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FAQ: Reggie Miller’s Hall of Fame Probability

Posted by Justin Kubatko on January 28, 2009

This morning I woke up to the following message in my inbox:

Can Reggie Miller's HOF chance really be .037? That seems inconsistent with traditional stats and modern stats.

That's a good question, and one I receive fairly often, so I thought I would address it in a blog post. Let me start by explaining that the Hall of Fame probabilities do not reflect my personal opinion. The method was developed to try to identify what factors the voters have deemed to be the most important over the years. Thus factors like points per game and championships won are included while factors like steals per game and field goal percentage are not. While you may not necessarily agree with that, the factors were chosen based on the past behavior of Hall of Fame voters.

That said, let's take a closer look at Reggie Miller. The reality is that he does not have the resume that the Hall of Fame voters have looked favorably upon in the past:

  • For a shooting guard, Miller's career scoring average of 18.2 points per game is good, but not great.
  • Miller's rebound (3.0/game) and assist (3.0/game) averages weren't particularly impressive.
  • Miller was selected to play in only five All-Star Games, a low total for a Hall of Famer. There are 22 players who have been selected to play in exactly five NBA All-Star Games and are eligible for the Hall, and only nine of them have been elected.
  • Miller received MVP votes in only two different seasons, finishing his career with a grand total of just 3 points in the MVP voting.
  • Despite being on numerous good teams, Miller was never on a team that won an NBA championship.

Personally, I like Miller, and I think he probably should be elected to the Hall of Fame. (Note to self: run Miller though the Keltner List soon.) But, as I said, he's lacking the accomplishments that usually get a player elected to the Hall of Fame.

What do you think? Is Reggie Miller a Hall of Famer?

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61 Responses to “FAQ: Reggie Miller’s Hall of Fame Probability”

  1. Zech Says:

    Hall of famers are inducted not because of their resume, but because of their impact on the game of basketball. Few players have had the impact that Reggie has had. Also, few players have spent as much of their careers in the playoffs as he did. Though he did not win a championship, he was always close, and brought his team that close entirely on his own shoulders. Not one team in history has ever won a championship with only one "star" player on their team. Be that as it may, he stuck with his team his entire career. In my mind, thats what makes him a champion anyway.

    ALL TIME IN 3pointers made leader, Top ten ALL TIME, in free through percentage, Top ten ALL TIME in minutes played, Top ten ALL TIME in points scored, One of only 6 members of the 50-40-90 club along with Larry Bird, Mark price, and three others, Member of the all rookie team, and has a career 3pt percentage of nearly 40%. If you can make more 3pointers then anyone in the league EVER, and do it at nearly 40%, thats astounding.
    Reggie Miller is a shoe-in for the hall of fame. This entire discussion has no merit.

  2. Chris Says:

    Granted...I am a die-hard Pacers fan and Reggie is my all-time favorite player but there are certain things that stats can measure in terms of whether he should be inducted. Among those are - memorable performances, clutch performances (the 8 points in 9 seconds or whatever, the half-court buzzer beater against the Nets, the GW-shot against MJ, etc.)

    And as for the whole not having a championship thing...fine, that's valid. But look at some of the other HOFers without a title - John Stockton, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins, etc. But look at the road block Reggie and the Pacers had in their way --- they were a smaller market, meaning top free agents are tougher to attract and within the division was Michael Jordan and the Bulls - one of the best dynasties in the history of the NBA. By the time the Bulls' run was over, Reggie was almost 33 and on the way down.

    But he's one of the best 3-point shooters ever (will get passed by Ray Allen pretty soon), he stayed healthy all 18 years and did make it to the Finals only to get beat by another top dynasty in the Kobe/Shaq Lakers...and was the cornerstone of a successful franchise, albeit if he didn't win a title.

    Is he a first ballot HOFer? Don't know...depends who he's up against. But he's a personable, overall well-liked and respected player and one of the best of his generation.

  3. J.T. Jester Says:

    Numbers wise, Reggie is not a Hall-of-Famer. His stats indicate on of those guys like Chris Mullin, Reggie Theus, Mark Price, Jamaal Wilkes, Paul Westphaul, or Rolando Blackman who will always be on the edge but probably never get in. However, there is one thing about Reggie that makes that different. In their 11 years in the NBA before Reggie, the Pacers had made a 2 playoff appearances, both first round losses with win totals of 44 and 41. After Miller's first two years, the Pacers went on a streak of making the playoffs in 16 in out of 17 seasons (with Miller on all but the last), getting to 6 Eastern conference finals and 1 NBA final. They never won a championship, but when you consider that, other than Miller, the team consisted of mostly of higher quality role players, like Rik Smits, Dale Davis, Mark Jackson, and a well-past-his-prime Chris Mullin, there is no other reason that they could have been such a perennial contender but Miller. He is the end-all-be-all of Indiana Pacers basketball. I don't know who votes for the Hall of Fame, but if they consider the impact that a player had on his game, not to mention the success his team had as a result of himself, there is no question that Reggie Miller should be and probably will be in the Hall.

  4. matt Says:

    reggie miller scored 57 points in one game thats impessive, 29 in one quarter was a record till kobe broke it, most career three pointers, only player besides ray allen to have straight 90 percent free throw shooting season. many classic play off moments. miller will easily get into the hall

  5. SilentRat Says:

    Reggie Miller was the ultimate closer. As a kid I probably watched 20-30 Pacers games a year minimum and I couldn't even begin to tell you how many times he hit a game winning shot and it surprised no one. You were totally excited because they had won, but it was the expected result, much like when Mariano Rivera comes in for a save. They actually had a promotion sponsored by Miller Lite where every 4th quarter was "Miller Time" and they would donate so much money for each three he hit. He was the absolute definition of a "clutch player".

  6. bunny Says:

    There can't be any buts, ifs, when, coulds, shoulds, woulds, Reggie Miller goes to the HOF. When Shaq retires, a golden generation of NBA ballers who ambassadored basketball around the world will be gone. Miller was the second to last who left. He is a player that will ever be remembered because he was part of moments (even though this weren't championship moments). Moments that last long is what make professional sport so fascinating to most of us. Besides, Reggie needs to be elected just for stayin his whole career with the Pacers and never stopped believing. Usually I am really into stats, but this is just justice. Miller's memorabilia belong to the Hall of Fame of basketball just like Darth Vaders belongs to a movie Hall of Fame. He is the ultimate sports villain – just ask Spike Lee. Glen Rice, Mitch Ritchmond or Ray Allen could not have played that role.

  7. Skyler Says:

    He is the all-time 3 point scorer. Need I say more?

  8. Joeseph Says:

    If it weren't for those 2 Knicks playoff games, we wouldn't even be discussing his candidacy, so no I don't think he should be in the hall-of-fame. His numbers were good, but never great and he never won anything. Every once in a while a player gets a major media boost for whatever reason (and there are plenty in Miller's case) and that inflated reputation somehow sticks. The truth is he was never a top tier player even in his prime!

  9. Boris Says:

    @Joseph

    And if it weren't for Magic Johnson, James Worthy probably wouldn't even be in the the HOF!

    Please don't use "If's" to justify an argument. It is what it is, Miller's fame was propelled by a playoff game, and he's no less deserving of HOF than James Worthy is.

  10. MikeN Says:

    Lot of random ignorance in this thread.

    1)In the games the Pacers won against the Bulls in '98, Best played more in the 4th quarter. When Bird went to Mark Jackson, the Bulls won.

    2) For being a clutch, big-game player, Reggie had a lot of no-shows. On top of that he was like everyone else and missed game-winners, maybe the clutchiness was because he took more. He had a shot to make his Finals 2-2, and just missed. He came back from an eye injury to score 30 points and just missed a game winner against the Hawks in 96.

    3) His teams were not horrible. Ray Allen on the same teams probably does as well if not better. Rik Smits and the Davises as well as Mark Jackson. Also had Chuck Person, Travis Best, Jermaine Oneal, Jamaal Tinsley, Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest, Detlef Schrempf, Derrick McKey.

  11. Ben Parker Says:

    I think that Reggie should be a hall of famer for a number of reasons. I'll probably blog more about why I think he got snubbed and should be in. But in short, I grew up in the 90's as a young kid watching the NBA. The Utah Jazz have always been my favorite team. When I grew up watching Stockton to Malone, here are other names as players that I think of when I think of that era: Michael Jordan (hall of fame), Karl Malone (hall of fame), John Stockton (hall of fame), Patrick Ewing (hall of fame), Gary Payton (future hall of famer), Shaquille O'Neal (future hall of famer), Hakeem Olajuwan (hall of fame), Shaquille O'Neal (future hall of famer), Shawn Kemp (hall of fame caliber, don't know if he's got the numbers), and last but not least, I think of Reggie Miller. Reggie Miller in my opinion is often uttered and spoken of in the same sentence, breath, and conversation as all of those guys. All those guys are Hall of famers or future hall of famers, and so to not have Reggie get in on a first go around is a crime. Did I mention Rodman? NO! Yet Rodman got in ahead of Reggie. That is a joke. Rodman shouldn't be a hall of famer ahead of Reggie Miller, that is ridiculous. Gimme a break. If I am making a list of shooting guards to build my team around, outside of Jordan, Reggie would be #2, and #1 for pure shooter of all time. If I had to have one guy hit a clutch shot for my team with the game on the line, I'd take Reggie Miller over anybody including Jordan. He was that clutch. Reggie should be in the Hall of Fame first go around, and he will eventually get in. Reggie was a model face of the Indian Pacers and NBA for his entire career. Put in the the Hall of Fame right now!