This is a classic card of basketball's first marquee player. George Mikan is more responsible than any player of his generation for making basketball a nationally recognized sport. On the face of this card, Mikan is pictured storming towards the basket with relentless fury. At 6'10, 245 pounds,
Mikan was the game's first dominant big man, paving the way for legends like Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. He led his team, the Minneapolis Lakers, to five championships in six years. It was the first time that the word Dynasty was used to describe a professional basketball team. Mikan
averaged 23.1 points per game during his career, leading the league on three separate occasions. He retired as basketball's career-scoring leader. Mikan was named to the first four NBA All-Star teams from 1950 to 1953. After his playing days, Mikan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of
Fame in 1959 and came back to the game as the ABA's first commissioner in 1967. This card measures approximately 21/16 by 2½ and, like most 1948 Bowmans, is often found off-center with toning along the edges, making it tough to locate in high-grade. The cards are also found hand-cut as some uncut sheets made their way into the hobby years ago.
George Lawrence Mikan (June 18, 1924 - June 1, 2005) was such a dominant influence on basketball; he forced the NCAA to outlaw goaltending (which was also adopted by the professional leagues), caused the NBA to widen the lane from six to twelve feet in order to limit Mikan’s presence under opponents’ baskets and introduce the shot clock in response to the Fort Wayne Pistons strategy of keeping the ball away from Mikan thus preserving a lead and win. George was a native of Chicago and attended DePaul University where he played for head coach Ray Meyer. Though slightly awkward as a big man at 6’10” and 245 lbs. Mikan possessed raw talent that Meyer helped develop with unceasing practice and drills, turning the mild mannered center into a confident, aggressive and dominant player. George was named NCAA Player of the Year in 1944 and 1945 and led DePaul to the NIT title in 1945. He began his professional career with the National Basketball League’s Chicago American Gears in 1945-46, before joining the Minneapolis Lakers of the newly merged National Basketball Association. Mikan played seven seasons with the Lakers leading them to five BAA/NBA Championship titles. (He also won two NBL championships with the Chicago American Gears in 1948-1949.) The four-time All-Star selection was named to the All-BAA/NBA First Team six times. Known as “Mr. Basketball”, George ended his career with 10,156 points, an unofficial 4,167 total rebounds and 1,245 assists and is considered one of the true pioneers of the game of basketball, revolutionizing both the center position, but how the game is played. George Mikan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. In 1996, Mikan was named to the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list. In his waning years, George battled the NBA over pensions for players who played prior to the current exorbitant salaries. Mikan died in 2005 after a long battle with diabetes.