George Gervin biography and interesting facts
George “The Ice Man” Gervin was one of the greatest scoring machines the NBA had ever seen. He was nicknamed “Ice Man” because of his balance on the court and his knack for hitting the “big shot” with the game in play.
Gervin was an ABA legend long before he made his mark in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs. He could hit open riders like he was a machine. However, his claim to fame was when he could twist in the air, hit the fade jump shot and lookless reverse layups that no one could defend. When the “Ice Man” got hot, no one could cool him down.
Gervin was so good on the pitch, even his opponents were his fans. Returning in the 1978 Eastern Conference semifinals, he led the hoop against the infamous Elvin Hayes. The “Ice Man” walked over to the basket and hit a miraculous one-handed off-balance bank shot from a seemingly impossible angle. Those were just two of his 46 points that night. Elvin Hayes, amazed, reached out and gave Gervin a “high five.”
During George Gervin’s basketball career, his shooting hand was rarely cold. In 9 of the 10 NBA seasons, he has averaged over 20 points per game in the NBA. His points per game weren’t even the most exciting part of his game. When Gervin stepped onto the pitch, everyone knew the game was going to heat up.
Towards the end of Gervin’s career, he developed an addiction to drugs. In 1989, he overdosed on cocaine and enrolled in a Houston rehab clinic when he realized the severity of his problem. After successful drug treatment, Gervin turned to basketball to help him with the rehabilitation process. That winter he played with the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) Quad City Thunder. At 37, George averaged over 20 points per game.
Interesting facts about George Gervin:
- George Gervin was a struggling bench player on his Grade 10 team. He was only 5’8 at the time. After summer vacation he came back and his coach was amazed when he showed up at 6’3. He no longer struggled and subsequently became the starter.
- He had a brother named Derrick who played with the New Jersey Nets from 1989 to 1991.
- He played in 12 consecutive All Star Games.
- Gervin has already played 407 consecutive games from November 23, 1978 to December 16, 1983 in which he scored 10 points or more.