It's hard to believe today, but until the 1940s basketball was considered a sport better suited to shorter men than to taller, less nimble players. George Mikan, a 6-10 giant of a man who possessed superior coordination and a fierce competitive spirit, was one of the prototypes for the dominating tall players of later decades. Towering over most of his competitors, he was one of the most effective scorers of his day, averaging 22.6 points over a professional career that lasted nine years -- one with the Chicago American Gears and eight with the Minneapolis Lakers. more...
NBAE/Getty Images (left) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images (right)
Full Name: George Lawrence Mikan Jr. Born: 6/18/24 in Joliet, Ill. Died: 6/1/05 in Scottsdale, Ariz. High School: Joliet (Ill.) Catholic; Quigley Prep (Chicago) College: DePaul Transactions: Signed with National Basketball League's Chicago Gears, 3/16/46; Gears entered Professional Basketball League of America, 1947; PBLA disbanded, 11/13/47; Mikan's rights awarded to NBL's Minneapolis Lakers, 11/17/47; Minneapolis transferred to Basketball Association of America, 1948; Minneapolis became part of NBA upon merger of BAA and NBL, 1949.
Height: 6-10 Weight: 245 lbs. Honors: Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1959); NBA champion (1950, '52, '53, '54); Five-time All-NBA First Team (1950-54); Four-time NBA All-Star (1951-54); All-Star MVP (1953); One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). NBL Honors: NBL champion (1947, '48); NBL MVP (1948); All-NBL First Team (1947, '48). BAA Honors: BAA champion (1949); All-BAA First Team (1949).