George Gervin Biography and Interesting Facts
George “The Ice Man” Gervin was one of the greatest scoring machines that the NBA has ever seen. He was nicknamed “Ice Man” because of his poise on the court and the way that he had a knack of hitting the “big shot” with the game on the line.
Gervin was an ABA legend well before making his mark in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs. He could hit open jumpers as if he was a machine. However, his claim to fame was when he could twist in the air hitting fade away jump shot and the no look reverse layups that nobody could defend. When the “Ice Man” got hot, nobody could cool him down.
Gervin was so good on the court, even his opponents were some of his fans. Back in the 1978 Eastern Conference semifinals, he drove to the hoop against the infamous Elvin Hayes. The “Ice Man” drove to the basket and hit a miraculous off balance one handed bank shot from a seemingly impossible angle. Those were just two of his 46 points that night. The awestruck Elvin Hayes reached out and gave Gervin a “high five”.
During George Gervin’s basketball career, his shooting hand rarely went cold. In 9 of 10 NBA seasons he averaged over 20 points per game in the NBA. His points per game didn’t wasn’t even the most exciting part of his game. When Gervin would step on the court, everyone knew that the game was about to heat up.
Toward the latter part of Gervin’s career, he developed a drug habit. In 1989 he overdosed on cocaine and and he checked himself into a Houston rehabilitation clinic when he realized the seriousness of his problem. Following successful drug treatment, Gervin turned to basketball to help him through the rehabilitation process. That winter, he played with the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) Quad City Thunder. At 37 years old, George averaged over 20 points per game.
Interesting Facts About George Gervin:
- George Gervin was a struggling bench player on his10th grade high school team. He was only 5′ “8 at the time. After summer break he came back and his coach was amazed when he showed up at 6′ 3”. He no longer struggled and became the starter after that.
- He had a brother named Derrick who played with the New Jersey Nets in 1989 to 1991.
- He played in 12 consecutive All Star Games.
- Gervin once went 407 straight game from November 23, 1978 to December 16, 1983 in which he scored 10 points or more.