L. in their head, my first thought was Off the expressway, over the river, off the billboard, through the window, off the wall, nothing but net.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:37 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this! I love the NBA, but became a fan after this era. Radwolf76's commercial is much more the time I was getting into the NBA. I started with the Bad Boys era and then really got into Charles Barkley in the early 90s. I'm not too much into Chuck anymore, but I still follow the NBA every season. Unfortunately, it looks like my city's franchise (the Hornets) are still mired in .400 ball, so I'm vicariously living as a Pistons fan again, as well as rooting for various players and teams around the league.
posted by Slothrop at 11:42 AM on December 11, 2017

I never realized how much Pistol Pete Maravich sounds like Boomhauer from King of the Hill.
posted by jonp72 at 11:44 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Post topic aside, there is only one basketball poster and it is Darrell Dawkins' (RIP) "Chocolate Thunder."
posted by rhizome at 12:03 PM on December 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Pistol Pete succeeded not just on his ability to shoot regular shots. At 6'5", he's tall, but not by NBA standards and if he shot regular shots all the time, he would need to shoot from the outside, otherwise he was going up against players like Marvin Webster (aka, the human eraser for his ability to block shots) or Bill Cartwright, who were both 7'1". One way to do that is with deceptive shooting. If you don't know how a player is going to shoot, it's significantly harder to defend.
Maravich was also incredible at passing. In this instructional video look at his wrist pass and his through the leg bounce pass. Those are amazing passes and both require your team to be trained to work with Maravich. Beyond the skill of the passes, he was able to make decisions on how to best set up his team mates at high speed, reacting to what the defense was doing.
I will also note that Bill Cartwright was an astoundingly good shooter for a big man. He was often used to post low and fight his way to a layup, but many years in his career he made close to 80% of his free throws (which is very good because when you post, you tend to get fouled a lot). When I was in high school, he played on the Knicks. There were a couple boys who challenged him to a game of 2 on 1 for charity. It was a thing of beauty. Cartwright was going to destroy these kids, but it was like watching a clinic in proper basketball offense. If they played a tight defense on him, he drove to the hoop. If they played a loose defense, he shot from the outside (and consistently hit). It wasn't like he was rubbing it in either, he was just playing good solid hoops.
The point being that pro players are pro for a reason and their abilities often go far beyond what you see on the court.
posted by plinth at 12:18 PM on December 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

What a hoot. Gervin has has re-surfaced lately in a couple of the regional HEB ads the Spurs do alongside David Robinson, Sean Elliott & Duncan. (The Spurs Retirement Club) He’s old & definitely not the string bean he was then- it’s pretty wild to see how muscled-up the NBA has gotten when you go back & watch footage like this. I should go make a fan post over on Pounding The Rock...
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:55 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Basketball being a team game, neither Pete nor George ever appeared in, much less won, an NBA (or ABA) championship. They sure could play, though. I first heard about Pete thanks to a Sports Illustrated cover story in 1968, which I remember as the one that mentioned he practiced so much that as a kid, even when he went to the movies, he sat in an end seat dribbling a basketball in the aisle.

It’s assumed that his NCAA scoring record of 3,667 points (in only 83 games), set almost 50 years ago, never will be broken, even though in those days he wasn't eligible to play on the varsity as a freshman, and there was no 3-point shot. Supposedly, former LSU coach Dale Brown, who went back and charted all of Pete’s shots from his college career, says that with a 3-point line Maravich would have averaged 57 points/game.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:18 PM on December 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

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