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It Finally Happened!!!!

Posted by Neil Paine on April 4, 2011

...Artis Gilmore is going to be a Hall of Famer!

This means we will have to come up with a new answer to #6 on our Keltner List posts.

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78 Responses to “It Finally Happened!!!!”

  1. Frank Says:

    pretty solid class this year, with Gilmore, Rodman, Winter having been elected

  2. AYC Says:

    About time... of course, Mullin shouldn't be in, but whatever.

  3. Frank Says:

    "Other inductees included Harlem Globetrotter Reece "Goose" Tatum, Chris Mullin, Tom "Satch" Sanders, Arvydas Sabonis, Teresa Edwards, Herb Magee and Tara VanDerveer. Among the finalists who did not get elected were former Bulls coach Dick Motta and Chicago native Maurice Cheeks." (source)

  4. AYC Says:

    I missed Satch. Apparently every single member of the Celtics from the 60's is gonna make the hall. I'm a Celtics fan, and I think this is ridiculous. Meanwhile, Reggie has to wait?

  5. Jason J Says:

    Chris Mullin is in (again)? Go Red Storm!

    Happy to see the Chicago Bulls rebounding greats both make it. Think it's ridiculous that Mo is still being overlooked. Meh, to Reggie (though with Mullin, leaving Reggie out doesn't make a ton of sense to me).

  6. Matt Johnson Says:

    Okay, the commenters aren't giving this the proper enthusiasm.

    I'm with Neil, this is fantastic. Just made my day. Gilmore has long been by far the biggest HOF snub I've ever seen. Completely unjustifiable even if you factor in the underrating of ABA success because he was superior to Dan Issel in both leagues, yet Issel got in the Hall many years ago. Finally, a wrong righted. Huzzah!

  7. AYC Says:

    Matt's right; no more negativity. Big props to Artis! And props to the voters for having the guts to put him and Rodman in.

  8. NGNM Says:

    Finally!!! :)

    Will Leroy Edwards ever be inducted?

  9. Mike Goodman Says:

    Is Artis a full fledged member, or in a 'special' section?

  10. D. Highmore Says:

    He's a full member Mike, but he was inducted directly through the ABA committee, bypassing the voting process (that is, if he were eligible this year).

  11. Luke Says:

    As soon as I heard the news, I came straight here as I knew there would be a headline similar to the one posted here. I didn't even think Gilmore was eligible anymore, and I didn't know they had special committees to look at guys that weren't voted on the regular way (like Rodman and Mullin). It was kind of funny how it was just buried in the third paragraph or so of the story (I'm lucky I even read the whole thing, I almost didn't), leading to a rare instance of absolutely blindsided, surprised happiness. You can definitely argue about the merits of every other player that got in this year, and I'm sure I will later on down the line, but you can't argue about Artis.

    On another note, I believe with Mullin's induction, every member of the original Dream Team is now in the Hall in their own right except for Christian Laettner... And I really don't think that's likely to change any time soon. (If it does we really need to start revising how the Hall selection process works.) How much do you think the Team USA selection committee wishes they could go back in time and replace Laettner on that roster with Shaq? Not that Shaq needs anything else to boost his ego, but that was really they're only swing-and-miss when putting that team together.

  12. Rock Says:

    The moment I saw on the ESPN ticker that Artis Gilmore had FINALLY made it, I knew this site would be in full celebration mode. And we all should be. This was a long time coming.

  13. Ben Says:

    That's cool. Nerd question - does the HOF probability model get updated whenever a new member is inducted?

  14. AYC Says:

    I'm surprised to hear they have an ABA committee, since ABA players never get in....

  15. Greyberger Says:

    It takes a concerted effort to keep those players out, 15. Full-time job probably.

  16. Chuck Says:

    Neil, you were the first guy I thought of when I heard Gilmore got in. I remember back in the good ol' (Armchair) days you writing a rather detailed article claiming Gilmore to be the most overlooked HOF snub in ANY sport.

    Or something to that effect.

    Anyway, it is a long time coming and more than well deserved.

  17. Ricardo Says:

    My eight-year old self, the kid who learned basketball while cheering on the A-Train and Mike Mitchell and Iceman, is ecstatic today.

    And present-day me is pretty happy too. Congrats Artis (and everyone else)!

  18. Ian Says:

    This is wonderful news!

  19. Sean Says:

    Congrats to the A-Train. Seein as it is the BASKETBALL HOF----and not simply the NBA HOF, I believe that Ralph Sampson merits induction. It's funny how HOFs sometimes show mercy when a guy's career is destroyed by injury------and other times they do not.

    It's the Naismith HOF, yes? Well, Ralph Sampson has 3 Naismiths... and 2 Woodens... He was ROY as a center and MVP of the All Star Game (thanks to Magic) as a PF in his 2nd year-----> then hit a buzzer beater to oust the Lakers in his 3rd season.

    And then between his back and knees------he was done-----and rather precipitously. Had he been in a car wreck or lost vision in one eye due to some freak mishap on the court and had the SAME EXACT accomplishments, some folks would have put him in with no waiting period.

    Weird stuff.

  20. Jimmy Says:

    I will be the first to nominate a someone for the Keltner questions-- Spencer Haywoood. He was the ABA MVP, was 1st team all-nba his 1st two years in the NBA, 2nd team all-nba the next two years. In addition, he had the historically important role of being the first player to be an early entry to pro ball. I think he was the most dominant player not in the HOF until he ruined his skills with a drug problem.

  21. Basketball Brawl Says:

    Good to see A-Train stopped being penalized for starting his career with the league that paid him more.

    Next up on the list, Reggie Miller? That first-year snub was not a good sign...

  22. Matthew Says:

    JoJo White is the highest non-enshrined eligible on the Hall of Fame probability metric provided, so he should probably be under Keltner consideration. Payton isn't eligible next year, right? So we've got one more year before he is the obvious answer.

  23. Matthew Says:

    I'd also say that if the ABA Committee that they seemingly formed for the sole purposes of electing Gilmore stays in effect, Mel Daniels could be their next nominee, though he could be hurt by lack of longevity.

  24. Jacques Strappe Says:

    Re: earlier comment about Dream Team. Christian Laettner's college career might be good enough to eventually make the Hall. A few players are in mostly because of their college days, and let's face it, as much as people hate Duke, Laettner will still be synonymous with basketball in March long after we're all pushing daisies. He's become an easy target for scorn because of it and because he was an NBA All-Star "only" once, but I don't think him getting enshrined is as much of a long-shot as some may think. It's not an NBA-only Hall, remember, hence Arvydas Sabonis.

    Ralph Sampson might eventually get a look for the same reason.

  25. Jacques Strappe Says:

    Oh, on topic...I was stoked to see Artis Gilmore finally made it. I grew up with Rodman, so I was following his chances at making it and the idea of this being Gilmore's year never even crossed my mind. Better late than never in this case.

  26. RAF Says:

    With A-Train and Rodman going into the Hall, Spurs Nation Web site posed the question what other San Antonio could make the HOF outside Duncan and Popovich? Ginobili and Parker could get consideration, especially if they nab another title. But what about Sean Elliott?

  27. Keith Ellis Says:

    Melvin Joe Daniels' "longevity" equals that of Willis Reed, & Mel has an extra MVP & world's championship over Wills to boot. Daniels is a slam-dunker for future HoF induction, & his teammates Roger Brown is right there, too. Two-time Pacer champ + MVP McGinnis must make HoF as per the new "formulae" as well as their ultra-winning coach Slick Leonard, the Auerbach of the ABA. Haywood's sole ABA season that upstaged Alcindor as rookies will likely land him in Naismith; he also enjoys strong "street cred" for going hardship, his historical debt owed by Moses, Kobe, LeBron, Garnett, et al.

    Inducting Satch Sanders was subtly & brilliantly timed. Satch is a defense-first smallish forward, opening the way for Willie Wise & Bobby Jones who were the best defenders in pro bkb during their respective primes as well as top-notch Offenders in PPG & FG%, respectively. So they're a cinch now that Satch returned to recent memory. Other more controversial Satch-type ABA inductees would be ultra-defenders Joe Caldwell and Doug Moe, whom Rick Barry said defended as well as Dave DeBusschere.

  28. Keith Ellis Says:

    Some bloggers're saying Satch deserves to HoF because on another (non-Celtics) team he'd've played starter's minutes. That's the Antoine Carr argument; when Carr finally escaped as understudy to his old McDonald's Game teammate 'Nique his PPG zoomed to 20+. Yet Satch never approached a single Antoine Carr season. Sanders' sole individual claim to fame is a 2nd team All-D nod, but Bill Bridges made 2nd Team twice & scored/rebounded astronomically (a Haywoodesque 29-15) as a Kansas City Steer.

    Plus BBridges won an elder-statesman's ring a la Paul Silas in Seattle. Speaking of Silas, an all-D Celtic like Satch, he looks to be a future lock under the new HoF formula.

  29. P Middy Says:

    I'm very happy for Arvydas. Best post passer I've ever watched with my own eyes. Plus if you check out the footage from Mother Russia his combination of skill and athleticism is off the charts.

  30. Nick Says:

    Great news about Artis. My first thought on hearing the news was "Neil's going to have to revise his MVP questions".

  31. JeremyD Says:

    14 - AYC, the hall added 2 sub-committees this year. An ABA and an 'Early African-American Pioneers of the Game' committee. Gilmore and Goose Tatum were the sole inductees of those committees respectively.

  32. AYC Says:

    Of course. They clearly didn't have anybody voting for ABA players before....

  33. Sean Says:

    I posted this incredible picture of A-Train on a prior post; this seems like an appropriate time to break out the eye candy again. Congrats to Gilmore, and kudos to this blog for championing him!

  34. Keith Ellis Says:

    Amazing A-Train photo, Sean. I like how Artis timed his leap so that the photo would catch his wristband in the exact same spot as the top line of the bankboard square!

    Note on Satch Sanders: Some sources say he's only being inducted as a "contributor" & not a player a la A-Train & Arvydas. Not good news for Willie Wise & Bobby Jones, no matter how much better defenders they were than Sanders.

  35. steven Says:

    No question Gilmore deserved to get in.Rodman to me is a terrible choice.Guy was a completeely one way player.I wonder how much weight is given to college and ABA careers in selecting HOFers?

  36. Jesse Says:

    Satch is making it not only because of his playing career, but because of his contributions to the Rookie transition program from '87-'05.

  37. Robert August de Meijer Says:

    Does the HoF rating calculator have to be changed now?

    Anyhow, I guess it's time to debate who's number 6 on the Kelner list.
    Here's my list of nominees:
    -JoJo White
    -Bob Dandridge
    -Jamaal Wilkes
    -Mitch Richmond
    -Marques Johnson
    -Mark Aguirre
    -Kevin Johnson
    -Tim Hardaway
    -Bill Laimbeer
    -Bernard King
    -Sidney Moncrief
    -Dikembe Mutombo
    -Jack Sikma

    I would personally choose Jack Sikma. Good defensive presence, great rebounder, could score inside and outside, he could hit his free-throws, and healthy most of the time. Seven all-star selections (like Artis, in the shadow of Kareem and Moses, so otherwise not many honors). Even got a championship. And don't forget the mullet.

  38. Ben Says:

    Robert, the Mayor was already examined:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=1252

  39. Cort Says:

    i agree, sikma is deserving of the Hall. if he played today he would be the #1 or #2 center in the NBA. when he played there were many great centers who got more attention, were flashier and drew attention to themselves. in addition to being a very good offensive player and excellent rebounder, jack was very tough defensively and a great clutch player. also an excellent passing big man. i think he is still the tallest man to win a FT shooting title as well.
    other highly underrated or forgotten great players-bob dandridge, jamaal wilkes, paul westphal, mark price, jo jo white, bobby jones. a few things that tend to make a player underrated: playing with other great and/or more celebrated teammates; playing in smaller markets or colleges too; not winning a title; not being flashy or attention-getting; injuries that shortened their career.
    wilkes fits the mold well, having played in the shadow of walton in college, then behind barry in golden state and jabbar/johnson/worthy with the lakers.
    i do think mullin is clearly a hall of famer. his skill level was much MUCH higher than rodman's. mullin was a great shooter and passer, possibly the best mid-range shooter in NBA history. he had what, 5-6 straight seasons of 25 ppg or more without being a gunner a la iverson. don nelson said mullin was the best player he ever coached.
    rodman was a dirty player and a total non-threat on offense. funny how if a guy is offensively oriented but not much on defense he gets made fun of, but never the other way around. plus his rebound stats were inflated by every tip to himself. sorry, but he was just a complimentary player on some title teams.
    mullin had exceptionally quick hands and good passing lane instincts.

  40. Johnny Says:

    Cort,

    I think you need to check again. When Rodman was on the the Pistons he was at the very least a competent offensive player who ran the floor very well.

    Also, what does "every tip to himself" mean? That doesn't make any sense. If a player attempts to grab a rebound and tips the ball multiple times until he gains control of the ball, he will only be credited with one rebound.

    If you are insinuating that Rodman pulled a "Moses Malone" and missed layups 3-4 times on a single possession to add some offensive rebounds to his total that would be pretty amazing considering that he averaged about 5/6 shots per game over his career and shot 52% from the field.

    Do you have any facts behind any of those statements?

  41. Johnny Says:

    Why is anyone comparing Mullin and Rodman's skillset?! Horrible....

  42. Cort Says:

    i am saying they padded his rebound stats when rodman would tip the ball to himself multiple times. home teams especially have been known to pad stats, especially earvin johnson's assists at the forum, and i think with rodman's rebounds. i used to keep stats for college basketball and other sports as an SID and know that you arent supposed to get a rebound without a missed shot, but there is wiggle room for statisticians and teams who want to promote a player by padding.
    yea rodman ran the floor well, but that is about it offensively. terrible shooter and a non-threat really. he did pass well, but partof that is because he didnt want to shoot since he was so bad at it. no post game either, averaged 7 ppg and was only in double figures (11.6 ppg) once in a long career.
    i just was saying that about mullin since one of the earlier posts on here said mullin did not deserve to be in the Hall. i have seen it elsewhere on line too and it amazes me that people put mullin down. he was a very key player on the 1984 and 1992 olympic teams too, arguably the 2 best ever. one of the best shooters ever from all ranges, and a fine passer. i would rate mullin as one of the best college players of the last 30 years as well.
    i just remember rodman's rebound stats seemed inflated with the bulls. but the league wanted the glamorous big market bulls to win since it meant bigger ratings. ask utah in 1997 and 1998, the refs and the league gave them the title. same thing in 1998 in the eastern finals vs. indiana.
    if you dont think this goes on read ex-ref tim donaghy's book "personal foul."

  43. Cort Says:

    rodman shot 58% from the FOUL LINE for his career. that is just awful for anyone, especially a mid-sized forward. i would bet that only russell (56%) and wilt (51%) are in the Hall with lower FT pcts. off the top of my head. teams didnt even guard him, which helped him swoop in for a lot of offensive rebounds. he played with a lot of really good offensive players (jordan, pippen, robinson, thomas, dumars) who got most of the defense's attention and left him open.
    not to mention his dirty play, flopping and off court antics. i dont think he has any claim to being in the hall of fame. so what if he has 5 rings? so does steve kerr. robert horry has 7 or 8. those guys are all ancillary role players playing off other people. key contributors yes, but not hall of famers. thomas, dumars, laimbeer, jordan and pippen were the main reasons rodman has any rings. there are a lot of players much better than him who unfortunately never won a title (baylor, malone and stockton jump to mind).
    heck, tom van arsdale never played in a playoff game in 12 years, was a 3-time all-star and a much better all-around player than rodman. id put him in the hall ahead of dennis the menace.

  44. Jason J Says:

    Cort - One thing in Rodman's favor on the offensive side was his rebounding. He was such a dogged offensive rebounder that even though he was basically a non-scoring threat, most defenses couldn't afford to double off of him, because they'd be giving up the offensive board and offering Isiah, the Admiral, or MJ another chance to score. So he occupied a defender with his activity, meaning that's one less guy defenses could use to shadow the scorers on his team. He was also a heady passer.

    I always appreciate having a guy who can dominate for a stretch without needing the ball, and Dennis could do that defensively. Did he cheat? Absolutely. But it's hard to argue with the success he had.

  45. Cort Says:

    jason - yes he was a fine offensive rebounder. but i just dont see him as a hall of famer because he was a non-scorer and as you say, a cheater. a borderline all-star at best. a lot of his career he was a high energy bpart-time player who could come in and play very hard for 23-28 minutes or so. his first 4 seasons with detroit he averaged about 24 minutes a game. it is a lot harder to do that playing 40-45 minutes for 82 games.
    look at the last half of his career. he always managed to get suspended, hold out or go AWOL so that he would miss 20-25 games or so. that is a big chunk of the season. that allowed him to play with higher energy too.
    from 1992-98 he played these many games in successive seasons: 62, 79, 49, 64, 55, 80. then in the lockout season he played 23 out of 50 with LA.
    people responded emotionally well to rodman, alot like they did to barkley since they were 2 players who competed hard and wore their emotions on their sleeves, unlike most NBA players. plus he was very controversial (basketball's Madonna?), and drew a lot of motivation from people's responses to his deliberately planned actions. too many people are (or were) fascinated with that sort of personality.
    but like madonna or howard stern, eventually from pushing the envelope so often and long they end up not being able to shock people anymore, and then they are done.
    chuck daly and phil jackson deserve a lot of credit for getting a lot out of dennis. especially daly. those pistons did a lot to help basketball take a massive downturn for years, and i mean at all levels because of the trickle down/imitaiton effect. kids especially identify with that sort of negative anti-authority behavior so it made thegame worse from pro to college to high school and pickup ball. their thugball tactics were then taken to new lows by riley's knicks and heat. the difference was detroit actually had some good offensive players too in thomas, dumars, dantley/aguirre and laimbeer. the knick and heat teams had 1 or 2 guys who could actually score.
    i dont think rodman should be rewarded for that. they couldnt beat boston fair and square, so they went to 2-platoon ball to take advantage of their depth and youth, and literally beat up the aging, injured celtics, who were still better players 5 on 5. the refs jobbed the celtics big time in their 1991 eastern semis series with detroit. watch game 6 in detroit if you get a chance on NBA TV sometime. unreal.

  46. Jason J Says:

    That '91 series against the Pistons killed me. That BS banked in three pointer that Isiah hit was soul-crushing. Bird was too messed up by that point for the Cs to compete with Chicago in the Conference finals anyway, but if those two teams had met in good health it would have been a great series.

    I see your point about Dennis, and I think his relatively short minutes are a factor. Still be played such a crucial role as a stopper and rebounder for so many title teams, and his minutes did tend to go up in the playoffs. '90-'98 he never averaged less than 28 minutes a game in the playoffs.

    Jordan and Zeke should get some credit for reigning in Rodman too. Robinson and Shaq couldn't do it.

  47. AYC Says:

    Nobody seems to mind when one-dimensional scorers get into the HOF. As far as I'm concerned, Rodman is much more HOF-worthy than Mullin, who had just 5 good years, putting up inflated stats playing nelly-ball, and never accomplished anything in the postseason. Rodman, meanwhile, led the league in rebounding 7 straight years, won 2 DPOYs, and was integral to 5 champs.

  48. Cort Says:

    jason - i agree with you on the notion that jordan reined rodman in. i dont think isiah had to do it as much because dennis wasnt as far gone with detroit. plus he had great respect for daly so he didnt act up as much until later with SA and chicago.
    yea that bank 3 by isiah was a lucky shot and won the series. but there were a couple real bad calls before that in regulation. there was a goaltending call missed on a basket by mchale late that would have won the game. even the pistons announcers admitted it. couple other bad calls too. rodman was working bird over pretty good too at the end there, pushing him in his bad back every chance he got. dee brown, a rookie, made a couple terrible plays to help blow it as well. i think isiah stripped him once and he threw it away another time or basically dribbled out the 24-second call. i agree bosotn would have had a lot of trouble beating the bulls, but the one team chicago and jordan had a bit of a mental block against was boston. the celtics had a 17-game or more win streak against the bulls early in MJ's career.

    AYC- well you are entitled to your own opinion, but mullin was a fine passer as well. i dont think his stats were inflated by nelly ball at all. mullin averaged 20 shots a game only once, and that was 20.2. for his career, he took just 13.4 shots a game so to average over 18 is pretty efficient. were earvin johnson's stats inflated then by showtime? worthy too? jordan's by having the offense designed around him totally?
    mullin played well past his peak too so his carrer averages were lowered a bit. had he retired at 35 his career ppg would have been over 20. but he was also a better defender than people think, had very quick hands. the skills he had were much harder to master than those rodman possessed. mullin wasnt much of a rebounder but he was really a big guard more than anything.
    one thing that is a bit confusing about the hoop HOF is whether it is more for their achievements as pros, college or both. based on his great college career and a very good pro career, plus 2 olympics, mullin is a HoFer.

  49. Cort Says:

    jason - i saw that sixth game in 1991 on NBA TV a couple years ago, even taped it to watch over. your assessment as soul-crushing on the isiah bank three was pretty accurate. as you might guess, i am a huge bird fan and celtic fan of that era. the last three years i have been writing a book about the 1987 celtics and basketball since then. it is 865 pages long. you might like it. i go through every game of that season in detail, especially the playoffs.
    funny thing is, i was also a piston fan. being from indiana, isiah was my 2nd favorite player. then after those comments he and rodman made about bird in the 1987 playoffs, i lost respect for him and detroit. larry let him off the hook then when he could have really pushed it. i liked dumars a lot too.
    in many ways, those pistons reminded me a lot of the late 1970s sonics teams. each had guard oriented offenses with a big backcourt scorer off the bench, a good shooting big man and defense-minded teams with forwards that didnt score huge amounts. id give the late 1980s pistons a slight edge over those seattle teams, but not by much. DJ was a great player and fred brown was a great shooter. sikma was a little better than laimbeer but i think detroit had more depth.
    ironically, i think the 1988 piston team that didnt win it was tougher to defend because of dantley's unique post up game. they actually should have beaten the lakers, but they gave kareem a phantom call at the end of game 6 to win by 1. then thomas was hurt badly with the sprained ankle in game 7 at LA. with him healthy they would have won a close game. remember how the fans were all over the court at the end of game 7 when detroit was only down 3? laimbeer threw a long pass to isiah, people were on the court, and johnson ran right into him before he could even shoot. total rip-off.

  50. Cort Says:

    i also think it is interesting that the anti-mormon statements rodman made during those late 1990s chicago Finals vs. utah went under the radar. had he made the same negative comments about other religions, say judaism or islam, it would have been a Big deal.
    but it seems it is ok to bash mormonism due to the polygamy thing and the fact that it is largely a homogeneous congregation. people dont even remember what he did, that tells you how under-reported it was.
    remember how makhtar ndiaye accused utah forward britton johnsen (a mormon i am pretty sure) of calling him a racial slur in the 1998 final 4 after the utes kicked UNC's butt? the major media skewered johnsen and utah, assuming he was guilty until proven innocent even though he denied it. the incident cost utah in the finals 2 days later against kentucky - had to be a distraction and they blew a double digit lead.
    then it turns out a few days later that ndiaye admitted he made the whole thing up. but that was under-reported too.
    look at all the unfair criticism jimmer fredette has taken. had their top inside player not gotten suspended, i think BYU would have been in the final 4, and might even have won it all.

  51. Cort Says:

    AYC - i do agree that some 1 dimensional offensive guys are wrongly unquestioned for getting in the HoF. namely, george gervin. i like george but i dont think he was a top 50 NBA player all time. all he did was score well and took advantage of a big height advantage as one of the first really big off guards at 6-8. but i think he probably deserves to be in the Hall. adrian dantley is another scorer who didnt do much else who is in. i dont think alex english is in, and although he was a fine player, he doesnt deserve to be in. what about tom chambers?
    wes unseld was probably a top 50 reach too, but i am sure he was a great teammate due to his outlet passing, superb rebounding and great screens. heinsohn too, although he was underrated as a player.
    i find it hard to believe that bob davies was on the 10-man 25th anniversary all-time NBA team, but not on the top 50 (top 50!) all-time team 25 years later. that omission clearly shows the bias against early players in the NBA that exists. NO ONE talks about this glaring mistake. i think he was the only guy on the 25th anniversary team who didnt also make the top 50 team. they guy starred in the early 1950s, for pete's sake. baseball doesnt forget its stars of the late 40s and 50s. those guys are household names (mays, aaron, musial, mantle, berra, robinson, etc.) even today. hmm...

  52. Panic Says:

    Note that Gilmore remains so underrated that articles about this year's HoF class list him as almost an afterthought, and it took something called the ABA Committee to let him in. We need a new candidate for the worst Hall snub in any sport (at least Rose and Jackson have reasons for not getting in, even if not everyone agrees with them - with Gilmore, there was no reason whatsoever).

    As for the new answer to the Keltner question, my choice is a guy who's so historically underrated that he doesn't even make "most underrated" lists: Larry Nance.

  53. Cort Says:

    panic - good point about gilmore. most of the news is unfortunately about rodman, with the others as relative afterthoughts. artis was quiet and hasnt done much since he retired to keep his name in the news. he didnt coach or go into broadcasting, the 2 biggest ways to stay in the public eye. and he played several years in the ABA, never won an NBA title or got to the Finals even.
    nance, hmm, very underrated. but i think he falls just short of HoF status, in my opinion. mark price from those cavs team is a candidate in my opinion. best shooter in NBA history in my mind, and a fine passer too. brad daugherty would have been a candidate too had he been able to play 6-7 more good years.

  54. Jason J Says:

    #49 - I recall that the Pistons got totally jobbed at the end of game 7 in 1988. I honestly feel like that 87-88 repeat Lakers champs got extremely lucky with McHale's broken foot and Walton's foot injuries in '87 and Isiah's sprained ankle coupled with some home cookin' in '88 or they may have closed out the 80s with just their last title in '85 (and my man Dantley would have won a title too).

    As a kid from New England who was also a huge Jordan fan, I detested the Pistons, but they were a tremendously tough team at every position. Just a physical, mentally strong group with great leadership and determination.

  55. Cort Says:

    jason - yea i loved those celtic teams when i was a kid. LA always had the easy road to the finals then with the west being awful and the east a beast. i uncovered some interesting stuff about the 87 playoffs by going through every game and almost every play of all 23 celtic playoff games that year. verrry interesting.
    in 87 boston had two grueling back to back 7 game series just to get to the finals, plus a first round sweep of jordan and the bulls. LA played two sub 500 teams and a 42-40 GSt team to get to the finals. total breeze. if mchale, walton, parish and ainge were healthy (and boston didnt get robbed in game 4) they win the title. even earl strom, who reffed that pivotal game, admitted in his autobiography they blew a key goaltending call. along with about 5 others. that was the game where the NBA miked up strom too.
    it was very hot that spring too. bird played 1,015 playoff minutes, the most ever. that celtic team were true champs. they didnt whine and complain about getting jobbed. there were some real bad calls in game 6 at LA in the 87 finals too. the celtic 7 game series with detroit was played in 12 days i think. games 3 & 4 were on back to back weekend days in detroit! now it would take about 18 days lol.
    LA also didnt deserve the 88 title. hoops history would be much different. they should have lost to utah in the 2nd round in 6 instead of winning in 7. barely beat dallas in 7 after that. game 6 was a bigger rip-off than game 7 in 88 even for the finals.
    the fakers so-called title as team of the 80s was phony. boston would have beaten them in 1982 too if archibald had not gotten hurt in the east finals vs. philly. boston beat the 76ers by 40 in game 1 of that series but had no one to replace what nate gave them in terms of penetration and shooting in the backcourt. philly was spent after beating boston in 7 and had no center answer for jabbar, and small guards johnson could brutalize. plus mcadoo had a big finals, as did nixon. both outplayed johnson, who somehow got his 2nd playoff MVP (both undeserved). jabbar actually won the 1980 MVP award but CBS made them recount it since he was in LA nursing a sprained ankle (and he was unpopular unlike the smiling johnson), and CBS then GAVE it to johnson. BIG myth about him playing center that game 6 at philly in 1980 too. he never did play center, just jumped center at the beginning of the game and didnt even jump. jim chones and mark landsberger played center that game. johnson guarded caldwell jones, not dawkins.

  56. Cort Says:

    and as a pertinent reference to the original subject of this thread, artis gilmore was a reserve on those 1988 celtics. he and bird were good friends but artis was pretty much done by then at nearly age 39. that was his last year.

  57. AYC Says:

    Mullin had just 4 full seasons where he averaged over 20 ppg; during those 4 years, the Warriors were ranked 2, 1, 2, 1 in pace. Before joining Indy as a 34-year-old roleplayer, he played in a grand total of 38 playoff games over 12 seasons. How is he more deserving than Chet Walker, Bob Dandridge, Jamaal Wilkes, Tom Chambers, Mitch Richmond, Kevin Johnson, Jo Jo White, and a dozen other players who are more accomplished?

  58. Cort Says:

    AYC - i didnt say he was more deserving than most of those fine players you mentioned. i would question KJ and richmond a bit, although they were excellent players, as Hall of Famers. i wouldnt object to any of the others you noted getting in the Hall at all.
    those 4 full seasons you mentioned he was well over 20 ppg though, in fact over 25 ppg most of them while shooting a very high pct. from the field, FT line and 3-point line. he didnt take a lot of shots to score a lot. and he passed very well.
    like i said before, i think the HoF also takes into consideration college and then the Olympics. i think mullin was the 2nd or 3rd leading scorer on the 1984 and 1992 US Olympic teams, 2 of the best Olympic teams ever - if not the two best. based on all that together he is a HoFer for sure. mullin was a truly great college player too. there hasnt been a better swingman in the last 20 years than him in college ball, he played all four years and was a big star from the very start at a powerhouse school in a major league that was great during his time there. st. john's easily could have won the 1985 NCAA title; in fact they destroyed villanova every time they played them that year. had the brackets shaken down differently in the final 4 they could have won it. he was college player of the year in 1985. no one else you mentioned in your list was as accomplished in college as mullin.
    richmond was a little too 1 dimensional; he also played on those fast-paced warrior teams and wasnt as efficient a scorer as mullin, nor anywhere nearly as good a passer. KJ was a stat padder who really didnt know how to make his teammates the best they could be, a true no no for a playmaker who has the ball most of the time. he also benefited from playing an up-tempo offense, but he shot too much to be a truly great point guard. he should have watched stockton and cheeks to learn how to get others involved first instead of getting his points first. jo jo white was alittle bit the same way.
    dandridge, walker, wilkes and white are all very underrated yet excellent players. they played in an era where the NBA didnt have as good a PR and all played with better guys on their own teams who overshadowed them.
    mullin really helped indiana his first year there and played fairly well for a 58-24 team, they got robbed in game 7 of the east finals vs. chicago or they would have been in the Finals vs. Utah and might have won it all. but then again, a lot of people got jobbed during the bulls run. the NBA wanted the big market, telegenic bulls to win, not some small market team from indiana or utah.
    i dont think it was mullin's fault GSt didnt make more playoff runs. webber had a lot to do with ruining that team. and he had some significant injuries. the west was pretty good in the early to mid 1990s too.
    i think mullin's skill set was so very high, as were his bball smarts. remember, none other than don nelson said mullin was the very BEST player he ever coached. better than moncrief, marques johnson, richmond, dirk, nash, lanier, sikma, hardaway, sprewell, ewing, etc. he made people better by his smarts, floor spacing, shooting and passing acumen.

  59. Jason J Says:

    Reasons to put Chris Mullin in the HOF:

    1) Amazing flattop
    2) Ridiculous efficiency
    3) Collegiate and international success
    4) Unlike Vin Baker and about 1,000 other guys managed to overcome alcohol addiction that threatened his career
    5) Flattop, amazing

  60. Cort Says:

    mullin had great intangibles on top of fine production. his conditioning and smarts were at or near the top of the league. his shooting range made for good floor spacing that allowed teammates driving lanes because of his accuracy/range and very good passing. he was unselfish and made his teammates better. selfishness is contagious.

  61. Jason J Says:

    @58 - Or Chicago got jobbed by the refs when Reggie shoved Jordan with both hands in the neck and chest in order to get open for his game winner, and the series never should have gone to 7 games in the first place. Other than that Kings v. Lakers debacle, that was the only series I've ever watched and thought the league was actually controlling the outcome of the series.

    What got me about that one was the way the officiating seemed to change when the WC Finals series ended in a quick sweep. Maybe it was coincidence, but it seemed like the officiating turned on a dime when that LA market revenue dried up. Suddenly Pippen's pressure on Mark Jackson, which had been allowed for the first two games, was illegal, and Rodman's slithery, pestering post defense against the Davis's was suddenly foul city as well. Meanwhile MJ couldn't buy a foul call when he drove. But then, when they'd got to 7 games, total shift again. Jordan got to the line all day in game 7 and abused Reggie with physicality, like maybe the league was thinking about ratings in the finals where Utah v. Indi would have drawn no national interest, while the last dance of the Jordan / Jackson Bulls was a major story.

    Or maybe it was just a lot of home cooking. I don't believe there were any road victories in that series.

  62. Cort Says:

    yea you are right that miller got away with a push on jordan for the game winner in game 4 i think it was. i am pretty sure the home team did win each game. it was a good series. but i remember jordan shooting very poorly in game 7. kukoc hit 7 in a row in the 2nd half and the bulls punished the pacers big time on the offensive glass. i think it was 23-3 in off. boards or something like that. and they won at the foul line too.
    bird was almost in tears atferward when NBC interviewed him i remember. he said something about michael knowing how to get to the line in crunch time by forcing the issue and making the refs make a call.
    it was worse in 99 for indiana. the league wanted the knicks in the cahmpionship series since it was SA in the west, another small market ex ABA team. they called some phantom walks on smits in NY in game 6 on baskets he made, and of course the 4-point play by LJ was a joke. he dribbled AFTER the call was made, then launched it from 27 feet right in front of bird. the NBA and jess kersey even admitted later that call was a mistake. but that helped the knicks win that series. terrible FInals. SA has won 3 of the worst Finals series i ever saw - 1999 4-1 vs NY, 2003 4-2 vs NJ, and 2007 4-0 vs. cleveland.

  63. Cort Says:

    in reference to the previous post re: game 7 of the 98 ECF... i looked it up, chicago out-rebounded indy 22-4 on the off. glass, so i was only off 1 for both teams. jordan shot just 9-25 from the field and 10-15 at the line. kukoc shot 7-11 and chicago got 20 -yes 20 - more field goal attempts off. indiana shot 27-56 and chi 29-76. so da bulls shot just 38% but still won. 41 FTAs helped too, but they made only 24. the bulls were really feeling the pressure in that one i remember. one of the few game 7s they ever had to play. i know they beat NY in 1992 ECSF in 7 i think and lost to detroit in 7 in 1990 ECF i believe. indiana couldnt come up with any defensive rebounds to win that one and lost 88-83, but could have won for sure.

  64. AYC Says:

    Wait, KJ was a "stat-padder", but Mullin wasn't? Just about anybody who plays nelly-ball is going to have inflated stats. Apart from playing fewer games, KJ had a much better career. Why don't you compare the career postseason stats of KJ and Mullin when you have the time. I hate to play the race card, but I don't think Mullin would have gotten in if he wasn't white

  65. Cort Says:

    well i meant KJ shot far too much when i said he was a stat padder. not that he scored a lot in garbage time. KJ really monopolized the ball though and like many point guards of the modern era, his assist totals are a bit inflated by liberal stat-keeping. his decision-making was not great for a point guard who had the ball in his hands the majority of the time.
    KJ was an exciting player, and occasionally spectacular. he was a very poor shooter by guard standards when he first came into the NBA, but became a pretty good shooter. i think he was a very good player, kind of comparable to baron davis in ability and explosiveness today, only more consistent than him. but he didnt make his teammates better. mullin did.
    i dont think his stats are better than mullin's. KJ's assists were compiled in a fast break offense while surrounded by other top offensive players who helped in that regard. plus assists arent a great indicator of passing ability. a lot of times the pass before the assist pass is more key to the basket.
    mullin was great at that, and a better pure passer than KJ. chris didnt play his whole career for nelly either (5 years or so?). he never played with a real center so the warriors smartly played up tempo. but he didnt shoot that much and had the ball in his FAR less than KJ. far less. mullin moved well without the ball. KJ was pretty much worthless without the ball on offense.
    i dont think mullin being white had anything to do with him getting in. if anything, it held him back. as i said before, if you take his whole career into account, from st. john's to olympics to the NBA, his career is definitely HoF worthy. just in his NBA career he is borderline. but overall his career was better than KJ's.

    one play for me stands out as to why KJ was not a great player when he could have been. Game 5 of the WCSF in the 1995 playoffs. the suns had houston down 3-1 at the end of regulation in phoenix. KJ had the ball on a 3 on 2 break at the very end with the score tied. he had ainge on his left for an open 15-footer, and rookie wesley person on his right from 25 feet out. instead of making the easy pass to ainge for a likely game winner, he threw crosscourt to person, who launched an unnecessary three (a two would win it) at the buzzer and missed.
    houston came back to win the game in OT, took the last 3 to grab the series and later won the title. that play kind of helped break their backs. phoenix most likely would have won it all that year had they beaten the rockets.
    ainge was a fine shooter and a proven, veteran clutch player with 5 NBA Finals under his belt, yet KJ passed him over for a rookie (who was a good shooter) who was much further out. an absolutely brain dead killer of a play, undisciplined when you have the chance to put a dangerous defending champion team away. you have to seize those opportunities instea dof fiddle around with them like you will have several more.
    you can bet stockton, cheeks, johnson and many other cerebral point guards (or mullin) would have made the right pass and most likely won the game.
    i point that out because KJ often made bad decisions, mostly out of a shoot first mentality, but because he was so gifted he often got away with them. listen, i like KJ well enough as a player, but he wasnt a truly great one. probably was miscast as a point guard but his size dictated that he play that position.
    meanwhile, phoenix is still looking for its first NBA title. and KJ has failed as mayor of his hometown to keep the kings and also has been in trouble for scamming on underage girls. he based a lot of his public persona and ran his campaign partly on the idea of being "very christian" and a guy who could keep the kings in sacramento. turns out that he is just another politician. indicative of more flim flammery and poor decision making on his part, just like his NBA career in crunch time. kind of like Dr. J, only not as phony as him. and i say that as someone who idolized erving as a little kid.

  66. Cort Says:

    KJ was the kind if teammate who would pass the ball a second or two late, making it harder for his teammate to finish a shot. he did this because he was always looking to score himself and gave it up mainly as a last resort. mullin was an extremely crisp, smart and selfless passer who didnt hold the ball or hog it. his clever and creative touch passing allowed his teammates max time to finish. he saw the play ahead of time, sort of like bird. quick crisp passing is a subtle but important thing that doesnt show up in the boxscores but helps your teammates be able to finish easier and better. i think KJ was basically selfish. mullin wasnt even though he was a far better shooter.

  67. AYC Says:

    Yeah, that's why KJ averaged over 9 assists per game; only 4 other retired players have done that: Magic, Stock, Oscar and Isiah. The active players with over 9 apg are JKidd, CP3, and D-Will. That's pretty exclusive company for such a "selfish" player.

    KJ was also incredibly efficient, especially for a PG, with a .585 TS%. And he was a great postseason performer, averaging 19 and 9 in 105 games. Take away the last 9 of those games(played after coming out of retirement), and he avgd 20.8 ppg with 9.5 apg in 96 games. He made it to the finals (Mullin never did), and oh yeah, his PER and WS48 are both better than Mullin's, for the reg season and the postseason.

  68. Cort Says:

    well thats why i said assists themselves are not a good indicator of passing ability or unselfishness. if you charted how many touches KJ had per game compared to assists, it would be less than mullin's by far proportionally. lets say KJ had the ball 80 times a game, and probably his time of possession was say five minutes or so. mullin probably would have 50 touches and maybe 2 minutes of possession a game tops, if that. who is more efficient then? KJ's career shots per minute were about the same as mullin's, even though chris was clearly the better shooter.
    plus assists are somewhat subjective, and reliant on how good one's teammates are. you can throw the best pass ever but if your teammate misses, you get nothing. KJ's suns played up tempo as much as GSt which led to a lot of easy assists too, and i think he played with more good offensive players. he simply did not see the floor or pass nearly as well as mullin.
    in mullin's case, the stats are very good but dont tell nearly the whole story. in KJ's case, they tell the ENTIRE story of his game. good but not great.

  69. AYC Says:

    This clip opens with a replay of the offending KJ play you mentioned.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI2oBGMYdKs

    Ainge didn't have an "open 15-footer" as you claim; he was at the 3pt-line (on KJ's right, not his left) just like Person was. KJ drew 4 defenders, and wisely kicked it out to an open teammate. Why not kick it to Ainge? Because Robert Horry, an athletic, long-armed, defensive stalwart you may have heard of, was between him and Ainge. I'm sure you can find some bad late game decisions by KJ, but this wasn't one of them.

  70. Cort Says:

    well i did mis-recall how far ainge was on that play since it was totally from memory, but ainge was still far more open, slightly closer and the better guy to pass to on the play. ainge was about 13-15 feet from KJ or less and person was over 20 feet away inthe other direction.
    it would have been a lot easier to pass to the right to ainge when KJ was already DRIVING right than to drive all that way in and throw a farther pass BACK out 20 feet or more to person, since it was totally against his body momentum.
    plus, ainge was a better more proven clutch shooter. person was a good shooter i know. but id rather have danny shoot that one than person. ainge was further out than i recalled, but he would have been able to step in closer and get it off with a good pass that led him into it. horry wasnt that close to ainge (a good 13-14 feet away with both feet in the lane with his body turned facing toward the basket away from ainge in a position where he couldnt have recovered to get to him with a good pass). elie appeared to be the one actually "guarding" ainge as they came upcourt but he was too far away to recover to bother him too.
    person was more closely guarded. ainge was also much more in KJ's field of vision. i dont understand why he would make that backward pass after getting below the dotted line not far from the rim. by the time you make a pass like that, the defense will recover, and they did. you can see person's shot was very well-contested. a made basket would have ended the series and phoenix would likely have won the title.
    i still stand by my original point that it was a bad decision that may have cost phoenix a great chance at winning it all. he really kind of over-penetrated if he wasnt going to shoot. in fact he could have shot but seemed unwilling to take the big shot in that case. barkley actually was more open than person too, and would have had a shorter shot.

  71. AYC Says:

    #68, now you are just making up imaginary stats. We have a measure of how many possessions a player uses, called usage%. The career usg%'s of Mullin and KJ are nearly identical: 22.2 for Mullin and 22.6 for KJ; meanwhile, Mullin has a career ast% of 16.5%, less than half of KJ's career avg of 38.8%

  72. AYC Says:

    #70, I didn't say Horry was close to Ainge. He was close to KJ, in between KJ and Ainge.

  73. AYC Says:

    Ok, I just watched the play about 10 more times. KJ drives in and draws all 5 defenders; Horry is behind him, on his right, between KJ and Ainge; Kenny Smith is between KJ and Barkley. To get the ball to Barkley or Ainge, he would've had to lob it, which would've allowed the defense to recover before a shot could be taken. If he had shot it himself, he would've been challenging the entire Rockets team, including the league's all-time leading shotblocker. Passing to Person was the correct play; Drexler did a good job of recovering, but Person had an open look; it just didn't go down; that doesn't make it the wrong play

  74. Cort Says:

    ok but you intimated that since horry was taller, long armed and athletic he would get there to bother him when he wouldnt have with a good pass. i still think it was a poor decision.
    heck, i would rather have seen KJ shoot it when i got that close to the hoop. in case you missed it in one previous post, i did say KJ was a very good player. i just dont think he made his teammates better as much as he could have. he was more interested in scoring first and held the ball too long regularly.
    that play on youtube is not a prime example of what i mean, but it is somewhat representative of what i am talking about. he over-penetrated and then looked afraid to take a big shot. i also think he could have passed it to barkley for a better shot than they got. KJ had 4 options in one of the biggest plays of his career and chose the worst one, in my estimation. that is hard to do.
    1) shoot a short runner over elie 2) pass to ainge 3) pass to barkley 4) pass to person.
    look at barkley's reaction after the miss. i see disappointment and disdain for who got the last shot in his face and body language.

    those stats were estimates. no matter the touches, KJ had the ball more than twice as much per game in his hands than mullin, probably more like 3-4 times more in terms of actual time.

  75. Cort Says:

    well we can agree to disagree lol.
    my view from watching KJ play a lot - and i think most would agree - is that he over-dribbled regularly in an attempt to find himself an opening or shot instead of moving the ball. many times i saw him selfishly monopolize the ball and dribble 15-18 seconds looking for a shot or opening. that just isnt good basketball, especially for a playmaker.
    too often people get caught up in the spectacular and equate it with greatness, and KJ was often spectacular. some of his spectacular plays came at the expense of involving his teammates in my opinion. the true point guard needs to sacrifice some of his offense (see john stockton) to stimulate team play and get everyone involved in the offense. if he doesnt people stand around and, no one gets offensive rebounds, the defense can rest and a team is totally dependent on 1 guy making shots. usually that leads to a loss. mullin was not so spectacular or routinely exciting, but was a tremendous player nonetheless. since he had much less quickness and jumping ability compared to KJ, to be as good as he was shows how extremely skilled and savvy he was as a player. of course he was also 5 inches taller than KJ or so, which helps.

  76. Ricardo Says:

    RE: the KJ to person play in game five, 1995 WCSF - This is splitting hairs, but Ainge looked like a slightly better option there. If Horry can recover and contest, Dan Majerle is wide open for the second pass. As it went, Person had to gather the pass from the left side of his body before getting that shot away, which may have hindered his accuracy. (Of course, it was damn close anyway)

  77. AYC Says:

    Yes, it IS splitting hairs. It's silly to make one a play a referendum on his entire career. And he did nothing wrong on the play!

  78. Ricardo Says:

    "Yes, it IS splitting hairs. It's silly to make one a play a referendum on his entire career. And he did nothing wrong on the play!"

    Oh, I agree. But assessing the play in an absolute way, I think Ainge was the (slightly) better choice.