The only difference between the All-Star Game – which I’ve always considered a beauty contest – and the Hall of Fame is that the Hall is on a larger scale.
So I guess we can call the Hall the Ms. Universe Contest.
Still, there’s almost no discernible required credentials, no surefire statistics that would guarantee inclusion or exclusion and, like all beauty contests, the only seeming justification that anybody ever really has for making it is that somebody, or some group of somebodies, likes them.
If we look across the spectrum into other sports and just check for who’s not in their respective Halls of Fame, whether it’s Pete Rose, Roger Clemens, Darryl Strawberry or Barry Bonds, there are usually charges or accusations that have absolutely nothing to do with the sport in which they played or the numbers they put up.
Meanwhile, you’ll also on occasion see a guy – and former Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers is the perfect example here – who was likable to the point of being lovable but simply didn’t have the longevity or any post-season accomplishments that would normally warrant inclusion into the NFL’s Hall.
Yet he’s there.
Today, I found myself in this Twitter debate based on the fact that NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller suggested that the oft and now again injured current Knick point guard Derrick Rose may end up being the first former MVP not to make the NBA’s Hall.
That, in my estimation, is probably about right.
And having had to deal with sexual assault accusations earlier in the season, it’s doubtful that Mr. Rose is very well liked either.
Rose, tho in fact the league’s youngest ever MVP, and with more than impressive career numbers like 19.5 ppg and 6.0 apg while shooting a better than respectable .451 from the field, has never played a full 82 game season, while playing in 81 games twice, 78 once, over the course of his first 3 seasons, and over the course of the rest of his 9-year career, maxing out with 66 games last season, while bottoming out due to his first devastating knee injury with 39 games in his fourth year, none in his fifth and 10 in his sixth.
Not too long ago, I was literally incensed when some bozo that had probably been born about 15 minutes before logging on, suggested that Chris Paul, as a point guard, was “Top 5 All-Time”.
First, I corrected that nonsense with my own Top 10 point guard list, but then I decided to determine what should provoke inclusion into the Hall.
And immediately after deciding that a player should have at least had an NBA Finals appearance, I was hypocrite to my own notion because I realized that excluded George Gervin.
Currently Derrick Rose has only played in a Conference Finals, in 2011 when his Chicago Bulls lost to the eventual NBA Champion Miami Heat.
So what should be the criteria for inclusion?
Saying winning only will surely get you knocked by those that hate wave-riders like Robert Horry; tho personally, I’d take (on my own team) Robert Horry before Charles Barkley, preferring a role player who actually played his role over a slob that, after hogging the spotlight, didn’t understand how to shine in it.
But saying stats by themselves gets you a team full of Carmelos or Dominique Wilkins’.
Personally, I prefer a winning starter.
And if you’ve won under different circumstances like Kobe (sidekick and leading man), with all different teammates like Tim Duncan and even different coaches like Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith, there shouldn’t be any question.
That’s why my GOAT is Bill Russell.