busy days lately, with lots of non-bloggable heavy-duty soc-science chairstuff. here's a diversion, based on a late-night interview with one of the authors of a new pete maravich biography. in my view, the pistol was one of the more intriguing sports figures of the 1970s.
why not mark the start of hoops season with a clip from espnu's greatest college basketball player of all time?
- put up absurd, ridiculous, silly numbers, averaging over 44 points per game over four years at lsu and over 24 in a long nba career.
- the bulk of these points came on long-range picture-perfect jumpers.
- wore floppy socks and a floppy mop o' hair, later augmented by a classic 70s pornstache.
- tried yoga, hinduism, ufos, macrobioticism, and, ultimately, serious christianity.
- had an insane assortment of pre-magic johnson don't try this at home, kids passes (check out the video exchange with red auerbach in the clip below).
- never played on a great team.
- but almost played with julius erving. they hooked up for 10 glorious exhibition games before the good doctor moved on to another league. dang.
- told a pennsylvania reporter that he "didn't want to be 40 and die of a heart attack."
- died at 40 of a heart attack, while playing pick-up basketball.
- struck many as melancholy, even in his greatest moments. he may not have been tortured by his talent, but he couldn't (or wouldn't) enjoy his successes.