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George Mikan - Mr. Basketball

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Uploaded on Feb 6, 2008

George Lawrence Mikan, Jr. (June 18, 1924 -- June 1, 2005), nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Invariably playing with thick, round spectacles, the 6 ft 10 in 245 lb. Mikan is seen as one of the pioneers of professional basketball, redefining it as a game of so-called big men with his prolific rebounding, shot blocking and his talent to shoot over smaller defenders with his ambidextrous hook shot.

Mikan had a successful player career, winning seven NBL, BAA and NBA championships, an All-Star MVP trophy, three scoring titles and being member of the first four NBA All-Star and the first six All-BAA and All-NBA Teams. Mikan was so dominant that he caused several rule changes in the NBA, among them widening the foul lane — known as the "Mikan Rule" — and introducing the shot clock.

For his feats, Mikan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959, made the 25th and 35th NBA Anniversary Teams of 1970 and 1980 and was elected one of the NBA 50 Greatest Players in 1996. Since April 2001, a statue of Mikan shooting his trademark hook shot graces the entrance of the Timberwolves' Target Center.

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