Enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a distinct honor to many in the basketball world, no matter how ridiculous and arbitrary the criteria for inclusion seem to be. With that in mind, here are the candidates for the Hall of Fame class of 2012, as announced by press conference on Friday:
- Reggie Miller
- Mo Cheeks
- Don Nelson
- Bernard King
- Bill Fitch
- Don Nelson
- Hank Nichols
- Rick Pitino
- Jamaal Wikes
- Ralph Sampson
- Katrina McClain
- All-American Red Heads
Regardless of the fate of these individual candidates, don’t let your feathers get too ruffled; we’ve all already wasted more than enough time trying to decipher the Hall’s baffling guidelines. There are plentiful examples of worthy players who were excluded for no reason whatsoever, and just as many cases in which a seemingly undeserving player was ushered in with a raised eyebrow.
But if you can find legitimacy in the somewhat inexplicable directives of Hall of Fame voters, then feel free to parse this list and display your nodding approval, insistent outrage, or overall contentment.
We complained that Reggie Miller was not on the list — have a discussion if he should be in the Naismith Hall of Fame if you want, he was a bit one-dimensional, but not to be on the final ballot is a travesty — still that should not taking away from the people that make the list.
It’s a good group of 12 that did make the cut.
Dennis Rodman — arguably the greatest rebounder the game has ever seen and a defensive force with a handful of championship rings — heads the list. He’s a guy that should be in any legitimate hoops hall of fame for what he did on the court, but his off-the-court antics and reputation will make it interesting to see if he gets the votes.
Also making the final 12 are Chris Mullin; UCLA legend and four-time NBA champion Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes (he could get in for that 20-foot “layup” he knocked down from the baseline with his elbow flared out for years); Tex Winter (the inventor of the triangle office and a coaching legend); Ralph Sampson; Teresa Edwards (a five-time Olympian); Tara VanDerveer (Stanford’s women’s coach); Dick Motta; Herb Magee (Philadelphia University coach); Hank Nichols (college referee); and Al Attles, assistant general manager of the Golden State Warriors.
One shouldn’t have any problem with that group.
Do I have an issue that Ralph Sampson is a finalist but Reggie Miller did not? Now we’re getting somewhere? And we don’t know who the people on the committee are. Very transparent.
The issue is with the setup of the Hall of Fame itself — how do you compare what VanDerveer does to what Mullin or Wilkes did? Sure, it is all basketball, but not to have separate Hall of Fames — or at least separate wings with separate voting processes — it all seems a muddled mess. Or, you could just start an NBA only Hall of Fame… hello, David Stern?