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The dynamic duo that could’ve been

I was robbed. If not for league politics, I would’ve grown up watching Pistol Pete Maravich and Dr. J play for my hometown Atlanta Hawks. Instead I got Armond Hill and John Drew.

Said Julius Erving, “I have never looked forward to a basketball season as much as this one with the Hawks.”

Maravich and Erving played just three exhibition games together, and in the last one the Pistol dished out 19 assists and the Doctor scored 32 points. The  ’73 Hawks also featured six-time All-Star Lou Hudson future Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy.

But it all fell apart when a U.S. District court judge ordered Erving to fulfill his contract with the ABA’s Virginia Squires. Prior to the ’74 season, the Hawks dealt Maravich to the New Orleans Jazz. And save for the Dominique Wilkins era, pro basketball has largely been an afterthought in Atlanta.

“He’s so fantastic we’d integrate to get him” — Joe Anzivino, promotion director of the Harlem Globetrotters, after seeing Maravich play for LSU.


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