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3. George Mikan

He was a big man before there was the concept of a big man, and he helped turn the NBA into the game it is today. George Mikan was the first super star of the NBA, he lead the Minneapolis Lakers to five NBA championships. Born June 18th, 1924 in Joilet, Illinois. Mikans route to the NBA would be a humble one. He played at many youth centers such as the YMCA before going to DePaul University in 1941. After 4 years at DePaul, Mikan joined the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League. The Gears decided to leave the NBL the following year and Mikan was free to sign with anyone and chose the Minneapolis Lakers. Mikan was a hit with the Lakers, averaging 20 plus a game for six straight seasons and winning the NBA scoring title from 48-51. in 1953 Mikan also won the rebounding title.

When the National Basketball league and Basketball Association of America Merged in 1949 to form the NBA, Mikan was among one of the key players that the league hoped it could build on; and Mikan didn't disappoint become the big man of big men in an era of mostly guards. From 1951-1954 Mikan helped the Lakers become the first three time NBA champion.

After the 1953-54 season Mikan retired, but a year later ,in 55-56, he returned for 37 games. In 1957-58 Mikan returned to the Lakers as a coach, but lasted only 39 games going 9 and 30. With the formation of the American Basketball Association in 1967, Mikan was named the leagues first commissioner.

In later years Mikan developed Diabetes, and would eventually lose a leg. But that didn't stop him from trying to get better pay for the Player who played before 1965. George Mikan died June 2nd, 2005 just shy of his 81st birthday.

1946-47	CAG	NBL	25	147	119	164	413	5.9	4.8	6.6	16.5
1947-48	MNN	NBL	56	406	383	509	1195	7.3	6.8	9.1	21.3
		NBL	81	553	502	673	1608	6.8	6.2	8.3	19.9

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