NBA LEGENDS 4 PHOTOS UNVEILED
Six Stars Show off During the NBA Finals
Friday, June 13, 2008
As the Celtics and Lakers renew the NBA's fiercest rivalry, McFarlane Toys salutes six phenomenal basketball talents with the unveiling of our NBA Legends 4 series. The fourth edition of our popular series includes five players from "The NBA's 50 Greatest Players" list, as well as one of the best underdog stories in NBA history. Let's take a closer look at this year's NBA Legends roster:
Larry Bird 2: The 1978-79 Boston Celtics finished the season 29-53, in fifth place in the NBA's Atlantic Division. The league's most storied franchise had fallen on hard times, but help was on the way via French Lick, Indiana - and Larry Joe Bird arrived to usher in a new era of Boston basketball. Bird won the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, and the Celtics improved by 32 victories in his first season, making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Honors are nice, but Bird was all about winning championships - he brought home three titles overall, as well as an Olympic Gold Medal as part of the "Dream Team" at Barcelona in 1992.
Elgin Baylor: Baylor's career started in Minnesota, but after two seasons his team headed west, settling in Los Angeles as the new-look L.A. Lakers. He played alongside Jerry West in a decade of dominance - establishing themselves as one of the most feared one-two punches in sports history. Baylor won the NBA Rookie of the Year award and led the Lakers to the Finals in his first season, the first of eight trips Baylor would make to the NBA Finals. He is often referred to as underrated, although you have to wonder how the fourth-leading per-game scorer in NBA history (27.73 ppg) could ever be underrated. If your last name isn't Jordan, Chamberlain or Iverson, then you're looking up the per-game scoring list at Elgin Baylor.
Patrick Ewing: After a dominant career at Georgetown, Ewing arrived as the crown jewel of the 1985 NBA Draft. As luck would have it, the New York Knicks won the lottery and brought the "Hoya Destroya" to the Big Apple. Ewing played on 11 All-Star Teams as a Knick, and led New York to a pair of NBA Finals. His number 33 was retired in Madison Square Garden in 2003, and Ewing retired firmly established on the NBA's all-time scoring (15th) and blocked shot (6th) lists.
Spud Webb: The NBA is widely accepted as a big man's game, an assertion Anthony "Spud" Webb fought against his entire career. Webb stood just 5'7, but his dedication and persistence led him to enjoy a 12-year professional career and one of the best underdog moments in NBA history. The All-Star Game was held in Webb's hometown of Dallas in 1986, and he elected to participate by entering into the slam dunk contest. The participants included seven other players, one of whom was Hawks teammate and defending slam dunk champion Dominique Wilkins. Webb stunned the crowd (and his teammate) with a vast array of jaw-dropping dunks en route to winning the slam dunk title in front of his hometown fans.
George Gervin: Fittingly, "The Iceman" brought a level of cool to San Antonio, guiding the Spurs through the ABA/NBA merger while lighting up the scoreboard. Gervin led the NBA in scoring five times, and earned All-Star recognition in 12 of his 13 pro seasons. Though he played overseas for some time following his departure from the NBA, Gervin never truly left San Antonio, where he remains a fixture at Spurs games and through the George Gervin Youth Center as well. "The Iceman" seemed to score at will but his signature shot is still revered in the game today - said Gervin, "One thing I could do…was finger roll."
Julius Erving 2: He spent two years dominating college basketball at the University of Massachusetts before embarking as the best player in the ABA for four seasons - and in the fall of 1976, Julius Erving made his NBA debut for the Philadelphia 76ers. He played in the All-Star Game in every one of his 16 pro seasons, won three ABA and one NBA MVP award, as well as a pair of ABA titles to go with the NBA Championship in 1983. No one sells "Dr. J" short, as his combined efforts in the ABA & NBA rank him fifth on the combined career scoring list. Erving earned a legacy for brilliant play and as one of the true gentlemen of the sport.
NBA Legends 4 is scheduled to arrive on shelves this October, and will be our first NBA Sports Picks series in our new extended clamshell packaging. This expanded display area will allow all six figures to appear as one whole piece, with no assembly required. Stay tuned to SPAWN.com and our Sports Message Board for packaged photography in the coming weeks.
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