27 Facts About George Mikan

1. George Mikan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.

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2. George Mikan died in 2005 after a long battle with diabetes.

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3. George Mikan looked back on his career and at modern basketball for Sports Illustrated in 1996.

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4. George Mikan decided to leave basketball entirely; he practiced law, renovated real estate in Minneapolis, and spent more time with his family.

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5. George Mikan described these games for Newsday in 1990: "The doctors taped a plate on it [the broken leg] for the playoffs.

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6. George Mikan was a harbinger of the NBA's future, which would be dominated by tall, powerful players.

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7. George Mikan became so dominant that the NBA had to change its rules of play in order to reduce his influence, such as widening the lane from six to twelve feet.

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8. George Mikan is honored by a statue and an appearance on a mural in his hometown of Joliet, Illinois.

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9. George Mikan is lauded as the pioneer of Modern Age basketball.

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10. George Mikan said: "Without number 99 [Mikan], there is no me.

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11. George Mikan died in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 1, 2005, seventeen days before his 81st birthday, of complications from diabetes and other ailments.

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12. In 1994, George Mikan became the part-owner and chairman of the board of the Chicago Cheetahs, a professional roller hockey team based in Chicago, that played in Roller Hockey International.

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13. George Mikan challenged incumbent Representative Roy Wier in a closely fought race that featured a high voter turnout.

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14. In 1956, George Mikan was the Republican candidate for the United States Congress in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district.

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15. George Mikan was inducted into the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame class of 1959 and was declared the greatest player of the first half of the century by The Associated Press.

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16. George Mikan played in 37 games, but his long absence had affected his play.

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17. In that year, George Mikan participated in one of the most notorious NBA games ever played.

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18. George Mikan led his new league in scoring, and again set a single-season scoring record.

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19. George Mikan led the Gears to the championship of the World Basketball Tournament, where he was elected Most Valuable Player after scoring 100 points in five games, and voted into the All-NBL Team.

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20. George Mikan was named the Helms NCAA College Player of the Year in 1944 and 1945 and was an All-American three times.

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21. George Mikan dominated his peers from the start of his National Collegiate Athletic Association college games at DePaul.

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22. In 1938, George Mikan attended the Chicago Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and originally wanted to be a priest, but then moved back home to finish at Joliet Catholic.

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23. George Mikan was born in Joliet, Illinois, and was of Croatian descent.

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24. In 2005, George Mikan died after a long battle with diabetes.

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25. George Mikan was vital for the forming of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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26. George Mikan was so dominant that he caused several rule changes in the NBA: among them, the introduction of the goaltending rule, the widening of the foul lane—known as the "Mikan Rule"—and the creation of the shot clock.

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27. George Mikan utilized the underhanded free-throw shooting technique long before Rick Barry made it his signature shot.

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