In a new regular series, the PBT writers give their opinions on a question of the day. This week:
Is Robert Horry a Hall of Famer?
Kurt Helin: No. It’s not even really close for me. Robert Horry has one of my favorite playoff moments ever (sorry Kings fans) and he provided us plenty of thrills on his way to seven rings, but he was a role player. He’s a guy who had the fortune to be in the right place at the right time, plus he had ice water blood that let him hit big shots, but he’s also a guy who averaged 7 points a game over the course of his career, who had a career PER of 13.4. If — as there should be — there were an NBA Hall of Fame then we could highlight him in the corner about the biggest buzzer beaters in league history. But even in an NBA only Hall Horry doesn’t make the cut. The Hall is for the elite, and Horry was a good role player. Sorry.
Dan Feldman: No. No way. Horry deserves to make the Hall of Fame as much as Tom Sanders does. Who’s Tom Sanders? Exactly. Hall of Fames should honor players who had great careers, not just great moments. Horry had a good career and plenty of great moments, but without his Hall of Fame-level teammates, Horry never would have been position to make his big shots. Championships are a team accomplishment, and Horry played a role in seven. But making the Hall of Fame is an individual accomplishment, and Horry doesn’t come close to deserving it.
D.J. Foster: How about a yes for the Forrest Gump of basketball? Despite the uncomfortable amount of individual accolades to Horry’s name (no All-Star games, no All-NBA selections), you can’t deny the historical impact he had on the game. Ask yourself this: what does the league look like without him? How many titles swing another way? Do Sacramento and Phoenix get rings? Does the stretch 4 era really catch fire without Horry and his teams ushering it in? Maybe the butterfly effect shouldn’t have an impact on Hall of Fame decisions, but I think I’m okay with the Hall preserving performances and acknowledging an overall impact on the game instead of imposing certain statistical benchmarks.
Brett Pollakoff: While I would say no initially, it’s definitely not as cut and dry as “no way” or “absolutely not.” This is the basketball hall of fame, remember, and not simply the NBA’s version of where the immortal players of the game are enshrined. All types of questionable characters are inducted based on shaky contributions to the game at large, and I tend to lean more with D.J. here in that Horry’s being at the right place at the right time and coming through in the clutch on multiple, very important occasions deserves to be remembered by future generations.