Bob Pettit was drafted 2nd overall in 1954 by the Milwaukee Hawks. In his first season, he was the Rookie of the Year. In his second season, Bob was the league’s rebounding leader.
He spent his entire career with the Hawks transitioning with them to St. Louis in his second season. He was the league’s MVP (the NBA’s first) in 1956 and again in 1959. He was also the NBA’s scoring champion in both of those same seasons.
Pettit led the Hawks to the 1958 NBA Finals where they met the Boston Celtics. Bob earned a (then) playoff record 50 points in the Hawks’ 110-109 series-clinching Game 6 victory. Pettit’s 50 points stood alone as the most in a Finals close-out victory until it was matched last month by Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In each of his eleven seasons, Pettit made the All-Star team. Four time, he was the All-Star MVP. Ten All-NBA First Teams and one All-NBA Second Team honors, one for each season of his playing career.
Pettit was the first NBA player to score more than 20,000 points. He retired averaging 26.4 points per game and 16.2 rebounds.
You know who else averaged 26.4 points per game while playing in Atlanta? Dominique Wilkins. The guy with the statue out front. The one who played two decades later and is more recognizable by the sheer addition of televised games.
Which one was more integral to the Hawks? Who is more important to the franchise’s history? Who is the true face of the Hawks?
Well we can skew and say Pettit is the face of the St. Louis Hawks and Wilkins is the face of the Atlanta Hawks...but y’all don’t get off that easy.
Duke it out in the comments, or add another player and state your case.
Next up: Boston Celtics
[This time tomorrow, I will be airborne on my way to Salt lake City. What questions do you have for our newest platers and our young hopefuls?]
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