Arete, Sport and Society, American Sport History, Basketball, George Mikan
He made the number 99 on his jersey famous decades before Wayne Gretzky wore it on his hockey sweater. George Mikan, the 6'10" center of the Minneapolis Lakers died on Thursday at the age of 80. He was the first big man in professional basketball, the first in college basketball, and he was a key reason the NBA succeeded when other leagues had failed. Leonard Koppett in his history of the NBA called the first eight years of league existence the "The Mikan Era." That is certainly how I remember those years as a boy in Minneapolis.
Sport and Society for Arete
College of Arts and Humanities
Crepeau, Richard C., "In memory of George Mikan" (2005). On Sport and Society. 694.