Skip to main content

Pete Maravich shares who is the greatest basketball player of all time

Pistol Pete shared his opinion back in the day
Pistol Pete Maravich

Pistol Pete Maravich

Pete Maravich, better known as the "Pistol," is one of the most unappreciated and forgotten legends of the game. A player ahead of his time who unfortunately had his career and life cut short too early to this day holds the spot as one of the flashiest players the league has ever seen. But who did Pete view as the best player in the game back in the 1980s'?

The short-lived star duo

Pete Maravich is best known for his days with the Hawks and the Jazz, with which he notched 5 All-Star appearances, 4x All-NBA selections, and a scoring championship in 1977. That year The Pistol averaged 31.1 ppg, 5.4 apg, and 5.1 rpg, displaying scoring ability ahead of his time. There is no telling how much Maravich would have averaged in his prime if he had a three-point line at the time.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The three-point line was introduced for the last two seasons of Pete's career, but that was Maravich outside of his prime, struggling with injuries and staying on the court. It is pretty forgotten that Maravich played his final season in the league in 1980 with the Boston Celtics. Coincidently that was Larry Bird's rookie season.

Maravich didn't play much of a role, appearing in only 26 games and averaging 11.5 ppg. But that was already Bird's team, as he took them to the ECF in his rookie season while proving he would be one of the best players in the NBA for the coming decade.

Praising Bird

That was enough to convince Pete Maravich that he was simply the best in the world, and he shared the best description of "Larry Legend" in an interview after his retirement:

"I think he is the best, you know. Larry is not really the best rebounder in the NBA; he is not really the best passer, I don't think, he's not the best dribbler, he's not the best shooter, he's not the best scorer. He's just the very best."

Pete Maravich, The Universe Galaxy NBA

Bird was never considered the best at anything specific, but his all-around game and skill made him impossible to contain. The mix of shooting, size, basketball IQ, rebounding ability, and confidence made Larry a legend and one of the best players in NBA history, even in the eyes of Pistol Pete Maravich.

Isiah Thomas & Karl Malone

Isiah Thomas opens up about a surprising phone call he received from Karl Malone - "He almost started crying on the phone"

Isiah Thomas shares what happened when he got a surprising call from Karl Malone, who wanted to apologize for an incident that happened 30 years ago between the two legends

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson

"Then what happens? They’re gonna consider him a bust" — Vince Carter gave Zion Williamson helpful advice

Like Zion, Carter was also branded as primarily a dunker when he entered the league and everybody expected him to throw it down all the time.

Stone Cold Steve Austin celebrates with beer during WrestleMania in 2022 and LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009

"I've forgotten so many things but I remember that vividly" — Steve Austin on LeBron James taking photos of him via flip phone

Stone Cold didn't need to check his social media or the internet as he vividly remembers the King's support.

Michael Jordan in 2022 at the NBA 75th Anniversary Team induction ceremony

“You're a loser! You've always been a loser!” - how Michael Jordan trash-talked his teammate into retirement

When MJ said he doesn't care, he really meant it - even if his teammate once retired because of his cruel trash talk.

Kerry Kittles in 2021 at a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame press conference.

"Mostly they’re talking about scoring and scoring" — Kerry Kittles on today's NBA

Kerry Kittles doesn't like the lack of defense in today's game but admittedly would've loved to play in this era.

Former Kansas Jayhawks player Scot Pollard

“It’s a common expression here” - Scot Pollard revealed the code the Sacramento Kings used for too much dribbling

As it turned out, every single player on "The Greatest Show on the Court" Kings was about team basketball.