A true Indiana basketball legend finally received his due today as George McGinnis was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
McGinnis had seemed to come to peace with never being elected back in 2015.
“I probably won’t get inducted”, McGinnis said then. “I know and I know the guys I played with know what I did and what I brought to the game. That’s good enough for me.”
McGinnis was a key part of the Pacers ABA dynasty and joins fellow recent Hall of Fame inductees Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, and Bobby “Slick” Leonard from those ABA Championships.
“I’ve seen every player that’s come down the road the last 60 years,” Leonard told the Indy Star, “and you’ve got to be kidding me. There are guys in the Hall of Fame that Big George would eat alive.”
McGinnis’s career achievement list is long and impressive: 2-time ABA Champion, 1974-75 ABA Co-MVP with Julius Erving, six All-Star selections in a span of just seven seasons, and his number 30 is retired by the Indiana Pacers.
His Co-MVP season is unparalleled by anyone in basketball history with 29.8 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. No one can match those incredible numbers in a single season.
McGinnis improbably led the Pacers to the ABA finals that season after Roger Brown and Mel Daniel were no longer with the team. They lost to the Kentucky Colonels 4-1.
McGinnis also won an Indiana High School championship while he was attending Washington High School in Indianapolis and was named Mr. Basketball. He also played at Indiana University and was the first sophomore to lead the Big Ten in scoring while averaging 29.9 points and 14.7 rebounds per game.