Tag: Jamaal Wilkes


Meet the new Basketball Hall of Famers: Jamaal Wilkes


Legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn used to call Jamaal Wilkes baseline jumper a “20-foot layup.” It was that automatic. Magic Johnson would drive the lane, kick it out and you knew it was two.

And that shot, with its eccentric form that would make Shawn Marion wince — Wilkes swung the ball behind his left ear and shot it from basically behind his head — was how we often remember Wilkes.

But he was a lot more than that. He was a great player on both ends of the floor seemingly always overshadowed by being on the team with some of the best and most flamboyant ever — Bill Walton in college at UCLA, Rick Berry first then Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the NBA. Wilkes never really drew attention to himself, on and off the court. His nickname was “Silk” because he was that smooth.

Pat Riley said Wilkes’ shot “was like snow falling off a bamboo leaf it was so smooth.” That would probably be the most poetic line Riley ever uttered, but it is true.

You never really noticed Wilkes during the game, yet you’d look up at the end and he’d have 25 points.

Look at it this way: When you talk about the great individual games every played Magic Johnson’s 1980s Game 6 in the NBA finals comes up — Magic scored 42 points and played all five positions that night, scoring 42 points with 15 rebounds and 7 assists leading the Lakers to the NBA title.

Wilkes had 37 points and 10 rebounds in that game, including 16 points in a crucial third quarter for the Lakers. But as always, he was crucial to the win but would be overshadowed in history.

He put up impressive career numbers in the NBA — 17.7 points and 6.2 points per game — but the accolades say why he is getting inducted: three-time NBA champion (one with Golden State, who drafted him No. 11 overall), three time NBA All-Star, NBA Rookie of the Year, two time NBA All-Defensive team member. And as the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame covers all levels of a person’s career we can throw in two-time NCAA All-American and three time NCAA champion.

Come this weekend, he will not be overshadowed. It is Wilkes deserved time in the spotlight. And in the basketball 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.

Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin make Hall of Fame final ballot

Bulls v Magic Rodman

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?