Tag: Don Nelson

Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller, Don Nelson lead Basketball Hall of Fame class


I’m going to try — to really, really try — not to turn this into a “we need a separate NBA Hall of Fame” rant. Even though we do.

I don’t want to go there because there are some deserving people getting into the Hall of Fame as part of this year’s class. Reggie Miller, for one. Don Nelson is another (but we knew he was in).

So I’m not going to dwell on the fact that Ralph Sampson is going into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame before Bernard King. I’m not. I’m not going to try and dissect the Hall’s voting logic because every year I can’t find it. No. I ‘m just going to try and let it go.

The Hall of Fame announced its class Monday, and there are a couple no brainers at the top of the list.

Reggie Miller deserves it as one of the best pure shooters the game has ever seen. (Even if he might be the second best player in his family.) Miller led the NBA in three point field goals made in a career, was a five-time All-Star and is maybe the most iconic Pacer of All time. Not to pick on the Hall too much, but how is it he wasn’t even a finalist last year and this year he is in? I miss the logic so often with the Hall decisions.

Is it too much to ask to have Spike Lee do Miller’s Hall of Fame introduction? That would win me back over to the Hall’s side fast.

Don Nelson also deserved to be in as the winnestest coach in NBA history and a great innovator of the game. That was a given.

But now we get into why I think there should be an NBA hall — Ralph Sampson is a member of this year’s class. Sampson was one of the most dominant college players of all time (three time Naismith Award winner) and he was a three time NBA All-Star. But his hall status is based on those college years.

Jamaal Wilkes is another guy who gets in for a college and NBA career combined — he was a force for John Wooden at UCLA and then went on to win four NBA titles and made three NBA All-Star games as a member of the Showtime Lakers. His NBA credentials for the Hall are borderline — and this coming from a big fan of his — but once you add in college he gets the nod.

Still the sweetest corner jumper ever, even if you would never let your kid shoot with that form.

Here are the other inductees:

• Chet Walker, the seven-time All-Star swingman of the Sixers (where he won a ring) and Bulls. This is a good call, look at his similarity numbers and you get Kevin McHale then Rick Barry. Good company.

• Mel Daniels, the two-time MVP of the ABA who was a seven-time All-Star and won three rings in that league. All of those chips came with the Pacers — him and Reggie Miller in the same class make this an Indiana event.

• Phil Knight, the founder of Nike.

• Don Barksdale, one of the African-American pioneers in the sport who won a gold medal in 1948 and spent four years in the NBA (two with Boston).

• Hank Nichols, the coordinator of officials for the NCAA for more than 20 years.

• Katrina McClain, the two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the year.

• The All American Redheads, the first professional women’s basketball team.

• Lidia Alexeeva, long time coach of the Soviet Union’s women’s teams.

Reggie Miller, Don Nelson, and Bernard King among 2012 Hall of Fame candidates


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.

Hall of Fame nominees announced. Yes, we see you Reggie.


It’s just the first step — and getting past the first step can lead to controversy.

The list of nominees for the 2012 class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame have been announced. It’s an impressive group of people from all across the hoops spectrum (remember, the Hall of Fame is the entire sport, not just the NBA).

Reggie Miller is back and on the list. One of the greatest sharpshooters the game has ever seen and until Ray Allen passed him last season the NBA’s all-time leader in three pointers made is back. He was on this first list last season but didn’t make it to the list of finalists — which was a mistake. Go ahead and argue that Miller is not a first ballot guy or maybe that he is on the HOF bubble and just misses the cut if you want (I disagree, but there’s an argument there). However, there is no argument that he belongs in the final group, a cut he didn’t make last year.

Also on the first cut this year, is Bulls executive Jerry Kraus, who would have Phil Jackson’s vote to get in even if the two barely speak. Don Nelson, the NBA’s all-time winningest coach is on the list, as is Vlade Divac, the Yugoslavian center who was one of the first big European imports to the NBA.

The rest of the list from North American list are:

Al Attles, John Bach, Dick Bavetta, Maurice Cheeks, Lefty Driesell, Bill Fitch, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Curt Gowdy (broadcaster), Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, former Tom Jernstedt (contributor), Mark Jackson, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Billy Packer (contributor), Rick Pitino, Paul Silas, George Raveling, Mitch Richmond, Ralph Sampson, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Gene Shue, Jim Valvano, Donnie Walsh (most recently the Knicks GM), Gary Williams, Paul Westphal (as a player), Jamaal Wilkes.

Plenty of worthy people on that list, which will be trimmed down to a list of finalists, then from that list the class will be chosen.

But if I were picking three it would be Miller (and I want Spike Lee to introduce him), Krause and Nelson. Not that I get to pick. In fact, this is the Hall of Fame, so don’t bet on logic.

Don Nelson will walk for his diploma

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves

We now take a break from the madness of labor negotiations to bring you a little bit of a fun one. Retired Warriors coach Don Nelson will apparently get to walk for the diploma he earned in 1962 for finishing his degree before he was drafted. From Sports Business Daily:

Former NBA coach Don Nelson will graduate from college “almost 50 years after being” drafted in the ’62 NBA Draft. Nelson “plans to go through the University of Iowa commencement service in the spring of 2012, having fulfilled the necessary credits for his bachelor’s degree.”

via Names In The News – SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal.

Nelson completed his course work but never got the walk. So there will be the Run-And-Gunner himself, shaking the hand of the dean along with all the other people who are trying to determine what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives. Kind of appropriate.

How awesome would it be to have Don Nelson at your graduation party?

(HT: IamaGM.com)

Report: Adelman wants $25 million guaranteed from Wolves

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns
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Rick Adelman has interviewed twice to be the head coach in Minnesota, met the owner, he has a good relationship with the star player, likes to have his team run and just generally is the perfect fit on paper for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Yet, no deal so far.

Why not? It’s about the money. It’s always about the money. In this case, Adelman ask is for a massive contract from the small market Timberwolves. That according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune.

Rick Adelman still looks like the favorite, but here’s the tricky part: I hear he wants at least $5 million a year, and five years — not four — guaranteed. Do the math and that’s at least $25 million, sports fans.

Weeks ago I was told (Timberwolves owner) Glen Taylor paid Flip Saunders big money — $5 million a year in his final years – and is willing to do so again with a young group he thinks the franchise can grow with. But…$25 million or more?

The report also says that if it’s not Adelman it will be Don Nelson. (If it is someone else, like Sam Mitchell, it wasn’t GM David Kahn’s call, and that is another story entirely).

If that really is the choice — Nelson or Adelman — then Adelman is worth the $25 million. Nelson is a better coach than his reputation allows, but he was terrible with young players in Golden State. He’s not the guy to trust with a young team right now, especially in comparison to Adelman.

As always with coaching search, expect the Wolves to take their time making a decision.