Statements on George Mikan from the Boston Celtics
Former Celtic and L.A. Laker Head Coach Bill Sharman looks to shoot against NBA Legend George Mikan, who passed away Thursday, June 2, 2005.
"George was a giant among men in the early days of the NBA. He was one of the greatest players of all time. He was the first player in the league to really be an imposing and an intimidating figure on the court. He possessed a good touch and had the ability to go after the ball for a big man. Plus, he was very competitive and he really knew how to play and win in the game of basketball."
Bob Cousy: (1950-1963)
"George was an amazing ball player and man. In the early years of the NBA, he was the greatest impact player of that era. He was a big man who could do so many things on the court. He literally transcended the sport and he created such visibility. George had tremendous impact yet it was only witnessed by small audiences, which was a shame. In the 1940’s and 50’s, he was the marquee player and he lifted us out of the doldrums and made the league respectable. We (the Celtics teams I played on) always got up when the Lakers came to Boston to play us. We wanted to beat the best team and we would try our darndest but with George, Mikklesen (Vern), Pollard (Jim), Slater Martin and others on their team – they would beat us every time."
Tom Heinsohn: (1956-65)
"George Mikan is a true pioneer of the NBA. He was a giant of a man in more ways than one. He was the first really great big man in our league. And, he was one tough customer to contend with night in and night out."