2. Bob “Big Blue” Pettit is a pioneer of the game
Where do we start when it comes to one of the pioneers of the game? Bob Pettit was respected not only in the Hawks franchise but league-wide. Selected as the second overall pick of the 1954 NBA Draft, he was a two-time MVP ( the first ever as well) and an 11-time NBA All-Star during his 11-year career.
He is also the winner of the currently only NBA Championship the Hawks organization possesses — truly a living work of art.
Pettit spent his entire career with the Hawks with averages of 26.4 points per game and 16.2 rebounds per game. When he laced up he was the all-time leading scorer. The 6-foo-9 forward — who was also known as the Bombardier from Baton Rouge — is a true icon and the first-ever true NBA star.
Even though he played over half a century ago, he still respects today’s game, and that’s one of the many reasons he is still regarded as one of the most revolutionary, versatile big men in the history of the sport, and 2nd in our ranking.
In a 2016 press conference, he admired today’s game, saying, “I think today there is more talent out there, but I still like the way it was when I played.”