George Gervin has played with a laundry list of basketball’s greatest players ever. These include the likes of Dr. J and ‘Air’ Michael Jordan.
NBA nicknames have come and they’ve gone, but there’s something about ‘Iceman’ that makes it stand out. The Spurs legend began his basketball career earlier than usual for his time after dropping out in his second year of college.
While NBA teams were interested in him, he was ultimately drafted by the Virginia Squires of the ABA. This was when he had the opportunity of a lifetime – playing and developing his basketball skills with Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving.
The Iceman says that playing with Erving helped him on the steep learning curve of professional basketball. In an essence, Dr. J was the first person to ‘bust his a**’ – as Q&D like to put it.
What a lot of old-timers have forgotten about Gervin’s NBA career is the manner in which it ended. The Iceman was acquired by the Chicago Bulls in 1985-86, and he played the entire 82-game season for them.
George Gervin says he should’ve played longer when Michael Jordan hung 63 on the Celtics
Gervin was on the bench for much of Michael Jordan’s 63-point game at the Boston Garden. The Bulls took the game to triple-overtime, but despite his volume scoring, Jordan ran out of gas.
The Bulls couldn’t hurdle themselves over the finish line, losing the game 135-131 because no one save Jordan could hit a shot, while Jordan was being hounded by a top-3 team ever. And the Iceman didn’t like being on the sidelines during this intense playoff action:
“I don’t know how I stayed on the bench that long. I mean, you know, he’s gonna get 63, but you know, passing the ball a couple of times. So that’s how I started with Dr. J and I finished with Mike.”
“Doc probably appreciated me a lot more than Mike, cuz I was on my way out and Mike was coming in and really trying to show his presence. He probably looked at me a little differently.”