Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Automatic Pistol

The picture on the previous post was Pete Maravich about to score on a way out of defensive position Walt Frazier.

Now Frazier is a hero for life from where I sit on the Stoop. His legacy is beyond the reach of anyone attempting to tarnish it.

But the picture did bring back a awful childhood memory: the night the Pistol shot up the Knicks for 68 points.

It was a Friday night. I saw the whole thing on television (channel 9). Remember, back then, in Brooklyn, only Knick road games were televised, and only some of them actually were. That's why, for Knick fans old enough to remember, when the playoffs started, and the games would be televised nationally, you got to see the Knicks play at home and it was an enormous thrill to see them on television in the home white uniforms.

Anyway, this Friday night, the Pistol was unstoppable. Jump shots, drives, left- handed shots, right-handed hook shots, one shot where he just said "f*ck it everything else has been too easy," so Pistol just flung the ball over his head while not facing the basket. I will let you guess whether it went in or not. He also pulled a Meadowlark Lemon in this game by being ahead of the field and right when he was going to take a layup, he stopped short and let the defender fly by and then gently layed the ball in the basket.

First Frazier tried to cover Pistol. Then Meminger. The Pearl had a brief twirl. Than Tickey (Beast of) Burden. Then Butch Beard, who grew one in an attempt to not get recognized from the abuse Pistol dished out.

As a 10 year- old kid, it was traumatic to see my guy (Clyde) and my team (NY Knicks) being abused by Pistol. The only thing that would be as scary nowadays would be if a young child stumbled upon Olbermann & Madow babbling away.

Anyway, two things stand out in memory: (1) Pistol scored 68 points and there was NO THREE POINT rule in the NBA in 1977; and (2) Pistol fouled out with two offensive fouls in the last couple of minutes.

Pistol Pete tragically passed away 20 years ago. But he lives on, especially to anyone who watched him on that night of nights.

Below is a link where you can see each of Pistols 68 points.

Pistol Pete MARAVICH 68 Point Game Shot-by-Shot

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