You Are Here > Basketball-Reference.com > BBR Blog > NBA and College Basketball Analysis

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all Basketball-Reference content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing Basketball-Reference blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Basketball-Reference.com // Sports Reference

For more from Neil, check out his new work at BasketballProspectus.com.

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.

ShareThis

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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%

  22. AYC Says:

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

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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)

  27. 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!

  28. 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.