Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Mr. Basketball

George Mikan, the Minneapolis Lakers, and the Birth of the NBA

2008
Author:

Michael Schumacher

Mr. Basketball

The definitive biography of the Hall of Famer

In this fascinating biography of basketball superstar George Mikan, Michael Schumacher chronicles the life and career of a player so dominating that he literally changed the way the game was played and, in the process, helped launch the fledgling National Basketball Association.

Anybody who doesn’t know who George Mikan is, is not a basketball fan.

Kevin Garnett

In this fascinating biography of basketball superstar George Mikan, Michael Schumacher chronicles the life and career of a player so dominating that he literally changed the way the game was played and, in the process, helped launch the fledgling National Basketball Association. Mikan’s Hall of Fame career included numerous national titles—in college with DePaul and five times in the pros with the Minneapolis Lakers. Named the greatest basketball player of the first half of the twentieth century, “Mr. Basketball” cast such a large shadow that the Madison Square Garden marquee, in announcing an upcoming game, simply said, “George Mikan vs. the Knicks.”

Mr. Basketball

Michael Schumacher is the author of nine books, including Dharma Lion: A Critical Biography of Allen Ginsberg, Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton, and Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the “Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Mr. Basketball

Anybody who doesn’t know who George Mikan is, is not a basketball fan.

Kevin Garnett

Without George Mikan, there’d be no me.

Shaquille O’Neal

He showed us how to do it. I certainly would not have the hook shot that went in if it wasn’t for the fundamentals I learned from George Mikan’s game.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

A compelling portrait of a dynamic and influential man, on and off the court.

Kirkus Reviews

Few such archetypal athletes have received such scant biographical due, and Schumacher wades into the breach with an exhaustively researched work of richness and rigor. A detailed, atmospherically true tale of tallness.

Atlantic Monthly

He was the greatest impact player of that era. He was a big man who could do so many things on the court. He literally transcended the sport and he created such visibility. In the 1940s and ‘50s, he was the marquee player. He lifted us out of the doldrums and made the league respectable.

Bob Cousy

George Mikan was the bedrock of the game we have today, not only as a player, but as a human being. His tireless work, on and off the court, changed all of our lives.

Bill Walton

Schumacher tells a fascinating, detailed history of a player who at times seemed to carry an entire team—and the NBA—on his shoulders.

Minnesota Monthly

Mr. Basketball

CONTENTS

Prologue

1 Awkward Kid with Glasses
2 The Project
3 Blue Demon
4 The M&M Boys
5 A Disappointing Finale
6 The Chicago Gears
7 Champs?
8 The Minneapolis Lakers
9 Lakers vs. Globetrotters
10 Birth of the NBA
11 Three-Peat
12 Shocks and Changes
13 Mikan Rules
14 Rolling On
15 Going Out on Top
16 Failed Comeback
17 ABA Commissioner
18 In Honor of the Pioneers
19 A Final Campaign

Acknowledgments
George Mikan's Career Statistics
Notes
Bibliography

Index