9. Bob Petit
Bob Petit, a legendary basketball player, is often regarded as one of the best forwards ever to play. Petit's unique combination of size, skill, and athleticism made him a force to be reckoned with on the court.
Petit quickly made a name in college basketball, leading Louisiana State University (LSU) to back-to-back Final Four appearances in 1953 and 1954. His remarkable college career paved the way for his successful transition to the professional ranks.
Petit was selected as the second overall pick in the 1954 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Hawks (later moved to St. Louis), where he would spend the entirety of his 11-year career. Renowned for his scoring ability, rebounding prowess, and tenacious defense, Petit dominated the game during his prime.
He became the first player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points and held the record for most points scored in a single game for nearly three decades, with an astonishing 57 points. Additionally, he was a 10-time NBA All-Star, won two NBA MVP awards, and led the St. Louis Hawks to their first and only NBA championship in 1958.
Petit's impact on the game extended beyond his achievements, as he helped popularize basketball in the South and inspired countless future generations of players. His legacy as one of the game's true icons continues to resonate in the annals of basketball history.