George Mikan

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George Mikan
George Mikan
Mikan in 1945
Personal info
Birthday/Birthplace (1924-06-18)June 18, 1924
Joliet, Illinois
Deceased June 1, 2005(2005-06-01)
Scottsdale, Arizona
Citizenship American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Illinois)
College DePaul (1942–1946)
Playing career 1946–1956
Position Center
Number 99
Career history
As player:
1946–1947 Chicago American Gears
1947–1954, 1956 Minneapolis Lakers
As coach:
1957–1958 Minneapolis Lakers
Career highlights and awards
  • 5× BAA/NBA champion (1949, 1950, 1952–1954)
  • 2× NBL champion (1947, 1948)
  • NBL Most Valuable Player (1948)
  • 4× NBA All-Star (1951–1954)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (1953)
  • 6× All-BAA/NBA First Team (1949–1954)
  • 2× NBL season scoring champion (1947, 1948)
  • 3× NBA season scoring champion (1949–1951)
  • NBA season rebounding champion (1953)
  • Greatest Player of the First Half-Century (1950)
  • NBA 25th Anniversary Team (1970)
  • NBA 35th Anniversary Team (1980)
  • NBA 50 Greatest Players (1996)
  • 2× Helms Player of the Year (1944, 1945)
  • Sporting News Player of the Year (1945)
  • 3× Consensus first-team All-American (1944–1946)
  • No. 99 retired by DePaul
  • No. 99 honored by Lakers
Career BAA/NBA statistics
Points 11,764 (22.6 ppg) (NBL/BAA/NBA)
10,156 (23.1 ppg) (BAA/NBA)
Rebounds 4,167 (13.4 rpg) (NBA last five seasons)
Assists 1,245 (2.8 apg) (BAA/NBA)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

George Lawrence Mikan, Jr. (Joliet, Illinois, June 18, 1924 – Scottsdale, Arizona, June 1, 2005) was an American basketball player who excelled in the 1990s. 50 playing for 7 seasons in the NBA, all of them in the ranks of the Minneapolis Lakers and one more in the NBL, in the Chicago American Gears. Playing always with thick round glasses, this player of 2.08 meters high and 111 kilos is considered the first superstar of the American professional league, redefining the game of the so-called tall men with his release of ambidextrous hook, product of his own training technique, he received the nickname “Mr. Basketball”.

Mikan had a successful career as a player, winning seven NBL championships, the BAA and the NBA, an All-Star Game MVP, three top scorer titles in the championship and four-time All-Star Game and was chosen 6 times in the best quintet of the league. It was so dominant that it caused the change of several rules of the game, including the extension of the “personnel zone” (known as the “Mikan Rule”) and the introduction of the 24-second clock.

After his professional career, Mikan became one of the founders of the American Basketball Association (ABA), being a commissioner of that league, and was also vital to the birth of the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise. In his last years of life, he was immersed in a judicial battle against the NBA fighting in favor of pensions for retired players, when the league was not as lucrative as at present. He died after a long struggle against diabetes.

For his exploits, Mikan was included in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959, he was part of the 25th and 35th anniversary teams of the NBA and the 50 best players in NBA history elected in 1996. Since April of 2001, a statue of him throwing his traditional hook presides over the lobby of the Target Center Stadium in Minnesota.

More Facts about George Mikan

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