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Pete Maravich named to NBA’s 75th anniversary team

Pete Maravich (7) shows determination by the expression on his face as he drives past Los Angeles Laker Don Chaney
Pete Maravich (7) of the New Orleans Jazz shows determination by the expression on his face as he drives past Los Angeles Laker Don Chaney in NBA action in Los Angeles, Ca., on Sunday, March 21, 1977. Maravich scored on the play.
Lennox McLendon, Associated Press

In honor of the NBA’s 75th anniversary this year, the league is unveiling the 75 greatest players in NBA history.

Jazzman Pete Maravich joins John Stockton and Karl Malone in being named one of the 75 greatest players to ever play the game.

Maravich was one of the most fun players for fans to watch in the 1970s with his flashy style, behind-the-back and no-look passes and fancy dribbling. He made shots from long distance, shooting from deep range even though there was no 3-point line, and once scored 68 points, which certainly would be been more if there was a 3-point line. It still ranks 13th on the NBA’s list of highest individual scoring performances. He was a basketball pioneer, playing the game in a style that would fit in with the modern game.

Maravich was a five-time All-Star, a four-time All-NBA selection, and the 1976-77 NBA scoring champion. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. His jersey was retired by the Jazz, the Atlanta Hawks, the New Orleans Pelicans and LSU.

Maravich played for 10 seasons in the NBA, for the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans and Utah Jazz and the Boston Celtics. His late career was derailed by knee injuries and he played just 17 games for the Utah Jazz after the franchise moved to Salt Lake City. He died of a heart attack while playing pickup basketball at the age of 40.

The 75th anniversary team is selected by a panel of media and current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives.

The NBA did a similar list for its 50th anniversary in 1996, putting together the 50 greatest players in NBA history. Like the 75th anniversary team, a panel of media, players and executives selected the 50 members, which included three Jazz players — Stockton, Malone and Maravich. All 50 members made the 75th anniversary team.