In a new regular series, the PBT writers give their opinions on a question of the day. This week:
Is Robert Horry a Hall of Famer?
Kurt Helin: No. It’s not even really close for me. Robert Horry has one of my favorite playoff moments ever (sorry Kings fans) and he provided us plenty of thrills on his way to seven rings, but he was a role player. He’s a guy who had the fortune to be in the right place at the right time, plus he had ice water blood that let him hit big shots, but he’s also a guy who averaged 7 points a game over the course of his career, who had a career PER of 13.4. If — as there should be — there were an NBA Hall of Fame then we could highlight him in the corner about the biggest buzzer beaters in league history. But even in an NBA only Hall Horry doesn’t make the cut. The Hall is for the elite, and Horry was a good role player. Sorry.
Dan Feldman: No. No way. Horry deserves to make the Hall of Fame as much as Tom Sanders does. Who’s Tom Sanders? Exactly. Hall of Fames should honor players who had great careers, not just great moments. Horry had a good career and plenty of great moments, but without his Hall of Fame-level teammates, Horry never would have been position to make his big shots. Championships are a team accomplishment, and Horry played a role in seven. But making the Hall of Fame is an individual accomplishment, and Horry doesn’t come close to deserving it.
D.J. Foster: How about a yes for the Forrest Gump of basketball? Despite the uncomfortable amount of individual accolades to Horry’s name (no All-Star games, no All-NBA selections), you can’t deny the historical impact he had on the game. Ask yourself this: what does the league look like without him? How many titles swing another way? Do Sacramento and Phoenix get rings? Does the stretch 4 era really catch fire without Horry and his teams ushering it in? Maybe the butterfly effect shouldn’t have an impact on Hall of Fame decisions, but I think I’m okay with the Hall preserving performances and acknowledging an overall impact on the game instead of imposing certain statistical benchmarks.
Brett Pollakoff: While I would say no initially, it’s definitely not as cut and dry as “no way” or “absolutely not.” This is the basketball hall of fame, remember, and not simply the NBA’s version of where the immortal players of the game are enshrined. All types of questionable characters are inducted based on shaky contributions to the game at large, and I tend to lean more with D.J. here in that Horry’s being at the right place at the right time and coming through in the clutch on multiple, very important occasions deserves to be remembered by future generations.
Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver
That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.
Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.
What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.