1980 All-Star Game|
Gervin's MVP performance:
Both players -- slim, angular and fluid -- were raw youngsters when they entered the pro ranks. McGrady arrived fresh out of high school when the Raptors picked him in the first round of the 1997 Draft, while Gervin spent two years in college before the Virginia Squires of the ABA selected him in the first round of the 1972 draft.
McGrady, like Gervin, possesses a smoothness that makes everything appear easy. He once scored 41 points after being asleep in the locker room before the game, earning him the nickname "The Big Sleep" from teammates. Bigger than Gervin by 35 pounds, McGrady is an amazing athlete -- fast in the open court, quick in the half-court offense and explosive near the rim. His pass off the backboard followed by a windmill dunk in the 2002 All-Star Game was the game's most spectacular highlight.
McGrady has also become more proficient from the outside as his three-point shooting percentage has improved every season and is currently at .383, 30 points higher than his career average. By adding an effective outside shot, McGrady has become the league's leading scorer this season (30.1 ppg).
Gervin, who would be forced to hit the weight room in today's NBA, had an array of moves coupled with many different release points that allowed him to lead the league in scoring four times, including three consecutive seasons, 1978, 1979 and 1980.
Primarily a midrange shooter when he began his career, Gervin could go inside despite his slight frame. Famous for his silky finger roll, Gervin could coolly score, seemingly, at will and from anywhere, hence his nickname: the Iceman.