Atlanta Hawks set to retire “Pistol” Pete Maravich number in March
ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has announced the organization’s plans to retire the iconic “Pistol” Pete Maravich No. 44 jersey in a special halftime ceremony when the Hawks host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, March 3.
“Pete Maravich is one of the league’s all-time greats, an icon of the game and was a very important figure in pro basketball in Atlanta in the early 1970’s. New generations are discovering the wizardry of his game through YouTube and social media,” Hawks’ Chief Executive Officer Steve Koonin said. “We are proud to hang his No. 44 in the rafters at Philips Arena alongside our other franchise icons – Dominique Wilkins, Bob Pettit, Dikembe Mutombo, Lou Hudson and Ted Turner.”
Maravich, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987, was drafted third overall by Atlanta in the 1970 NBA Draft and played in 302 games with the Hawks from 1970-74, averaging 24.3 points, 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 37.2 minutes (.448 FG%, .809 FT%).
In 658 career games with the Hawks, New Orleans, Utah and Boston, he averaged 24.2 points, 5.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 37.0 minutes (.441 FG%, .820 FT%). A five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA performer (two-time first team and two-time second team), Maravich was also named to the All-Rookie First Team with the Hawks in 1971.
Maravich scored 50-or-more points six times in his career, and 40-or-more 35 times. He was the NBA scoring leader (31.1 ppg) in 1977 with New Orleans.
As a college player at Louisiana State University, he averaged 44.2 points per game (scoring 3,667 points, still the college record despite playing only three varsity seasons), leading the NCAA in scoring three consecutive years. A three-time AP All-American, Maravich was also the AP and Sporting News College Player of the Year in 1970.
His jersey is also retired in New Orleans, Utah and at LSU. Maravich died on January 5, 1988.
The Hawks Shop retail store gives a nod to the Pistol Pete era with its Heritage Collection in the signature Blue and Green motif. The line featuring retro swingman jerseys for Maravich and the entire Hawks roster, along with tees, socks, hats and more can be purchased here. For the March 3 contest vs. Cleveland, the Hawks and Chick-fil-A are offering a special ticket deal with the “Chick-fil-A Family Pack”, consisting game tickets and four Chick-fil-A meals starting at one low price. The deal is available now by going to Hawks.com/CFA.