Tag: Hall of Fame


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.

Fan voting will weigh into Hall of Fame selections beginning in 2013


Here’s a curveball for you: Beginning with the Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2013, fans around the world will be able to take part in the Hall of Fame selection process. That’s a pretty significant step for any Hall of Fame body, much less one with a history of controversial, closed-door decision making.

According to an announcement made by Jerry Colangelo at a press conference in Orlando on Friday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has partnered with ESPN to create an online voting framework based on the accepted finalists for each Hall of Fame class, following a simple “yes or no,” format. The top three online vote getters among each crop of finalists will receive one additional “Yes” vote for the sake of final tabulation; enshrinement requires 18 of such votes in total, leaving the online portion of the balloting a relatively small — but not unsubstantial — piece of the final decision.

Odd though it may seem that any basketball fan  — regardless of whether they’re well-versed or misinformed — will be able to vote on something as enduring as a Hall of Fame honor, this is a zero-risk enterprise for the Hall. Online voters will be restricted to a pre-screened crop of worthy candidates, effectively limiting their influence. Plus, the online vote only impacts the top three vote getters overall, meaning that in most cases, the fans will simply be affirming the no-questions-asked inclusions who already would have been selected without issue.

It’s a nice token gesture for fan involvement in an oft-debated process, but this isn’t earth-shattering, even though it may be ground-breaking.

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.

Yao Ming says to put his Hall of Fame nod on hold

Former NBA player Yao attends a business event in Shanghai
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Eventually, Yao Ming will be welcomed into the basketball Hall of Fame.

If you just rolled your eyes, remember this is not just an NBA Hall of Fame. (We need one of those, but that is a separate issue.) What Yao did to bridge the NBA with China and help the sport grow in the largest nation in the world earns him a pass. (Plus, he was a really great center when healthy.)

But don’t give him that pass just yet.

After he retired this summer there was talk of putting him in the Hall as part of next year’s class, skipping the five years out of the game requirement for most players.

But Yao doesn’t want that and his agent has asked the Hall to put any nomination off for a year.

“He (Huizinga) indicated that Yao has great respect for the institution and equal respect for those elected before his consideration,” (Hall of Fame president and CEO John) Doleva said. “He just feels that it’s too soon to be considered as a contributor.”

Class. If nothing else, Yao was always classy. That has not changed with his retirement.

Portland fans outpouring humbles Arvydas Sabonis

Sabonis Hall of Fame
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Arvydas Sabonis is a quiet man, not someone given to grand shows of emotion.

But the newly minted Hall of Famer remains one of the most beloved of Trail Blazers, and it showed when more than 2,500 showed up to cheer Sabonis at a rally in the city.

All of that seemed to catch Sabonis by surprise, reports Jason Quick from the Oregonian.

“I feel like I’ve been here the whole time,” said Sabonis, who lives in Kaunas, Lithuania. Always a humble and private person, Sabonis appeared embarrassed by the attention and adulation.

“I say thank you for remembering me,” Sabonis told the crowd. “I’m surprised.”

Sabonis, at 7’3” and around 300 pounds, was one of the few people who could really battle Shaquille O’Neal in the paint during Shaq’s prime. That was despite Sabonis being north of 30 and having had Achilles and foot issues. But here is the stat I think best tells you how rounded his game was — Sabonis was a career 32.8 percent from three-point range. In the 96-97 season he took almost two threes a game on average and hit 37 percent of them. The man is one of the best big men ever to play, we just missed his prime on this side of the ocean.

It’s good to see that the people of Portland have not forgotten him. And it’s good that he knows that now.