St. Louis Public Radio News
4:37 pm
Thu May 14, 2009

Basketball great Bob Pettit gets star on Delmar Loop

St. Louis, MO – Former St. Louis Hawks basketball great Bob Pettit received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame on Thursday.

Pettit came to the Hawks in 1955 and led the team to the NBA finals four times, including the team's only championship in 1958.

In the final game of that series Pettit racked up a playoff record of 50 points over a young Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics.

"The highlight of my career would have to be the championship in 1958 and the 6th game of the series against the Celtics," said Pettit. "That always stands out, that's the ultimate goal for every professional athlete is to be able to wear that ring."

The 6'7" Pettit is considered by many to be the first true power forward basketball player. He says it's hard to compare players like Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain to the players of today because the training and routine are so different now.

"You know the thing most people don't think about is if we all played today, we'd play differently," said Pettit. "In my case I had no coaching at all, during grade school, junior high, and very little in high school, just for the last year and my basketball coach was a football coach."

Other former Hawks present at the ceremony were former center Charlie Share and Al Ferrari.

Pettit retired in 1965 as the first player to score over 20-thousand points. He was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970.