Throwback Thursday: Thompson vs. Gervin for 1978 scoring title

VIDEO: A look back at George Gervin’s storied career

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: David Thompson and George Gervin battle for scoring crown

The 1977-78 season featured two of the league’s most spectacular stars in a duel for the scoring crown that came down to the final day of the season.

All season long, David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets and George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs were locked in a close race for the NBA scoring title. On the final day of the season, Thompson scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons to take hold of the scoring title. But, Gervin had yet to play that day. A few hours later, Gervin — needing 58 points to secure the scoring crown — roasted the New Orleans Jazz with a 63-point effort to claim the title.

This Throwback Thursday, we honor that down-to-the-wire scoring battle between “The Iceman” Gervin and the “Skywalker” Thompson.

Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Thompson vs. Gervin

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  1. It bothers me that both Gervin and Thompson lost on those nights. Almost feels like they valued the stat over the win.

  2. McDowski says:

    It’s pretty crazy that so many people, including sports analysts, refer to this battle in a positive light, despite the fact that if any current player tried such a thing he would be branded as “selfish” and vilified.

    • wildbill2u says:

      I was pretty close friends with several Spurs at the time. It might’ve been selfish if the team hadn’t wanted him to get the title. They kept feeding him the ball and even though he complained about it, no one else would shoot. It was a sign of their deep respect and love for the Iceman.

  3. Luke says:

    Are yall serious? Thats what yall have say in response to this?

    “It bothers me” and “Almost feels like”? What kind of weak commentary is that? If you think these guys were stat mongers then say it. Otherwise bask in the greatness that was George Gervin and David Thompson. I for one had never heard of Thompson, learning that he was on the same level as the Iceman gives me a slightly increased appreciation for the game. Both these guys were former ABA ballers, if Gervins ABA stats were allowed hed be one of the highest scoring players of all time. Oh and by the way, scoring points helps your team win games and the Spurs, with the Iceman, won a lot of them.

    McDowski, how is this not a posotive battle? Two guys carried their teams, Lebron and others get that praise all the time. At the base of your complaint is that the media and sports media are hypocritical, which is true some of the time. But seeing this as postive is not “pretty crazy”, vilifying James, Harden, Westbrook, Durant, Iriving for scoring 58 or 73 would be. Irving scored 57 against the spurs a few weeks ago and it was hailed as one of the best games of the year, which it was. He simply was amazing and thrilling to watch.

  4. Kingranches says:

    I don’t know how long you two have been watching this game, but i only started back in 1998 and i clearly remember those early years being filled with fans that only talked about the STARS on their teams (right along with the analysts,) I got the clear idea that they came to the games to see those stars play, more than they did for the team or even the win. They wanted BOTH of course, but right up until recently folks were Lebron or Kobee fans and THEN fans of the team, which might well be the reason their teams often DIDNT get the win. You get what you ask for in a capitalist market, and fans wanted SUPER STARS making highlight reels over WINS. I watched POPOVICH almost single handedly change all that -along with practically inventing the concept of Unselfishness and TEAM play that just recently became the standard. – When nobody could beat a TEAM with super stars after 16 plus years of trying every combination of superstars they could come up with. IMO ICE is/was one of the least egotistical super stars to ever play the game, he was IMO just giving the fans what they THEN expected, to see their superstar scoring for 48 minutes. JMO but i think Pop changed more about this game than just ONE team.

  5. Stu says:

    As a long time Celtics fan, I am proud of the success of my team and we did it without ever having a player win the scoring title. Scoring titles are meaningless. Championships are everything. Ask Jordan which he would prefer.

  6. Tim says:

    Sorry, throw!

  7. Webster my man says:

    Jordan got both and ask him which he would prefer, he would say both. Add a DPOY too!