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November 24, 2008
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November 24, 2008

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FROM SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
DECEMBER 1, 1969

Pete Maravich holds nearly every major NCAA scoring record, including highest career average (44.2), and was renowned for his flashy ball handling and passing. As a senior at LSU, Pistol Pete told SI's Curry Kirkpatrick why he loved being a showman.

I GUESS THERE are several tons of ham in me—that must be obvious—and I recognized early that basketball, more than any other team game, gives a guy the opportunity to be a showman. I've always wondered why in football a quarterback couldn't learn to flip a behind-the-back pitch-out to one of his running backs, or in baseball a pitcher try to fool a batter with a behind-the-back fastball. But you know there isn't anybody who's about to do that. The skills involved in basketball are different. You can do more stuff, more antics. And one guy has much more leeway to put on a show. That really is what basketball is for me—an entertainment, a chance to express myself. It's what I've chosen to do in my life, it's my thing.

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Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY
INSET PHOTOS: Fred Vuich (Car); Damian Strohmeyer (Bradford, Tebow); Matt Slocum/AP (Harrell); Darren Carroll (McCoy)

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