Tag: Hall of Fame

Spencer Haywood

Why Spencer Haywood should be in Hall of Fame


Once again Spencer Haywood is a finalist for the Hall of Fame.

If you want, you can make a strong statistical argument for why Haywood should be in the Hall of Fame. For his career, he was a 20 and 10 guy — 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds a game. He was a five-time All-Star. He was the ABA’s MVP in 1970. He has an Olympic gold medal with Team USA. He has an NBA ring from 1980 with the Lakers. He was one of the best big men of his generation.

But that’s not the best reason.

Haywood was the guy who sued the NBA to allow players to leave college early to enter the league. It’s  a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court, which sided 7-2 with Haywood. He changed the game, paving the way for everyone, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, to enter early.

The video above explains Haywood’s impact well.

Then put the man in the Hall of Fame already.

Game highlights from newly minted Hall of Famer Gary Payton (VIDEO)

Gary Payton

Gary Payton was a no-brainer Hall of Fame pick… yet this is the Hall of Fame selection process we are talking about so there was some concern until it became official. Which it did on Monday.

Some of our younger readers may not have seen “The Glove” in game action, so here is a short highlight compilation courtesy NBA.com. This really doesn’t do justice to his impact on the game, but it is fun to  watch. So enjoy.

So what does the 2013 Hall of Fame look like?

Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony

With a wrap on the 2012 class after Friday night’s activities, of course the attention turns to next year and the next class. Scott Howard Cooper broke down the list for NBA.com. The big first-year addition in terms of eligibility is Gary Payton. Glove’s a lock for inclusion in the Hall, eventually, even though it’s going to be kind of awkward for the league with all of his highlights from a city his team no longer plays in . But the other question is if he’ll get in in his first-year of eligibility. Reggie Miller was held out last year, which was nuts in and of itself. Do you consider Payton above Miller, all-time, enough to make a different ruling on him?

Cooper also broke down the list of currently eligible folks, and it’s an interesting crew:

1. Bernard King, North American Committee.

2. Jerry Krause, Contributor.

3. Mark Jackson, North American.

4. Tim Hardaway, North American.

5. Bobby Jones, ABA.

6. Mitch Richmond, North American.

7. Maurice Cheeks, North American.

8. George McGinnis, ABA.

9. Rick Pitino, North American.

10. Slick Leonard, ABA.

via An Early Look At The Hall Class of 2013 « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog.

King you have to think is a lock, as he should have been included this year, and there’s been enough noise made about him the past two years to make you think it’s probably coming to a head.  Mark Jackson would be a pretty good candidate, and his career resume looks a lot better than maybe the perception of it. Hardaway’s another easy pick, but you have to wonder if the controversy over his homophobic comments years ago could hold him out. The Hall loves guys like Pitino, so don’t be surprised if that happens. (Have I mentioned we need an NBA-only Hall of Fame?)

But let’s take a second on Krause.

The architect of the greatest dynasty in NBA history. (You can keep the Russell Celtics and the Showtime Lakers. Quality of competition + greatest player of all time + six titles in eight years, six out of six in years the players involved were active + greatest single season ever = victory.) Krause had the mind to figure out how to build a legendary team around the greatest player of all time, how to put talent around him, picked the coach, and oh, yeah, had the stones to draft Pippen.

But if you’ve read The Jordan Rules or Playing for Keeps, then you know the real dynamics between Krause and Jackson, Jordan, and Pippen. It was not pretty. At all. And Jordan, who has as much sway as anyone in professional basketball outside of David Stern and Worldwide Wes, has never forgotten the bad blood.

Interesting dynamics all around, even so long after the fact. I’m rooting for that, just because awkward moments on television are pretty much my lifeblood. Hard to argue Krause isn’t deserving, though.

Finally, Bill Fitch needs in, like yesterday. This has to be rectified.

Video: Reggie Miller thanks sister, admits he pushed off on Greg Anthony as he enters Hall of Fame

Reggie Cheryl Miller

Reggie Miller gave a super speech upon his induction to the Naismith Hall of Fame Friday night. He was warm, funny, self-deprecating, and yet still so confident in his own abilities and impishly proud of his constant needling. He told stories about being abused by Michael Jordan and what the game has meant to him. He also shared a very emotional moment with his sister, Cheryl.

Miller also finally owned up to pushing off on Greg Anthony in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals, but justified it by talking about how Michael Jordan, who was in attendance presenting Phil Knight, also did it “all the time.”

It was a funny, touching tribute from one of the best three-point shooters of all time. Reggie Miller finally got his moment in the sun, and he handled it with grace, class, and still managed to entertain everyone watching. So much like his career.

The Inbounds: For the 500th time, we need an NBA Hall of Fame

Image (1) Nba_logo-thumb-250x250-17150-thumb-250x250-17151.png for post 3595

When I make this column, as I do every year, I go through the usual flip side. Do we really need a Hall of Fame? Is there anyone who should be included in a Hall of Fame for the NBA that is not or will not be in the Naismith? Is recognition in the Naismith not enough accomplishment? Is there really the demand to satisfy fans desire to attend a NBA-only Hall? What’s the problem?

The problem is not that Reggie Miller, Don Nelson, and Ralph Sampson are being inducted tonight alongside people whose accomplishments were not in the NBA. That’s not it at all. I’m not arguing for the elimination of the Naismith Hall, if anything, I want there to be a higher level of regard to those who have genuinely contributed to the sport, not just the league. But to lump the NBA in with every other organized basketball entity on the planet is to insult both sides. The NBA is its own creature, far removed from Europe’s basketball cultural evolution, profoundly different from the NCAA’s particular brand of madness, and not at all truly entwined with international competition.

It’s its own thing.

And it’s a big thing.

When you think of basketball, you’re either going to think of the NCAA tournament or the NBA. I’m not here to try and inflate the importance of pro basketball over college. March Madness is a wonderful entity and should have its own recognition of greatness.

Funny thing. It does.

College gets to celebrate its wonderful moments and players, the people who form the tapestry of its rich and legendary history. Why doesn’t the NBA? Why should the NBA run cover for all forms of basketball? Again, I don’t mind the association of the NBA with the Hall. It’s good that the NBA brings some attention which gets drawn to the other inductees whose accomplishments may not be as well known but are often equal or greater to those of the millionaire superstars molded to statue.

But it’s the lack of a Hall for the NBA, without the ability to recognize people who clearly belong, but likely won’t because the Naismith is trying to cram in all of basketball. What winds up happening is worthy people from outside of the NBA who would go overlooked otherwise get in, while completely worthy people from the ranks of the NBA are excluded.

I’ll admit it, I love Bill Simmons’ Pyramid idea for the Hall. It’s innovative, and it serves two purposes at once. It allows us to induct those who are worthy of enshrinement, but not next to the greatest of the greats, while providing an opportunity to set those players aside.

Reggie Miller is entering the Hall alongside Phil Knight, for crying out loud. I don’t have an issue with Knight being inducted, You can’t argue the impact he’s had on the game. He belongs in the Naismith. But Reggie freaking Miller deserves to enter enshrinement alongside Nelson and Sampson, Wilkes and Daniels, by themselves. Their contributions to the sport of basketball may be equal, but not to the NBA.

I’ve long held that the best thing about the NBA is that you can’t take it too seriously. This is a league of tape-delay Finals, coked out history, flopping franchises, lottery conspiracy theories, trade vetoes and Planet Lovetron. That’s what makes this league so great. The sheer absurdity of it. But you can’t have all that without also recognizing the greatness and history of the playoffs and Finals. Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kareem, Wilt, Olajuwon, Russell, Moses, Walton, Duncan, Shaq, Kobe, Dirk, LeBron, Wade. That’s a whole other level of basketball greatness and that’s just scratching the surface. The league has been around for over 60 years. It’s got a story to tell, and it deserves a building to tell it in. It deserves to recognize the best of the best, and the great players and people who contributed to what it has become.

The NBA having its own Hall won’t lead to total destruction of the Naismith. Basketball culture won’t crumble into a sponsored dystopia. (Though you can bet the league will make a huge profit on it that way — and hey, maybe that way we can avoid another lockout!) Everything will be fine if we recognize the accomplishments of those to the sport of basketball, and those specifically to the National Basketball Association. We lose nothing, we gain a lot.

We live in a world where stories are told in more volume and with more accessibility than at any time in our history as a species. We’re not fighting for bandwidth. There’s room in the basketball collective consciousness for both the Naismith Hall and the NBA Hall.

The league too often has deferred throughout its history, has shied away from flexing its muscle (unless it’s in a labor dispute). It’s time. The NBA’s worthy of its own Hall of Fame.

Let’s build it.