This Day In Sports History (April 9th) — George Gervin vs. David Thompson
It was on this day in 1978 that David Thompson would battle George Gervin for the NBA’s scoring title. Thompson and Gervin had been competing all year for the scoring crown and they entered the final day of the season separated by .02 of a point, with Gervin at 26.8 and Thompson at 26.6 points per game.
Thompson’s Denver Nuggets would play in the afternoon and he was encouraged by teammates to shoot as much as possible, which he did. David was on fire, as he had 53 points at half time and finished with 73, second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game at the time. He would attempt 38 field-goals to go along with his 20 free throw attempts, finishing the year with a 27.15 scoring average.
Gervin’s San Antonio Spurs played their final game later on that night against the Jazz and he knew he would need at least 58 points to hold the scoring crown. George’s teammates fed him the ball all night as he finished with an incredible 49 field goals attempts as well as 20 attempts from the charity stripe to finish with 63 points, winning the scoring title by 0.07 of a point. It capped off the tightest scoring race in NBA history.
Here is a tribute to George “The Iceman” Gervin.
Seve Ballesteros, PGA – Born April 9th 1957 (age 57) in Cantabria, Spain
Graeme Lloyd, MLB – Born April 9th 1967 (age 47) in Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Jacques Villeneuve, Formula 1 – Born April 9th 1971 (age 43) in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec