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Old 06-02-2005, 11:16 AM   #1
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RIP George Mikan

one of the most infulential yet under appreciated players in NBA history... there isn't a big man playing today who hasn't spent hours upon hours doing the "Mikan drill." RIP

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[b]SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – 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 had spoken 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.[b/]
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Old 06-02-2005, 08:24 PM   #2
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During a post-game interview with Craig Sager, Shaq invited the Mikan family to call the Heat front office or him directly because he wants to pay for Mikan's funeral...nice.
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Old 06-03-2005, 06:25 AM   #3
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RIP George.
Nice gesture by Shaq.
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:06 AM   #4
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shaq is a class act
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:49 AM   #5
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Saw a story on ESPN about George and all of his health problems (missing fingers, couldn't walk etc) and the enormous medical bills he had. Was a shame......
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:54 AM   #6
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the pre-65ers, as those who played in the nba prior to the formation of the nba player's union (after a near sit in strike at the nba all star game in 1965) get completely screwed. george mikan, bob cousy... they've had to sell their trophy's and awards that they recieved just to make ends meet. meanwhile, travis knight makes 11 million a year.

the nba needs to do something on this upcomming CBA to take care of these guys. call it the george mikan rule... take care of the guys who paved the way.
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:02 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:07 AM   #8
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you are absolutely right Headache
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Old 06-04-2005, 02:30 PM   #9
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I got to see him at a dedication of a statue at the Target Center in Minneapolis (The Wolves were playing the Lakers - and Shaq was part of the ceremony). At the time he was in a wheelchair. My dad grew up watching the MPLS Lakers and would tell me about Mikan when I was growing up. He will live on for many years!
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Old 06-06-2005, 06:57 PM   #10
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Man, I hated Mikan drills, great player though....
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