Philadelphia 76ers: George McGinnis, Power Forward (1975-78)
Over the course of his first four pro seasons, George McGinnis had established himself as one of the premier basketball talents. A physically imposing forward standing 6-foot-8 weighing roughly 235 pounds, he averaged 25.2 points 12.9 rebounds 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals a night.
What stands out from this level of dominance for McGinnis was it came while he was a member of the Indiana Pacers, a team who then resided in the ABA. It would only last until 1975 where he would then make the switch over to the NBA in the year prior to the merger between the two leagues.
Where he would wind up was the City of Brotherly Love on a six-year, $3.2 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. Having experienced a four-year playoff drought, the 76ers and their fans were ecstatic to acquire a player capable of returning them back to the postseason and hopefully even more.
McGinnis would help Philly to 46 wins and a first-round exit in his inaugural season with the team. Reinforcements would arrive that summer in the form of Julius Erving. While it was clear McGinnis was no longer the headliner, he certainly wasn’t just along for the ride.
The 76ers would reach the NBA Finals the very next season on the backbone of their dynamic duo. They wouldn’t emerge victorious, losing in six games to the Portland Trail Blazers, but it was an encouraging step nonetheless.
In three seasons in Philadelphia, McGinnis averaged 21.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He wouldn’t be there when the 76ers ultimately claimed the title in 1983, but it was clear he helped lay the foundation for what ultimately wound up being a championship team.