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George Gervin, “Nba Iceman”

Young generations didn’t witness spectacular basketball produced by legends like Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, etc. They missed so much watching live amazing assists, shots, and buzzer beaters of those tremendously talented players. Fathers or grandfathers can talk to them about how much excitement and passion was around those games.

One of the names that stand out in this context is George Gervin. The legendary shooting guard had some unforgettable performances during his playing career and after retirement started being a coach in the Big3 league. Let’s talk briefly about what his basketball life was like.

What did George’s college career look like?

Receiving a scholarship to represent California State University, but culture shock prevented him from finishing the semester at that college. Transfer to Eastern Michigan University averaging 29.5 points per fixture in 1971/1972 turned out to be a good move for this shooting guard.

However, participation in NCAA College Division will not be remembered for good when we talk about George Gervin. Punching another player, getting expelled from the team, and receiving a suspension for the next campaign was the worst thing that could have happened to him at that moment. Also, calls to try out for Olympic and Pan-American teams were removed.

Where did Gervin play after university?

Following years spent in Continental Basketball Association in Pontiac’s shirt, George signed a contract with Virginia Squires. Gervin was noticed by Johnny Kerr while scoring amazing 50 points and was offered a deal worth $ 40000 a year.

Joining Virginia in the middle of 1972/1973 was a major boost for the roster which already involved legendary small forward Julius Irving. Scoring 14.1 points per game in the remainder of the season was in the shadow of brilliant Irving’s performances that brought the title to Squires.

Throughout All-Star Game in which Gervin took part, his contract was sold to San Antonio due to the bad financial situation Virginia was in.

Gervin’s main characteristic on the court is cold-blooded behavior and the easiness with which he scores.

How was George performing in San Antonio’s jersey?

Gervin won the first scoring title out of overall four in NBA overcoming David Thompson with scored 27.22 points per game in the 1977/1978 season. The title came mostly because of the unforgettable performance during the last game of the regular season where the hero of our story had on his score sheet – 63.

Despite not winning the NBA ring in San Antonio’s jersey, George kept dedication to this team throughout 11 seasons. His best personal result came in the 1979/1980 campaign averaging 33.1 points.

Which team did George Gervin represent after San Antonio?

After parting ways with San Antonio, George agreed with Chicago Bulls ahead of the start of the 1985/1986 season.

Gervin was traded to Spurs, while forward David Greenwood went in the opposite direction. This campaign was supposed to be the last in our hero’s lucrative NBA career with him scoring 16.2 points per fixture. Being teammate with, by many, the best-ever basketball player Michael Jordan was a special experience for ex-Virginia’s small forward.

Approaching the end of his NBA career and quick transition to retirement was very hard to accept for Gervin, so he found an exit from a situation with drug and alcohol use. His lack of self-control is maybe one of the biggest issues George faced in his career on and off the court.

What did Gervin’s post-NBA career consist of?

Leaving the most popular national basketball league in the world was followed by George’s European odyssey. Signing with Banco Roma from Italy averaging 26.1 points per game in 1986/1987 was Gervin’s beginning on this continent. In the Spain league, the former 38-year-old Chicago player averaged 25.5 points representing team Manresa.

Finallytaking charge of San Antonio in 1992 was the start of his career as a coach.

Which team did George coach in the Big3 league?

Getting experience in NBA playing with and against some of the best basketball players in history was a valuable asset for George.

The decision to coach the Big3 team Ghost Ballers was a little bit surprising at first, but later it turned out to be a logical move for the former San Antonio star.

Ice Cube’s and Jeff Quatinetz’s project started in 2017, so Gervin had to pick players from Draft Pool. Ivan Johnson, Maurice Evans, and Marcus Banks became teammates of Mike Bibby and Ricky Davis.

Consequentially, Ghost Ballers ended the regular part of the season with a 4-4 score and later took third place in the league winning the game for third place against Power.


Which place did Gervin’s Baller take in the second season of this competition?

Following excellent results in the debut George’s season in Big3, he continued collaboration with Ghost Ballers in the next campaign.  Carlos BoozerLee Nailon, Marcus Banks, and Mario West were new team members, so the ambitions to win the title looked objective ahead of new challenges.

Unfortunately, the season finished with one win and seven losses which resulted in last place in the standings and huge George’s and the player’s disappointment.

How did George Gervin react to massive failure in the second Big3’s season?

Ghost Ballers didn’t have too much time to feel devastation over their last place in a previous campaign since the new edition of the competition was ready to start. The coaching staff prepared well for Draft Pool and reinforced the roster with three new names:  Mike TaylorAlex Scales, and Jamario Moon.

Carlos Boozer, Mike Bibby, and Ricky Davis stayed vital parts of the team that wanted to redeem and show what they are capable of.

Despite huge aspirations, a 4-4 score was not sufficient for qualifying to the Fireball’s Top 4 phase.

What occurred with Ghost Ballers in 2021 in Big3?

George Gervin stayed loyal to this team for the next campaign where spectators hoped performances and results could be better. In order to achieve that goal, Ballers brought Cheyne Gadson and Craig Smith as additions to the current squad consisting of Mike TaylorRicky Davis, and Chris Johnson.

Finishing the regular part of the season with 4 victories and 4 defeats was not enough for making it to the playoff where the best four teams compete.

What happened to Gervin’s team in the last Fireball’s campaign?

The bond between George and the team became so strong over the past four years, so the experienced coach extended his staying in Ballers for one more year. Darnell Jackson and Jermaine Taylor were brought as reinforcements because Gervin raised big hopes regarding new challenges in front of him.

Unfortunately, the result didn’t follow investments as Ghost Ballers recorded three wins and four losses. Finishing season at 8th place was certainly something George didn’t expect. Subsequently, it was clear to spectators and coaching staff that a change of tactic and strategy of play is needed in the roster.

Ghost Ballers coach didn’t manage to win a trophy in Fireball yet, but that fact doesn’t discourage him. His lucrative playing career maybe raised expectations from him as a coach. These ambitions didn’t become reality yet, but many years are in front of this experienced coach.

Big3 popularity is growing rapidly and catching the attention of passionate fans all around the world. Spectators like George because he is constantly showing dedication to every detail of the game. His commitment is an example of how someone can put their talents into service of sport. His numbers during his professional career don’t lie. What do you think? Tell us your opinion.

About the author

Marjan Nikolic

Passionate sports guy, coming from the eastern Europe where best basketball is played (yeah, I know you will not agree!). Dynamic 3x3 basket has special place in my heart.

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