Time for another look-alike custom card. First, the original:
1974-75 Topps #10, Pete Maravich
Any idea who the look-alike is?
Here are some hints:
Maravich knew the value of jump shots. The look-alike would agree, telling Pete that he might as well jump.
Maravich played professionally in Atlanta, New Orleans, Utah, and Boston. The look-alike got his big start in Pasadena, but is known for singing out the name of a country: PA-NA-MA!
Maravich was hot for basketball, while the look-alike might say he was hot for teacher.
Okay, that's probably more than enough hints. Here's the custom card.
It's David Lee Roth from Van Halen!
And the similarities don't stop at facial features.
Both men had great alliterative nicknames. Maravich was known as "Pistol Pete". Roth was often referred to as "Diamond Dave".
And then there's the fact that both men were outright entertainers. Maravich, in fact, may have been the seminal "showtime" type of basketball player in the NBA, dishing out flashy assists and putting up big numbers when healthy. (As just one example, he scored 68 points in a game against the Knicks in 1977—and that's before the invention of the three-point line!) At that same time, Roth was becoming one of the best entertainers in the world of rock music with his acrobatics, stage presence, and voice. Just imagine him as a pro basketball player back then!
As for the card design, I switched the player position on Roth's card from "guard" to "vocals". I also switched the team name from "Jazz" to "Rock". Pretty good symmetry there, don't you think?
Now a little more about the man on the original card:
Pete Maravich was solid right from the start of his pro career, being named to the 1970-71 All-Rookie Team at the end of his first season. Overall, he was named to four All-NBA teams and was a five-time All-Star. He was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1987.
His best year was likely 1976-77, when in 73 games played he led the league in points per game (31.1) and minutes played (41.7). Across the season, he also led the league in field goals attempted (2,047), free throws (501), and points (2,273).
Career numbers: 658 games played, 24.2 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 44.1 field goal percentage, 82.0 free throw percentage.
At the time of this writing, Maravich ranks 20th on the NBA all-time list for points per game (24.2). That puts him just behind players like Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and just ahead of players like Shaquille O'Neal and Rick Barry. He's also in the top 100 in NBA career assists per game (5.41), placing him 92nd.
And a little more praise: During the 1996-97 season, the NBA released its list of 50 greatest players in league history, and Maravich was chosen as one of the 50. He was also a selection for the 2021-22 NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
So here's to Pistol Pete. And to Diamond Dave. And to another custom card in the books.
Now here's a Van Halen question for you:
David Lee Roth, or Sammy Hagar?
I choose Roth. It's nothing against Sammy Hagar, because Van Halen put out some decent music with him at the mic as well. But for me, you just can't beat Diamond Dave and that early Van Halen sound.
Let me know your choice in the comment section. Thanks for reading as always!