I was a big Maravich fan at the time too. He had as much a combination of talent and skills as any player who ever played the game. Today because of the three point line he'd be more valuable.kaltenecker wrote:Yes, he was flamboyant and wasn't the most efficient guard from the 60s/70s. What would you expect from a player with immense offensive talent and very few teammates throughout his career that deserved the rock? I believe that this is the main reason that Pete isn't in the top 10 guards of all time. From the start of his career, Pete had to deal with the traditional-minded Hawks who weren't eager to cash in Maravich's full potential; however, teammates like Lou Hudson and Walt Bellamy eased this detriment. Pete's luck with teammates fell off until his short stint with the Celtics when he was traded to the Jazz. There he was subject to horrible teammates while having free range to his offensive innovations. Another aspect of his game that could be improved is his defense. In retrospect, he was decades before his time in this respect. Today you see every high-scoring guard playing little to no defense.
Off-topic but I wanted to include: I've been a huge Pistol Pete fan my whole life and I find every facet of his game intriguing. His work on the foundation of modern-day playmaking and shot-creating was enormous. The era in which he played is equally interesting. In my personal opinion, I believe that the 1970s was the best competitive era for NBA basketball. No other decade has seen the parity that the 70s did.
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But he simply didn't make his teammates better. Despite his incredible ballhandling and passing skills he never averaged as much as seven assists a game. Even on poor teams he should have done a lot better.
I think the Hawks management at the time simply felt Pete wasn't a winner. After joining a team that was one of the best teams in the league the three previous years, Pete's Atlanta teams had losing records three our of his four years there.
It wasn't like the Hawks were trash apart from Maravich. He simply didn't take them to the next level like was predicted when he entered the league. In fact, the Hawks went backwards.
Too bad. If there's a category for players with enormous talent and skills but never reaching their potential, Pete is certainly in the top five.