George McGinnis
McGinnis with the Indiana Pacers during a game in the 1972-73 season versus the Kentucky Colonels
Personal information
Born (1950-08-10) August 10, 1950 (age 72)
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High schoolGeorge Washington
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
CollegeIndiana (1970–1971)
NBA draft1973: 2nd round, 22nd overall pick
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career1971–1982
PositionPower forward
Career history
19711975Indiana Pacers
19751978Philadelphia 76ers
19781980Denver Nuggets
19801982Indiana Pacers
Career highlights and awards
Career ABA and NBA statistics
Points17,009 (20.2 ppg)
Rebounds9,233 (11.0 rpg)
Assists3,089 (3.7 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

George F. McGinnis (born August 10, 1950) is an American former professional basketball player who played 11 seasons in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). He was drafted into the ABA from Indiana University in 1971.

Early life

McGinnis attended Washington High School in Indianapolis. He and teammate Steve Downing led Washington to a 31–0 record and a state championship in 1969.[1] McGinnis set an Indiana state tournament scoring record with 148 points in his final four games. He was also named Mr. Basketball for the state of Indiana that year.

College career

In the 1970–71 season at Indiana, McGinnis became the first sophomore to lead the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 29.9 points per game in his lone season in Bloomington earning All-American and All-Big Ten Honors in 1971. He played for coach Lou Watson, the year before IU hired Bob Knight.

Professional career

Indiana Pacers (1971-1975)

McGinnis immediately became one of the marquee players of the ABA, playing a key role on the Indiana Pacers' championship teams in each of his first two seasons with his hometown franchise. He was named the ABA Playoffs MVP in 1973, averaging 23.9 points and 12.3 rebounds in 18 playoffs games to help the Pacers repeat as champs. His best season came in 1974–75, when McGinnis scored a career-high 29.8 points per game en route to ABA MVP honors. He nearly averaged a triple-double in the playoffs that year (32.3 points, 15.9 rebounds, and 8.2 assists in 18 games), but the Pacers fell short of the title, losing to Kentucky in the ABA Finals.

Philadelphia 76ers (1975-1978)

Two years into his professional career, McGinnis was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the 22nd overall pick in the second round of the 1973 NBA draft. In October 1974, the 76ers were ready to send McGinnis' draft rights to the New York Knicks with the stipulation that the latter ballclub signs him before the agreed-upon deadline. The deal fell through when he decided to stay with the Pacers and signed a two-year contract with an $85,000 buyout clause which was exercised following the 1974–75 season. Preferring to play in New York because of its financial endorsement opportunities, McGinnis sought a preliminary injunction and restraining order against the NBA on May 23, 1975, that would have permitted him to negotiate with any of the league's 18 teams. The lawsuit was dropped a week later on May 30 when he signed a six‐year $2.4 million contract with the Knicks in a challenge to the league's constitution. In his first action as new NBA commissioner on June 5, Larry O'Brien disapproved the contract and ordered the Knicks to forfeit its first selection in the 1976 NBA draft and reimburse the 76ers for all expenses relevant to the dispute. McGinnis signed a six‐year, $3.2 million guaranteed, no‐cut, no‐trade, no-option contract with the 76ers five weeks later on July 10, 1975.[2][3][4]

McGinnis made the All-NBA First Team in his debut season with the 76ers, and was selected to two All-Star games in his three seasons with the team. While on Philadelphia, he teamed up with fellow ABA alumni Julius Erving and Caldwell Jones. McGinnis helped lead the 76ers through the playoffs to the NBA Finals in 1977 by averaging 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per playoff game, where he and the 76ers lost in six games to the Portland Trail Blazers.[5]

Denver Nuggets (1978-1980)

McGinnis was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 1978 for Bobby Jones, and was an All-Star again that season. On January 9, 1980, McGinnis scored an NBA career-high 43 points (His career high in combined ABA/NBA is 58 points in the ABA), along with grabbing 12 rebounds, in a game against the Houston Rockets.[6]

Return to Indiana (1980-1982)

Hoping to boost sagging attendance in their early NBA years, the Pacers re-acquired McGinnis by trading away young forward Alex English. However, McGinnis was beyond his prime, averaging a comparatively low 13.1 points per game during the 1980-81 NBA season,[7] and was unable to help the Pacers past their first round matchup against the 76ers in the 1981 NBA Playoffs, while English went on to be a multiple time all-star and franchise player for the Nuggets.

McGinnis is one of four players (the others are Roger Brown, Reggie Miller, and Mel Daniels) to have his jersey (#30) retired by the Pacers. All four are also members of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Basketball Hall of Fame

On April 1, 2017, it was announced that McGinnis was part of the 2017 class for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, alongside Tracy McGrady, Bill Self, and Rebecca Lobo.[8] He was inducted on September 8.

ABA and NBA achievements


See also


  1. ^ Montieth, Mark (January 25, 2017). "For Keller and McGinnis, Memories of Winning State Never Faded". NBA Media Ventures. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Goldaper, Sam. "Knicks Sign McGinnis; 76ers Label It 'Piracy,'" The New York Times, May 31, 1975. Retrieved January 27, 2020
  3. ^ Koppett, Leonard. "Knicks' Signing of McGinnis Revoked; Hawks Fined $400,000 in Erving Case," The New York Times, June 6, 1975. Retrieved January 27, 2020
  4. ^ Goldaper, Sam. "McGinnis Signs $3.2‐Million 76er Pact," The New York Times, July 11, 1975. Retrieved January 27, 2020
  5. ^ 1977 Philadelphia 76ers Logo via Sports About logos 1976-77 Philadelphia 76ers Roster and Stats
  6. ^ George McGinnis Career High 43 Points
  7. ^ 1980-81 Indiana Pacers Roster and Stats
  8. ^ "McGrady, Self, Lobo headline 2017 HOF class". April 1, 2017.
  9. ^ "George McGinnis Stats". Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  10. ^ "McGinnis Takes Rightful Spot in Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame". Indiana University Athletics.