Pete Maravich was one of the first to celebrate the finesse of basketball. His father wanted to make him the perfect player, and at college, he set a record for eternity. Despite missing championships “Pistol Pete” is one of the best players in history – and still fought for years against demons. Until his tragic death.
Maravich’s unbelievable achievements in college alone let the mouths of the competition open. Of course, his coach allowed him above-average freedom. Louisiana’s offense was almost exclusively about Maravich.
What he knew to do with it is, however, until today unequaled – and will probably remain so. He scored 44.2 points during his three years as a Tiger. On average! For comparison: Austin Carr was the second-best college scorer of all time – barely ten points less (34.6).
On this day in 1977, Maravich scored 68 points against the New York Knicks. He was successful in 26 out of 43 field goal attempts and 16 of 19 free throws.
“It was a beautiful thing to watch for the fans here and you have to admire that kind of effort,” said Coach Red Holzman of the Knicks. “We didn’t play well, but he was phenomenal.”
“I could have scored more,” said Maravich. “I missed a lot of easy shots early in the game.”
Maravich scored 69 points while playing the college game for Louisiana State. Wilt Chamberlain, who is still “owning” the single-game record with 100 points against the Knicks in 1962, scored more than 68 points six times. Pistol Pete‘s performance was spectacular and the Knicks had a very bad shooting in the first half (18 of 46). Their best scorer was Bob McAdoo with 28 points.
“That man beat us by himself,” said McAdoo.