George Gervin Biography – San Antonio Spurs

George Gervin Biography and Interesting Facts

George “The Ice Man” Gervin was one of the greatest scoring machines the NBA has ever seen. He was nicknamed “Iceman” for his poise on the court and the way he had the ability to hit the “big shot” with the game on the line.

Gervin was an ABA legend long before he made his mark in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs. He could hit open shots like he was a machine. His claim to fame, however, was when he could spin in the air hitting a fading jump shot and layups without looking back that no one could defend. When the “Iceman” got hot, no one could cool him down.

Gervin was so good on the court that even his opponents were some of his fans. In the 1978 Eastern Conference semifinals, he drove to the rim against the infamous Elvin Hayes. The “Iceman” drove to the basket and hit a miraculous one-handed off-balance shot from a seemingly impossible angle. Those were just two of his 46 points that night. The astonished Elvin Hayes walked over and gave Gervin a high five.

During George Gervin’s basketball career, his shooting hand rarely got cold. In 9 of 10 NBA seasons he averaged over 20 points per game in the NBA. His points per game weren’t even the most exciting part of his game. When Gervin stepped onto the court, everyone knew the game was about to heat up.

Towards the latter part of Gervin’s career, he developed a drug habit. In 1989 he overdosed on cocaine and checked himself into a rehab clinic in Houston when he realized the severity of his problem. After successful drug treatment, Gervin turned to basketball to help him through the rehabilitation process. That winter, he played with the Quad City Thunder of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). At 37, George averaged over 20 points per game.

Interesting Facts About George Gervin:

  • George Gervin was a struggling bench player on his tenth grade high school team. He was only 5′”8 at the time. After summer break he returned and his trainer was surprised when he showed up at 6’3″. He was out of trouble and became a starter after that.
  • He had a brother named Derrick who played for the New Jersey Nets from 1989 to 1991.
  • He played in 12 consecutive All Star Games.
  • Gervin once had 407 consecutive games from November 23, 1978 to December 16, 1983 in which he scored 10 or more points.