| ||Thursday, July 27|
From the mailbag
Who should be in the NBA Hall of Fame? Here's what ESPN.com users had to say: Rebound = Dennis Rodman. Dennis has definitely taken the Fame part of the phrase, but has any player in the history of the NBA committed themselves to rebounding the ball as much as Dennis has? I think not. Just have a look at his Championship rings.
Why Rudy Tomjanovich is not in the Basketball Hall of Fame is beyond me. A 5 time NBA All-Star, third-leading scorer in franchise history (behind Calvin Murphy, a hall of famer, and Hakeem Olajuwon, a future hall of famer), coach of two NBA Championship teams, and the man who led a last-minute replacement team of college players to a bronze medal against the best in the world in the 1998 World Basketball Championships. He is also the only coach in NBA history to lead his team from the lottery to a division title in his first full season. Maybe he will finally get his due once he leads the USA to a gold medal in the Olympics later this year.
Some of the attributes people look for is statistics, fame, and championships. Based on his rebounding titles, NBA titles, and notorious reputation in every NBA town, Bill Laimbeer should be in the hall. He was a potent scoring threat, a team leader, and did whatever it took to win.
Tex Winter is a name that should be a shoo-in. He has coached for decades and is responsible for the offense that has DOMINATED the NBA in the last few years, the triangle offense. The main reason he is not in is because he hasn't been a head coach in years and is not a spot-light kind of guy. Phil Jackson wouldn't be successful without Tex Winter, that's why he took him to LA.
Dick Van Arsdale and Alvan Adams are two former Phoenix Suns who absolutely belong. Van was a good scorer with an excellent outside shot and a powerful drive to the hoop and on defense was so tough that Jerry West once said that Van played him as well as anyone ever had. When Van retired he was in the all-time top 25 in scoring with a field goal percentage that most of today's players only can dream about.
Dennis Johnson should be in. Premier defensive guard of the late 70's and throughout the 80's...Clutch shooter.. Great point guard who rarely made a mistake and always got the ball in the right hands. Excellent passer and rebounder plus shot-blocker deluxe for a guard.
I took a look at the list of five, and Bernard King stands out as a player who should be in Springfield. Except for Michael Jordan, no one could take control of a game like he could. He scored at will, despite having the injuries. Imagine what he could have done had it not been for the injuries. He had the heart of a champion, refusing to let pain control him. He definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, not just for his scoring ability, but for his perseverance as well.
I would be very disappointed if at the end of his career Chris Mullin does not make the Hall. I guess this comes down to the great fame debate, you can look at his career numbers and they are that of a player who is above average. You can look at the numerous season where he was hampered with injuries. You can look at the fact that he only had 4 or 5 great pro years. But when you think of Chris Mullin you have to think of him as one of the handful of players who raised the bar for professional basketball during the boom of the late 80's and early 90's. He was college player of the year and a two time Olympic gold medalist, and his being in the finals(be it in a minor roll) puts a red ribbon on this mans career. I just believe that it would be tragic if Mullin was not in the Hall with the rest of the original Dream Team.
Why doesn't anyone consider Jack Sikma a hall of famer? All Jack Sikma did in his career was make 7 all-star teams, play on 11 playoff teams, including a championship team, and was a consistant 10 per game scorer and rebounded at an almost identical clip. Plus, if innovators are placed into the hall, Sikma should've been a shoe-in...he was the first center to lead the league at the free throw stripe and he was the first full-time center to be armed with the 3-point shot we see nowadays. He wasn't the most recognized player, but he still had a career more worthy of the hall than many others.
Sidney Moncrief not making the Hall is an absolute travesty. Maybe he should've played in N.Y. or Chicago or 'talked trash' to get noticed. One of the top guards at boths ends of the and maybe the best defensive guard in league history other than Michael Jordan. He could score, rebound, pass, defend and made everyone around him a better player. Just ask Don Nelson who drafted him 3rd after Magic and Larry in the '79 draft. He was also a winner. He and Marques Johnson combined to give the Bucks numerous division titles in their day. Without a true big man in the middle, thay could never get passed Philly or Boston. The Basketball Hall of Fame is not a political popularity contest (like Cooperstown) and only invites the elite. Sidney Moncrief was among the elite.
I grew up watching Maurice Cheeks and in my opinion, he is a Hall Of Famer. He held that championship team together and had a very respectable career. He wasn't flashy, he just knew how the game was played better than most. So if I had a say the Sixers jersey #10 should be represented in Springfield.
I just read your case study on Reggie Miller, and I must say that I don't believe he has put up the kind of numbers that warrant entry into the hall of fame. True, he has been a good three point shooter, but that is about the extent of his game (no defense, no rebounds). I can name many other players who had just as much skill shooting the three (Mark Price), and in addition to that was more valuable to their team. In addition, the fact that his awesome three point shooting has only landed him in the all-star game 5 times in his career, shows that he is not looked upon like many other superstars in the league. It wasn't until just recently with the weakining of the Eastern Conference, that he was even able to take the Pacers to the finals, and he wasn't even the best player on that team (Rose). If being a spot up three point shooter is good enough to get someone in the hall,(minus a championship), I think it only weakens the signifigance of the hall.
La' Maze Johnson
Who belongs in Cooperstown?
Who should be in the NFL Hall of Fame?
Who should be in the NHL Hall of Fame?
In-depth: The Hall of Fame debate