Born December 12, 1932 Bob Pettit played in the NBA mainly as a Forward/Centre during their playing career, season(s): 1955-1965. Robert E. Lee Pettit Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, all with the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks. In 1956, he became the first recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award and he won the award again in 1959.