The Atlanta Hawks will be retiring the jersey of New Orleans / Utah Jazz star “Pistol” Pete Maravich tonight. I think that’s pretty awesome. It will be the Hawks 6th retired jersey put up in the rafters; the ones already up there are #9 Bob Pettit, #21 Dominique Wilkins, #23 Lou Hudson, #55 Dikembe Mutombo, and billionaire owner Ted Turner.
The @ATLHawks will retire "Pistol Pete" Maravich's jersey tomorrow night. #InsidetheNBA with a back at one of the greatest guards. pic.twitter.com/K27UGmNnHk— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 3, 2017
"He was the real Showtime." @MagicJohnson on "Pistol" Pete (Maravich's #44 @ATLHawks jersey will be raised to the rafters tonight) pic.twitter.com/WElhCNxFBP— NBA History (@NBAHistory) March 3, 2017
Maravich’s #44 will be up there. And it is deserved. The Pistol was drafted by the Hawks in the 1970 NBA Draft (Pick #3, selected behind Bob Lanier and Rudy Tomjanovich). And Maravich played his first four seasons in Atlanta, and finished with 302 games under his belt. During his time there he dropped 24.3 ppg, 5.6 apg, 4.2 rpg, 1.5 spg, and was a two-time All-Star. He was also on the All-Rookie team, because duh. A 23 / 4 / 4 rookie season is pretty awesome.
While you can argue that he had better years with the Jazz, his time with the Hawks was very impressive. This will be the third NBA franchise to retire his number, and the second one he played for. His jersey is retired by the Utah Jazz, the team that he played for in both Utah and New Orleans. And his jersey is retired by the New Orleans Pelicans, who used to be the New Orleans Hornets, who used to be the Charlotte Hornets franchise. (The current Charlotte Hornets used to be the Charlotte Bobcats.) Pete did not play for the Hornets or Pelicans, but I do think it’s okay that the NBA team in New Orleans gets to recognize him there.
The Pistol also played with the Boston Celtics, but he was not the showstopper he used to be.