I am surprised there is not a statue of Bob Pettit in front of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
In his acceptance speech at the unveiling of his statue, Shaquille O’Neal said, “You should be putting up a statue of Bob Pettit before me.”
Pettit’s great All American basketball career has not been equaled by any basketball player who ever played for LSU.
After leading LSU to the SEC championship, Pettit went on to an amazing career in the NBA. He has been named as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all time. Pettit became the first player to score 20,000 points in NBA history. He was the greatest forward of his era.
After his playing days ended, rival Bill Russell offered this tribute: “Bob made second effort a part of the sports vocabulary. He kept coming at you more than any man in the game. He was always battling for position, fighting you off the boards.”
Pettit, a forward, averaged 16.2 career rebounds per game. This is third behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, who are both centers. Pettit is eighth in the NBA all-time points per game with an average of 26.4, ahead of such players as Kobe Bryant and Oscar Robertson. Pettit is a Hall of Fame Basketball Player and was named to the All-Star Team in all 11 of his seasons as a professional player.
He was “Rookie of the Year” and was named MVP of the NBA two years. Pettit was also four-time NBA. All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.
Bob Pettit was born in Baton Rouge. In three years at LSU, he averaged 27.4 points and 14.6 rebounds. He was named All American twice and led LSU to the Final Four in 1953.
Pettit still holds the career rebound average record at 14.8. He was first team All NBA 10 out of the 11 years he played in the NBA.
Members of the committee supporting this idea include Dale Brown, Skip Bertman, Joe Dean, Collis Temple, Billy Cannon and Jimmy Taylor.
member, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame