Maravich Said in 1974: ‘I Don’t Want . . . to Die of a Heart Attack at Age 40’
Pete Maravich, in a 1974 interview with the Beaver County Times, said: “I don’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at age 40.”
He played pro ball for 10 years, from 1970 to 1980, and died of a heart attack Tuesday in Pasadena, at 40.
“That’s a little scary,” said sports writer Andy Nuzzo, who had interviewed Maravich when he played for the Atlanta Hawks.
“The story was laying on my desk when I got to work (Wednesday). I read it, and read it and read it and read it. I couldn’t believe it. Everything matched.”
Nuzzo was assigned the 1974 story because Maravich, an area native, “was unhappy about the fan reaction he was getting, unhappy that he was being labeled a hotdog,” Nuzzo said.
“It was right after that fan had displayed that sign, the one that said, ‘Pistol Pete, why do hot dogs cost $2 million in Atlanta and 50 cents in Philadelphia?’
“He had only been playing (in the NBA) for four years and he was saying he didn’t need basketball, that he could do something else.”
Maravich was born in Aliquippa, Pa., when his father, Press, coached there but moved away at age 9 when Press became the coach at Clemson.