Hall of Fame guard Pete Maravich wasn’t in the league for a long time when compared to the length of NBA careers today. The 1976-77 scoring champion would play 10 seasons in the league before retiring at the end of the 1979-1980 season due to persistent injuries.
However, anybody you ask about “Pistol” Pete says the same thing about him.
He was ahead of his time.
This was the case earlier this month, as Hall of Fame guard Gail Goodrich appeared on the Hoop du Jour podcast with host Peter Vecsey. During the episode, Goodrich names Maravich as the player who he’s glad he didn’t have to face in the 3-point era.
“It’s really funny. Now you have the 3-point shot. Thank God we didn’t have the 3-point shot then, with Pete,” Goodrich starts.
Gail Goodrich on Pistol Pete: "Thank god we didn't have the 3-point shot then!"
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“You know, he could shoot it. He never shot a great percentage, but he could get his own shot. He was very, very difficult to guard. He could pass. He was flamboyant. He really brought basketball to another level in the South.”
There isn’t an NBA fan in the world that hasn’t wondered how their favorite players would have fared in different eras. For some, the question is one of how a throwback center like Shaquille O’Neal might have dominated in the small-ball era. For others, the question is one of how a player like Kevin Garnett would look in the current, semi-positionless era.
For Goodrich and Vecsey, at least, the question is how players from before the 1979-80 season would have done if they had 3-pointers back then.
Maravich, who went 10-15 from 3-point range in the first season that 3-pointers were recorded, is as good an answer as any.