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152. Bob Love

Bob Love’s story of NBA perseverance is one of the most inspiring we have to offer on our list. Love stuttered as a child and the problem would effect him through-out his NBA career and even into his post-career.

Love was a star high school player in Louisiana before going to Southern College where he also starred. While at Southern he was twice named an All-American and entered the 1965 NBA draft. He was selected in the 4th round by the Cincinnati Royals. Love failed to make the team and joined the Eastern Basketball League. While with the EBL he averaged 25 points a game and was named rookie of the year.

In 1966 he tried once again to make the Royals and this time succeeded. He played two years with the Royals as a backup before being selected in the expansion draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Love played just 14 games with the Bucks before being traded to the Chicago Bulls.

Love would excel with the Bulls. The Bulls paired him with defensive stopper Jerry Sloan to make one of the toughest tandems in the league at the time. In his first full season with the Bulls Love’s points per game jumped from 5 to 21 and he was selected to his first all-star team.

Love averaged 20 or more points every year from 1969 until 1975 and just missed the feat in 1976 and was selected to a total of 3 all-star games during that period. However, team success was hard to come by. In 74 and 75 the Bulls did make the western conference finals but lost both times, most notably in 75 when they got up 3 games to 2 on the Golden State Warriors and dropped the next two including a heart breaking 4 point loss in game 7.

In 1976 Love was traded to the New York Knicks for a second round pick and than was waived by the Knicks a month later. Love joined the Seattle Supersonics in January of 77 and played his final 32 games with the Sonics.

His stuttering would become a problem for him after his playing days where done, because of it he could not find a job and ended up bussing tables at a local restaurant. The manager of the restaurant helped Love get speech therapy to correct the issue and it was a resounding success.

In 1993 Love became the directory of community relations for the Bulls and in 1995 his wedding was actually held inside the United Center. He is now a motivational speaker helping people overcome speech issues and in 1999 wrote an autobiography.

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