Artis Gilmore, one of the greatest centers in the history of professional basketball, will join Billy and Frank on the March 29th episode of A Mick A Mook and A Mic.
Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, Gilmore played for the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and Boston Celtics in the NBA, and the Kentucky Colonels of the former ABA. Artis was, arguably, the greatest player in the history of the ABA.
Standing 7‘2”, Gilmore is often called “The Gentle Giant,” due to being a soft-spoken gentleman. Other nicknames are: “The A-Train”, or simply “A”.
Gilmore’s college career started at Gardner-Webb Junior College in North Carolina. His junior and senior years he attended Jacksonville University in Florida, where he led the JU Dolphins to the NCAA Division I Championship game in his junior year. Gilmore’s Dolphins lost to the Coach Wooden led UCLA Bruins.
Artis was picked #1 in the 1971 ABA draft by the Kentucky Colonels. In his first year, he was named both Rookie of the Year and the league’s Most Valuable Player. In 1975 he led the Colonels to the ABA Championship, where he was named the MVP.
When the ABA disbanded after the 1976 season, Artis went into the special 1976 ABA dispersal draft, and was chosen first overall by the Chicago Bulls.
Gilmore played 13 years in the NBA and was a 6x All-Star. He led the NBA in field goal percentage in four consecutive seasons, including a career-best 67% during the 1980–81 season — at the time, the third-highest percentage in NBA history. At the time of his retirement in 1989, Gilmore was the NBA’s career leader in field goal percentage (minimum 2,000 shots made) with 59.9%.
Here’s a look at some of Gilmore’s career achievements and awards:
- ABA champion (1975)
- ABA Playoffs Most Valuable Player (1975)
- ABA Most Valuable Player (1972)
- 6× NBA All-Star (1978, 1979, 1981–1983, 1986)
- 5× ABA All-Star (1972–1976)
- ABA All-Star Game MVP (1974)
- 5× All-ABA First Team (1972–1976)
- 4× ABA All-Defensive First Team (1973–1976)
- NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1978)
- ABA Rookie of the Year (1972)
- ABA All-Rookie First Team (1972)
- 4× ABA rebounding champion (1972–1974, 1976)
- ABA All-Time Team
- Consensus first-team All-American (1971)
- Second-team All-American – AP, NABC, UPI (1970)
- 2× NCAA rebounding leader (1970, 1971)
- Third-team Parade All-American (1967)
Artis married his college sweetheart, Enola Gay, and has five children.
Since the Mook (Frank Pace) also attended Jacksonville University and is a fraternity brother of Artis, this episode on March 29th should be in-depth and fun.