The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most watched and beloved professional sports leagues in the world. It is home to some of the greatest athletes of all time, and no conversation about the NBA would be complete without mentioning the names of players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. But who was the first NBA superstar?
The Answer: George Mikan
George Mikan was the first NBA superstar. He was born in 1924 in Joliet, Illinois and attended DePaul University. He was a two-time All-American and led the Blue Demons to the 1945 National Invitation Tournament title. After college, Mikan was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1947 NBA draft.
Mikan was the first dominant center in the NBA. At 6’10”, he was a giant by the standards of the time, and he quickly established himself as one of the best players in the league. He dominated the paint and was a prolific scorer, averaging over 20 points per game in each of his first four seasons in the NBA. He led the Lakers to five NBA championships in six years, and was named an All-Star every season he was in the league.
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The Impact of George Mikan
Mikan’s impact on the NBA was immense. He helped establish the league as one of the top professional sports leagues in the country, and his success attracted new fans and sponsors to the game. He also revolutionized the way basketball was played, as his size and skill allowed him to dominate the game in a way that no player before him had been able to.
Mikan’s legacy is felt to this day. He was the first dominant center in the NBA and his success helped pave the way for the great centers who followed him, including Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Shaquille O’Neal. He was also one of the first players to be marketed as a star, and his name recognition helped make the NBA what it is today.
George Mikan’s Legacy
George Mikan’s legacy is one of the most important in the history of the NBA. He is remembered as the first superstar of the league, and his success helped make the NBA into the multi-billion dollar business it is today. He was also the first dominant center, and his size and skill set the standard for the generations of great centers who followed him.
Mikan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959 and his number 99 was retired by the Lakers in 1995. He was also selected to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, and the league named its annual award for the best center after him in 2000.
George Mikan was the first NBA superstar and his impact on the league is still felt to this day. He revolutionized the way basketball was played, helped the NBA become one of the top professional sports leagues in the country, and was the first player to be marketed as a star. His legacy is remembered fondly, and he will always be remembered as the first great NBA superstar.