"Pistol" Pete Maravich is a basketball legend who will live on, whether it be by word of mouth, written word or even in online videos of him that have gone viral.
He will always be revered by basketball junkies and sports fans alike for his ostentatious dribbling, infinite shooting range and ghoulishly grand passing abilities.
Maravich's overall skill set is truly awe-inspiring, especially since he played during the 1970s. Most of the passes and dribbling moves he made were unthinkable at the time.
When he played at LSU, under the coaching of his tyrannical father Press Maravich, he averaged an abundant 44.2 points per game over three seasons.
The fact that he was a guard is impressive enough. Add in that he played before the three-point line was implemented and the achievement seems nearly impossible.
Opponents would've then had to step out further to guard him, allowing him to blast by them with his exquisite ball handling ability. He would either get fouled or drive and then kick the ball out to an open teammate, making his dizzying array of skills that much more threatening.
Had he ever gotten the chance to play for someone like John Wooden, he may have received sanctuary from his father, allowing him to strike a greater balance between scorer and facilitator.
This could have allowed him to become a more versatile athlete, and more importantly a more well-balanced human being.
Unfortunately for Maravich, having the blessing of playing with a gentler father figure-type like John Wooden wasn't the journey bestowed upon him.
He will likely go down as arguably the greatest college player of all time, simply because he reached such incredible statistical heights with such a mediocre cast.
Aside from his contributions being light years ahead of his time, dealing with a domineering father that eventually led to his alcoholic reclusiveness by his late teens, make his accomplishments tragically dichotomous.
On one hand, he will be venerated as one of the most gifted players to ever pick up a basketball, while contrarily, quite possibly being the most tortured player to ever play the game as well.
Although he never won a championship at LSU or in the NBA, realizing what he went through to become the player that he did may justify the absences of his aformentioned achievements, while making the legacy he left behind that much more endearing.
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