National Basketball Association great Connie Hawkins dies at 75

National Basketball Association great Connie Hawkins dies at 75”

Before there was Julius Erving, Hawkins produced his own brand of basketball theater, although he played before decidedly smaller houses.

Hall of Fame forward Connie Hawkins died at 75 years old on Friday, according to a report from NBC 12 News Arizona. That year, Hawkins led the league with 26.8 points per game.

After his brief stint in the ABA, Hawkins landed with the Phoenix Suns in 1969-70, playing in 81 games and registering 24.6 points per game off of 49 percent shooting. Hawkins played two seasons in the ABA, winning the league's first title and MVP award with the Pittsburgh Pipers in 1968. He finished his pro career with the Atlanta Hawks in 1976 and was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Hawkins dominated the 1967-68 season for the Pipers. "His unique combination of size, grace and athleticism was well ahead of its time and his signature style of play is now a hallmark of the modern game".

The four-time National Basketball Association all-star is in the Suns Ring of Honor and his number (42) is retired by the franchise.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant phenom known as "The Hawk" was then forced to become a basketball nomad as the NBA wanted nothing to do with him.

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