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Chip R
06-02-2005, 02:52 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-obit-mikan&prov=ap&type=lgns


NBA's first dominant big man dead at 80

June 2, 2005

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- George Mikan, professional basketball's first dominant big man who led the Minneapolis Lakers to five NBA championships, has died, family members said Thursday. He was 80.

Six-foot-10 with thick glasses, Mikan was so effective as a center at DePaul that he forced the NCAA to adopt the goaltending rule.

Mikan had suffered from diabetes and kidney failure. One leg was amputated several years ago, and he recently was hospitalized for six weeks for treatment of a diabetes wound in the other leg. He also underwent kidney dialysis three days a week.

Last Saturday, he was moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation center, his son, Terry, said. He died Wednesday night, according to family members.

Mikan's Lakers won five of the first six NBA titles after the league was formed in 1948. He averaged 23.1 points per game in seven seasons with Minneapolis before retiring because of injuries in 1956. Mikan was the league's MVP in its inaugural 1948-49 season, when he averaged 28.3 points in leading the Lakers to the NBA title.

A statue was erected in honor of the NBA Hall of Famer outside the Target Center in Minneapolis.

In recent years, Mikan has spoke out against the small pensions given to those who played in the league before 1965. Terry Mikan said most of his father's awards and memorabilia had been sold. Mikan received a monthly pension check of $1,000, his son said.

Unassisted
06-02-2005, 03:06 PM
In recent years, Mikan has spoke out against the small pensions given to those who played in the league before 1965. Terry Mikan said most of his father's awards and memorabilia had been sold. Mikan received a monthly pension check of $1,000, his son said.He has... er, had a point, but the NBA's finances/markets/attendance back when Mikan played were probably more equivalent to Northern League Baseball than any other contemporary pro league. Small markets, small crowds, small exposure. The difference is stunning.

Chip R
06-03-2005, 11:19 AM
Apparantly Shaq and Mikan were close friends and Shaq wants to pay for Mikan's funeral.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-shaq-mikan&prov=ap&type=lgns

Shaq offers to pay for Mikan's funeral

By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

June 3, 2005

MIAMI (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal wants to pay more than respects to the family of George Mikan.

O'Neal said Thursday that he wants the Mikan family to contact the Miami Heat offices, so arrangements can be made for him to handle funeral expenses for the league's first dominant big man.

Mikan died Wednesday night at a rehabilitation center in Scottsdale, Ariz., following a long fight with diabetes and kidney ailments. He was 80.

"I'd like to send my condolences to the Mikan family,'' O'Neal said after Miami beat Detroit 88-76 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night. ``I heard they were having some trouble, some problems, so if you contact the Heat office, I would like to pay for the funeral.''

O'Neal credits Mikan as someone who helped lay the framework for what the NBA is today.

"Without No. 99, there is no me,'' said O'Neal, referring to Mikan by his jersey number.

Terry Mikan said he appreciated O'Neal's offer but said it would be up to his mother whether to accept it.

"It just speaks to what Shaquille is all about,'' Mikan's son said. "He had a bond with my dad. They were close friends.''

O'Neal and Mikan were both selected to the NBA's list of 50 greatest players, and the two dominant big men of their eras met several times.

"He was a great man. We had many, many conversations,'' O'Neal said. "Very nice to me. I know what he was and I know what he did.''

Both O'Neal and Mikan led the Lakers franchise to multiple NBA championships; Mikan carried the Minneapolis Lakers to five titles in a six-year span, O'Neal led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000-2002.

"Frankly, without George Mikan, the Los Angeles Lakers would not be the organization we are today,'' said Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss.

Others at the Eastern Conference finals offered their sentiments on Mikan, including Heat president Pat Riley, who called Mikan ``the model for all big men that followed him.''

"A truly genuine human being as well as a great player. He made the game what it is today,'' Riley said.

guttle11
06-03-2005, 11:35 AM
I heard Shaq say that right after the game last night. He looked like he was near tears. he said that he gave his condolences to the Mikan family. He knew that they were having some problems, and told them to contact the Heat FO, because he wanted to pay for the funeral

In this me,me,me, world of sports where most athletes think the history of the game began the day the were drafted, its refreshing to see one of the biggest stars not only know his history, but befriend and respest it. And then a gesture like that makes me believe that Shaq is a better man than a bball player.

Roy Tucker
06-03-2005, 11:36 AM
I watched the last half of the Pistons-Heat game and saw the post-game interview with Shaq where he talked about Mikan.

It was kinda funny, the TNT guy kept trying to get Shaq to talk about the game and Shaq was having nothing of it. He just wanted to talk about Mikan and what he meant to the NBA.

5-6 years back, I thought Shaq was just a thug. My opinion of him has changed 180 degrees since then. Shaq is a class act and I've got a lot of respect for him.

westofyou
06-03-2005, 12:14 PM
George Mikan and Ted Lindsey (1950's Red Wing) were/are the Curt Flood's of their league, extremely talented men who were able to push teh game and teh realtionsship with the owners to better levels. The NBA owes Mikan more then they have ever shown.

All they have to do is look at the history of the NBL (1947 champs American Gears ... Center George Mikan)

vs the Globetrotters

http://stewthornley.net/mplslakers_trotters.html

Ravenlord
06-03-2005, 12:24 PM
5-6 years back, I thought Shaq was just a thug. My opinion of him has changed 180 degrees since then. Shaq is a class act and I've got a lot of respect for him.couldn't agree more. one of the few NBA players i can say that about.

WVRed
06-03-2005, 02:21 PM
5-6 years back, I thought Shaq was just a thug.

Four words, Kobe "Media Darling" Bryant.

Mutaman
06-03-2005, 03:11 PM
"Without No. 99, there is no me,'' said O'Neal, referring to Mikan by his jersey number.



How Refreshing. I was really surprised last night seeing how many players not only knew who Mikan was, but were his friends. Eldon Campbell said he was " a mellow fellow".