'Pistol Pete' Was Basketball's Original 'Showtime'

"Pete Maravich was Showtime before there was Showtime. The only problem with Pete Maravich was the four other guys; he just didn't relate to the rest of the team. A team was Pete Maravich and anybody who was inbounding to him," says columnist Robert Lipsyte on ESPN Classic's SportsCentury series.

The show. Pete Maravich lived for it. Basketball fans died to see it. While Pistol Pete is the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer, it was his game show that dazzled, as he displayed his creative genius, the kind of sleight-of-hand artistry that left crowds gasping.

A skinny white guard from LSU, he was a Harlem Globetrotter in skill and spirit, if not uniform.

Pete Maravich averaged 24.2 points during his 10 NBA seasons.
Passes flew behind his back and backwards over his shoulder, eyes looking one way and the ball heading another. His deft dribble often twisted defenders onto their heels, the ball flashing smoothly between his legs, behind his back and through tight openings. Shots came from all angles and distances.

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