|Full name||Robert E. Lee Pettit Jr.|
|birthday||12th December 1932 (age 87)|
|place of birth||Baton Rouge , Louisiana , USA|
|position||Power Forward / Center|
|NBA draft||1954 , 2nd pick , Milwaukee Hawks|
|Clubs as active|
|1954–1965 Milwaukee / St. Louis Hawks|
Robert E. Lee Pettit Jr. (born December 12, 1932 in Baton Rouge , Louisiana ) is a retired American basketball player . Between 1954 and 1965 he played in the NBA for the Milwaukee Hawks / Saint Louis Hawks team , with whom he won a championship in 1958. In his NBA career, Pettit was among other things 2 × Most Valuable Player (MVP) and 11 × NBA All-Star . He also led the league twice in points and once in rebounding . In 1971 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame .
Although Pettit was "only" six feet tall and weighed 93 kilograms, he had only played in the center position at Louisiana State University . When he was drafted by the Hawks in 1954, NBA observers doubted whether the small and lightweight Pettit, who was small by NBA standards, could survive as a center.
Pettit belied all doubters and was named Rookie of the Year in 1955 after a strong debut season (20.4 points and 13.8 rebounds per game) . He impressed with his ability to draw to the basket and provoke fouls: in seven of his ten NBA years he threw 10 or more free throws per game. This is particularly noteworthy because in his time various fouls were punished with only one instead of two free throws today.
1956 Pettit played another outstanding season (25.7 ppg; 16.2 rpg) and won the first NBA Most Valuable Player Award in NBA history. Nevertheless, the Hawks stayed in the table cellar until they exchanged the draft rights to Bill Russell for center Ed Macauley and Forward Cliff Hagan in 1956/57 . With Macauley as the center, Pettit was finally able to move to his desired position of power forward .
The Hawks made it into the NBA Finals in 1957 and lost unluckily 3-4 against the Boston Celtics , with Game 7 going into overtime. In 1958, the Hawks won in the new edition of the Finals 4-2 against the Celtics, with Pettit succeeding in a 50-point game in the decisive Game 6 and he led St. Louis to their first and only title. 1959 Pettit was elected MVP for the second time and led the Hawks in 1960 and 1961 twice against the Celtics in the NBA finals, where they were both defeated. Ironically, in both cases, Bill Russell was widely regarded as the best player of both series of finals.
Pettit was elected to the All NBA First Team ten times during his career (1955–1964). In addition, he was nominated in each of his 11 seasons for the NBA All-Star Game and was the first player to be awarded four times as MVP of the All-Star Games , which since then only Kobe Bryant should have achieved. Pettit was the first NBA player to hit the 20,000 point mark. To date, he holds the third-best career rebound average after Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell with 16.2 rebounds per game (as of 2020).
- Bob Pettit Stats. In: basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 7, 2020 .
- The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame :: Bob Pettit. In: hoophall.com. Retrieved May 7, 2020 .
- Bob Pettit - player profile on NBA.com
- Bob Pettit - player profile on basketball-reference.com
- Bob Pettit in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame On: Hoophall website; Springfield, MA, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017 (in English).
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Pettit, Robert E. Lee; Pettit, Robert E. Lee Jr.|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American basketball player|
|DATE OF BIRTH||December 12, 1932|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Baton Rouge , Louisiana|