George "The Iceman" Gervin (born April 27, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan) played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs, and Chicago Bulls. Gervin finished with an NBA career average of 26.2 points per game. Gervin is regarded by most to be one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history.
Nicknamed Iceman for his cool demeanor on the court, Gervin was primarily known for his scoring talents. He led teams at both Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and Long Beach State.
His first NBA scoring crown came in 1978, when he narrowly edged David Thompson for the scoring title by seven hundredths of a point (27.22 to 27.15). Although Thompson came up with a memorable performance for the last game of the regular season, scoring 73 points, Gervin maintained his slight lead by scoring 63 points (including an NBA-record at the time 33 points in the second quarter) in a loss in his last game of the season. With the scoring crown in hand, he sat out some of the third, and all of the fourth quarter. Gervin went on to lead the NBA in scoring average three years in a row from 1978 to 1980 (with a high of 33.1 points per game in 1979-80), and again in 1982. Prior to Michael Jordan, Gervin had the most scoring titles of any guard in league history.
When he left the NBA, Gervin played for several years in Europe: in Italy for Banco Roma during the 1986-87 season, and in the Spanish National Basketball League for TDK Manresa team (he was 38 years old at the time). He averaged 25.5 points, 5 rebounds and 1.2 assists, and in his last match he scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to keep Manresa in the first Spanish division.
Gervin's trademark move was the finger roll, a shot in which one rolls the basketball along his or her fingertips. While others mimicked this style when shooting layups, Gervin was known to "finger roll" from as far as the free throw line.
Gervin was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame, had his #44 jersey retired by the Spurs and was named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players.
Gervin holds the distinction of being a former teammate of both Julius Erving (with the Squires) and Michael Jordan (with the Bulls).
He remains active in the San Antonio community with his seven organizations designed specifically for underprivileged kids, including the George Gervin Youth Center. Gervin is beloved in San Antonio and believes that his own experience as an underprivileged child in Michigan inspired him to get involved.