Utah Jazz: The untold tale of the statue paying homage to Pete Maravich

LSU basketball great Pete Maravich’s new statue is unveiled during a ceremony at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Jonathan Mailhes

BATON ROUGE, La. — He played all of 17 games for the Utah Jazz after the franchise relocated to Salt Lake City.

Each was played during the 1979-80 season, before Pete Maravich was unceremoniously waived by the Jazz in January 1980, his ailing knees having stolen the stage from a man who made magic happen whenever the ball was in his hands.

But the Jazz retired Pistol Pete’s No. 7 jersey, homage much less to the time he spent in Utah and much more to the five seasons he played for the team from 1974-79, before it moved from New Orleans.

The New Orleans Pelicans even retired his No. 7, too, not because he ever played a game for that franchise, which originated in Charlotte, but instead in recognition of the time he spent dazzling in the Big Easy. And the Atlanta Hawks have retired his No. 44 as well, a nod to the first four seasons of his NBA career.

Now LSU, the school where his brilliance with a basketball blossomed, has holstered Pistol Pete’s No. 23 in bronze.

A statue of Maravich in his Tigers uniform was unveiled July 25, with just enough time to spare before preseason camp opened Thursday for the SEC football program — the 2019 national champions — that lives in a land where football long has been king.


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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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