‣ George McGinnis, a former player for the Pacers and a significant figure in basketball during the 70s, has passed away at the age of 73 due to cardiac arrest. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2017.
‣ McGinnis is remembered for his incredible athleticism and spirit, as well as his unique one-handed hump shot. He had a significant impact on Indiana basketball, shaping many of the fondest memories for generations of fans.
‣ Besides the Pacers, McGinnis also played three seasons for the 76ers, helping them win the 1977 Eastern Conference title. His contributions to the game have been recognized by basketball icons throughout the league.
George McGinnis, a Pacers superstar from the 70s, has just passed away at 73. He had a heart attack this week. McGinnis was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2017.
As a teenager, he used to sneak into Indiana games at the State Fairgrounds. He’s now remembered as one of the best to ever wear the Pacers jersey. His one-handed hump shot and incredible athleticism were legendary.
He died following a heart issue that occurred last week at his home. In recent years, he had trouble walking after several back surgeries due to a hereditary condition.
McGinnis once shared that his passion for basketball started after watching a professional match. He recalled, “It was pro basketball and it was the first time I had seen it,” back in 2021. Seeing the pro game up close was a life-changing experience for him.
The Pacers sports family paid tribute to his career in a heartfelt statement. They remembered his all-state high school days, his time as an IU All-American, and his legendary ABA championship runs with the Pacers. They described him as the embodiment of an Indiana basketball legend, a champion, and a Hall of Fame athlete.
McGinnis had the privilege of playing for some of Indiana’s most legendary coaches. One of them was Bobby “Slick” Leonard, who won 573 games in 14 seasons as a head coach. McGinnis once said, “He was the best coach I ever played for in last shot, pressure situations.”
Philadelphia also mourned his loss. McGinnis played three seasons for the Sixers and was instrumental in their 1977 Eastern Conference title win. He averaged 21.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.1 steals per contest in Philadelphia.
The 76ers team wrote in a statement, “George McGinnis was a Hall of Famer on and off the court, earning several accolades during an ABA-NBA career that spanned a decade.” They expressed their condolences to George’s family and friends.
The 6-foot-8 athlete is considered a predecessor to the strong and talented forwards of the modern-day NBA. Basketball icons throughout the league have always hailed George as one of the best to play the game. Julius Erving said six years ago during McGinnis’ Hall of Fame induction, “Until LeBron (James) came along, I never saw another guy that had George’s physical abilities on a basketball court.”