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“Pistol Pete Maravich could shoot from 35 feet out, but if I defend that he’ll get a layup”: Julius Erving describes his former teammate and NBA 75 Team member’s dominant offensive skillset

Joe Viju

“Pistol Pete Maravich is the most skilled player I ever saw”: Julius Erving pays his respects to former teammate Pete Maravich

Ex-NBA superstar Julius Erving recently gives his flowers to ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich, adding that he is the skilled player he ever saw.

Pistol Pete Maravich’s style of play was one you would pay for. The 5x All-Star was showtime before showtime. In addition, he was a bonafide bucket, averaging 24.8 points per game. In fact, the guard even won a scoring title in 1977.

Maravich was taken third overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1970 NBA draft, where he quickly became a star in the league. He played in 10 seasons with the Hawks and Boston Celtics where he racked up 5 All-Star selections and 4x All-NBA team nods.

During his time with the Hawks, he shared the court with one Julius Erving. As a result, he was able to see Pistol Pete’s talent first-hand. In Dr. J’s autobiography, he was able to give an interesting breakdown of Pistol Pete’s skills and why Pete was the greatest player he ever saw. So, what exactly did he say? Read on and find out….

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Julius Erving explains what made Pistol Pete Maravich stand out when compared to other players.

Julius Erving, a.k.a Dr. J, is one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen. In addition, his athleticism and dunking ability was something we had never seen before. The 16x All-Star was teammates with Pistol Pete Maravich during his brief tenure with the Atlanta Hawks.

In his autobiography, Dr. J talks about the greatness of Pistol Pete –

“He’s got the kind of shooting range that I’ve never seen before. He can shoot it consistently out of thirty-five feet, but if I’m going to go out there and defend that, then he’ll cross me up on the dribble and get a layup or a dunk.”

“Pete has some great ups, and while he’s not known for getting to the rim. He throws some nice dunks down in our games, his hair flapping in the hot Georgia air. One of the things that makes Pete so great is his hang time, and no one talks about that. He can leave the floor and sort of stay up there long enough to fake one way and then pass another.”

The 4x MVP then goes on to talk about the various 1v1 games they had in the summer practice, adding that the loser had to pay for lunch –

“Playing one-on-one with Pete is an experience. We play some fierce games that summer, one-on-one battles that go for an hour after practice. Some of the guys even come out to watch after they’ve showered. Pete can get anywhere on the floor with his dribble, and I can’t stop.”

“But he can’t keep me from penetrating either. We play every day after practice, and I think we split the bills for those dinners about in half. Pete Maravich is the most skilled basketball player I’ve ever seen.”

Unfortunately, the duo couldn’t share the court together, with Erving moving to an ABA team Virginia Squires. Meanwhile, Pistol Pete stayed with the Hawks for a few more seasons. Despite being individually exceptional, Pete was never able to conjure up any sort of team success.

The duo playing together for the Atlanta Hawks still remains to be one of the biggest what-ifs in basketball history. However, there is no doubt that they would have set the league on fire.

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Pistol Pete Maravich died early of a heart attack at the age of 40 after collapsing at a pickup game. Nevertheless, he is still remembered today as one of the flashiest and most fun players to watch in the history of the game.

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