Utah Jazz: The Untold Story of the Statue in Honor of the House of Maravich

Baton Rouge, Los Angeles – Played all 17 games for a team Utah Jazz After the franchise moved to Salt Lake City.

Each was played during the 1979-80 season, by Maravec House It was unceremoniously abdicated by Jazz in January 1980, after his diseased knees stole the stage from a man who made magic happen whenever the ball was in his hands.

But the retired Jazz’s No. 7 Pete Revolver jersey, disrespects much for the time he spent in Utah and much more for the five seasons he played for the team from 1974 to 1979, before he moved from New Orleans.

Even the New Orleans Pelicans retired in seventh, too, not because he played a game for the franchise, which originated in Charlotte, but instead in recognition of their time dazzling in the Big Easy. The 44th-placed Atlanta Hawks have also retired, referring to the first four seasons of his NBA career.

Now LSU, the school where his basketball brilliance blossomed, has carried Pete’s No. 23 revolver in bronze.

A statue of Maravić in his Tigers uniform was unveiled July 25, with only enough time to spare before pre-season camp opens Thursday for the SEC football program – the 2019 National Champions – who live in a land where football has long been king.

Football may remain that way forever in Louisiana, but basketball is on the map too, something that couldn’t be said before Maravić first entered campus. He created a buzz about the game that didn’t exist before his arrival, and now – five and a half decades later – there is a statue to prove it.

The man who penned the work, Brian Hanlon, has sculpted notable figures from across the history of American sports.

Georgetown coach John Thompson, Temple coach John Chaney and UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian. Keith Jackson in Rose Bowl. Charles Barclay in Auburn. Dominic Wilkins, Bobby Cox and Evander Holyfield in Atlanta. Jim Brown and Ernie Davis in Syracuse.

Jackie Maravich poses with her two sons, Josh Maravich and Jason Maravich, and sculptor Brian Hanlon during the ceremony to unveil the new Pete Maravich statue at the Pete Maravich Collection Center in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles.

Hanlon’s list goes on and on, including former LSU basketball coach Skip Bertman, the late LSU Heisman Cup winner Billy Cannon, basketball great Bob Pettit – captured in an iconic moment in the middle of the dunk – Shaquille O’Neal.

But when Hanlon was commissioned to produce a statue of Maravich, the subject matter had special meaning for the classically trained and internationally known sculptor Toms River, NJ.

Hanlon, who was named Sports Rodin, was reported by The New York Times in 2018 for his work in the sports entertainment sector.

“Your dream would be to score (44.2) points per game,” Hanlon added, referring to Maravić’s average career score at LSU. “But a very inspiring gentleman, I think, is off the field as well. … If young people take the time to read about him, they will see more than just statistics.”

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Maravich scored 3,667 points in three years at LSU, averaging 44.2 points per game starting in the 1967-68 season.

His totals still stand as school and NCAA records today, despite the then-ban on freshman basketball and the absence of a 3-point streak and shooting clock during Maravec’s college career.

Hanlon originally had one look to photograph a 6-foot-5 marksman.

“Why don’t you sculpt him shoot?” said Hanlon, who is also the official lead sculptor for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “I mean, this is the greatest shooter in the history of the game.”

My sons Maravich, Jason and Josh, had a different idea.

They said: No. My dad was the “show”. You have to carve him throwing the ball behind his back. “

So Hanlon did just that, capturing one of Maravic’s most memorable passing moves — moving the ball with his right hand behind his back — for a statue that wasn’t unveiled until six years after it was unanimously approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Too late in the eyes of some, she now stands alongside the existing statues of O’Neill and Pettit near LSU Square named after Maravich.

The Louisiana legislature renamed the venue the Pete Maravich Pool Center in 1988, shortly after Maravich, who had previously had heart problems, died playing mini basketball in Pasadena, California.

An LSU official earlier this year cited uncertainty about future plaza renovation plans and the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for delays in placing and unveiling the statue.

Others believe that the fact that Maravich did not graduate from LSU played a role.

“It kills me. It kills me,” Hanlon said of that which took so long.

“Pete was completely misunderstood because as a young man he had a learning disability, and those things weren’t recognized at the time. So, for it to be, I think, insulting because he wasn’t able to read like you and I—I mean, He was reading backwards; he has dyslexia – that’s a bit unfair.”

For several years, the statue resided outdoors—because of the weather, indifferent and invisible to people’s eyes—in a New Orleans area storage facility.

Complicating matters further, the rear of its base was damaged upon delivery at LSU.

“For many different reasons it was just put on hold, and by the time we were ready to install it…we discovered it was not very professionally stocked,” Hanlon said.

Hanlon spent 12 hours on a ladder doing repairs, with help, the night before the reveal.

He’s glad, though, to finally be able to share what he created with everyone who passes by on the LSU campus.

“His basketball prowess — I don’t know if you can say a genius, but — it’s certainly fantastic, on the level of all the greats of all time,” Hanlon said. “So this is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

work body

Maravich—who was inducted in 1987 into the Naismith Hall of Fame—was a three-time winner of the 1970 Naismith Award, Sporting News Player of the Year and a three-time All-American.


Pete Maravich of the Utah Jazz climbed for two in Salt Lake City during the 1979 season.

Burt Steele, news agency

He was also a five-time NBA All-Star, including two of his seasons with the Hawks and three seasons with the Jazz before they moved from New Orleans to Utah, as with Pettit and O’Neal, All-Time Teams on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary.

Maravec finished his 658-game NBA career in the regular season at 24.2 points per game, including 25.2 points per inch over 330 games with the Jazz and 31.1 points per player in 1976-1977—his third season in New Orleans, one In which he also averaged 41.7 minutes per game.

Pete’s pistol simply loved to play, no matter how much the knees hurt.

But after two surgeries, he experienced pain, and after moving to Salt Lake City, he finally outgrew it. He averaged 17.1 points and just 30.7 minutes in 17 games he played for Utah, all played at Salt Palace, and all came off the bench.

Maravec couldn’t train near the end, so he was a coach Tom Neslik He hasn’t played in his last 20 games while he was still on the jazz list.

The body had failed at Maravich, and with so much around him disintegrating, Pistol Pete was waived by the then Utah General Manager. Frank Leiden.

It was the final step in a jazz career for a man who, as former LSU coach Dale Brown suggested before the statue was revealed, lived a complicated life.

Brown remembered speaking with Maravich after he was asked to speak to his then-teams around the time of their 1987 game against Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

Brown, who coached LSU from 1972-1997 and took over the man who coached Pistol Pete, Maravich’s own father, said Press Maravich.


Dale Brown, former LSU basketball coach, addresses the crowd during the ceremony to unveil the new Pete Maravich statue at the Pete Maravich Collection Center in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles.

“(Pete Maravich) got up and said, ‘Guys, I see that many of you are all Americans. You will be in the same situation as I am.’ He said, ‘As long as we learn, we learn about wealth and we will do it, we will.’ Frustrated. I was disappointed. I was confused. He said, “Don’t let all this society … change your purpose in life.”

While sharing that anecdote, Brown moves into a conversation he had with Pistol Pete.

“He sat in the locker room that night—he was a quiet guy—and he said to me, ‘Coach, I have a question to ask you. I even thought of suicide once. How in the world did we get off the track?’ said Brown. , “I can’t give her the exact answer, Pete. But I can give you an answer about the dictionary.”

A response similar to Dale Brown.

“That’s what happened to us,” Brown said.

In 1806 the first ever dictionary was printed, under the word ‘success’, which read ‘lucky, happy, kind,’ and ‘prosperous.’ Now, no matter what year Pete and I were talking about, the dictionary now describes success as ‘achievement’. Wealth, fame, rank, and power.”

left early

Maravec has achieved a lot over the years, but how much he enjoyed it will forever be anyone’s best guess.

His career, like his, has really been very short.

The Boston Celtics picked him for a playoff later in 1980, near the end of NBA rookie Larry Bird’s season. But after playing 26 regular season games in green and nine in the post-season, Maravic retired.


LSU’s former great Pete Maravich’s widow, Jackie Maravich, addresses the crowd during the ceremony to unveil the new Pete Maravich statue at the Pete Maravich Collection Center in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles.

The show was closed, but not forgotten.

“Over the course of Pete’s life, many have described him as an artist, entertainer, showman, basketball killer, magician, genius, or one-of-a-kind,” his widow Jackie said before unveiling the statue in Baton Rouge.

“Every time a family member meets someone and finds out that Pete was nearby, they instantly smile and have a story about the memory of watching Pete play… and the excitement of seeing him perform his magic with basketball.”

Someone who looks a lot like a sculptor from Jersey named Brian Hanlon.

“My first love was basketball when I was a kid, and my HYAA community basketball nickname was ‘Pitt Pistol,’” said Hanlon, who grew up in Holmdale, New Jersey. “I scored… like, 20 seconds into the game, so I got Its nickname is ‘Pett Pistol.’

Tim Buckley covered Utah Jazz for Deseret News from 1999-2011. He is now the editor of the Tiger Rag website – tigerrag.com – A monthly magazine covering LSU sports in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


Jackie Maravich, with her sons Josh Maravich and Jason Maravich, pull the paper to reveal the new Pete Maravich statue at the Pete Maravich Gathering Center in Baton Rouge, La.