Welcome to #29 of the 30 Greatest Hornets of All-Time. It is part of an ongoing series in the summer of '08 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Hornet franchise. Today's contribution by junsier. Today's references: Roto Evil (image). Enjoy!
As an avid card collector through the early nineties, I found that one of the more common Hornets' cards was that of Mike Gminski. It seemed like every other pack had the 6'11" "G Man" striking lanky rebounding positions with his short shorts.
Mike came to the Hornets midway through the '90-'91 season, which was the Hornets third season. At that time I didn't really knew who he was, just that he played for the Sixers and Nets before Charlotte. But Mike did have an exceptional career back in Duke as well; he's currently in the ACC Hall of Fame and averaged a double-double for two straight years. He was pretty good on the Nets too, drafted 7th overall; he averaged 16.5 points and a little under 9 rebounds per game. So this was a solid acquisition for the Hornets when they got him in the trade from Philly.
One thing to remember well was his free-throw shooting. He was a career 84.3% shooter, not too bad for a guy his size. Like I said before, he did have a fairly decent jump shot, which stretched out the D and opened things offensively for the whole team. Mike himself played great defense (playing under Coach K in Duke), and he was the kind of lock-down defender down low that the Bees could count on- a post player that could clean the glass, play solid defense, and score when given the oppurtunity.
All in all, "Big G" was the kind of role-player you might forget after a few seasons, a solid player but not memorable enough to worship. Ironically, he'd be the perfect addition in the low post for the Hornets this summer.
An interesting ending note, currently Big Mike has his own website and blog as a respected analyst of ACC basketball. In addition, Mike is now a passionate cook, wine-taster, marathon biker, and philanthropist. Read about his "personal note" about his life after the NBA.
Teal Tallies: 43rd in Points (940), 31st in Rebounds (643), 29th in Blocks (60), 30th in FT% (79%), Total Salary of $4, 915, 000 from the Hornets