On This Day In NBA History: August 12 -Of-Famer Is Born
Established in 1967 as an American Basketball Association (ABA) franchise, the Indiana Pacers were one of the more dominant ABA teams in the early 1970’s, as they won three titles (1970, 1972, 1973).
The main reason the Pacers were so successful during this time was because of Hall-of-Famer George McGinnis, who the Indiana Pacers drafted out of Indiana University in 1973.
On this day in 1950, George McGinnis was born in Harpersville, Alabama, located southeast of the city of Birmingham.
Attending Washington High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, McGinnis led his school to a 31-0 record and a state title in 1969. He also set an Indiana state tournament scoring record with 148 total points in his final four games.
Playing one year at Indiana University in college, McGinnis averaged 30.0 points, 14.7 rebounds and shot 46.0% from the floor before being drafted by the Indiana Pacers.
In his first NBA season with the Pacers, George McGinnis proved to be a key secondary scorer for the team and helped them seize their second ABA championship in the last three seasons. The following 1972-73 season, McGinnis stepped into the No. 1 role for the Indiana Pacers, averaging 27.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and shooting 49.5% from the floor in his first All-Star season.
The Pacers yet again went on to win the ABA Finals, claiming their second consecutive championship and third in the last four seasons.
Joining the Philadelphia 76ers in 1975, McGinnis played alongside fellow Hall-of-Famer Julius Erving and continued to be a double-double machine. In 11 total ABA/NBA seasons, McGinnis averaged a double-double over the course of a season seven different times.
George McGinnis joined the Denver Nuggets before the start of the 1978-79 season and then he re-acquired by the Indiana Pacers during the 1979-80 season for Hall-of-Famer Alex English.
Finishing out his career with the Pacers, the team that drafted him in 1971, McGinnis retired in 1982 at the age of 31.
From the 1972-73 season through the 1978-79 season, George McGinnis was named an All-Star six different times and he even ended up leading the ABA in scoring during the 1974-75 season with the Pacers after averaging 29.8 points per game.
A six-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA talent, two-time All-ABA talent, two-time ABA Champion and the 1974-75 ABA Most Valuable Player, George McGinnis was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall-of-Fame on September 8, 2017.
In regards to Indiana Pacers team lore, McGinnis spent seven total season with the team and ranks seventh all-time in scoring (9,545 points), fifth in rebounds (5,219 rebounds), second in free-throw attempts (3,433 attempts), second in points per game (19.6 points per game), second in rebounds per game (10.7 rebounds per game) and third in player efficiency rating (19.9).
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