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JayRedd
09-14-2006, 10:52 AM
I always enjoyed Simmons' pyramid strategy for the Hall of Fame. And I definetely felt the same way when I first heard that Joe was getting elected. I remember seeing the headline and thinking "Seriously?" Then you look at it and overemphasize his defense and rationalize it and all that.

Simple fact is that he never dominated in the NBA. And he probably represents a lower standard for the Hall than we should have.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060913



Building the Halls of Justice
By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Editor's note: This article appears in the September 25 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

There are six elements in sports that simply don't work: sideline reporters, All-Star voting, MVP voting, Halls of Fame, WNBA players participating in NBA All-Star Weekend and TV essays that columnists awkwardly read off of teleprompters. People have devoted an inordinate amount of money and energy to trying to get these six elements to work. And still they don't. Five of them never will.

Which one can be saved? Halls of Fame. The three major sports have botched the voting process so badly that nobody can take the results seriously anymore. Players can be rejected for eight straight years, then elected the ninth. Candidates have been discarded for not being friendly to the media (Jim Rice) and ushered in for being great guys (Harry Carson). Stalwarts for big-market teams (James Worthy) get sizable advantages over studs who peaked in relative obscurity (Adrian Dantley). In baseball and football, a Veterans Committee can override decades of sound logic. It's a mess. We've reached the point at which we rarely argue about the candidates anymore. Like with the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars, we just expect mistakes.

Take the case of Joe Dumars, a nice enough player who was inducted last weekend alongside two superior ones, Dominique Wilkins and Charles Barkley. Sure, Dumars was the one decent soul on those Bad Boys squads, a splendid team player who lifted his game when it mattered, a gifted defender who guarded MJ tougher than anyone. When the league struggled with character issues in the mid-90s, Joe D stood out for his class and professionalism. Watching him co-exist with the crotch-grabbing jerks on Dream Team II was like seeing Nic Cage stuck on the Con Air plane. Like everyone else, I like Joe Dumars. A lot.

Does any of that make him a Hall of Famer? Of course not.

Here's his résumé: six All-Star Games, one Finals MVP, one second-team All-NBA selection, four first-team All-Defense selections. He was never a franchise player, much less a defining one. In fact, in certain pivotal playoff games (Game 5 of the 1990 Finals, for instance), Dumars sat in crunch time. Most damning of all is databasebasketball.com's Hall of Fame monitor. The statistical engine assigns each player a score, with anything over 135 denoting Hall of Fame worthiness. Kareem scores the highest, with 833. Jordan scores 731; Barkley, 315; Wilkins, 142. Dumars? He gets a 105, trailing 33 retired players who haven't made the cut.

Again, I like Joe D. But Paul Westphal made three All-NBA first teams and five All-Star teams. He scores 143 on the HOF monitor. Dantley averaged 30-plus for four straight seasons. Artis Gilmore was the best center in ABA history. JoJo White won two rings, made seven straight All-Star teams and won a Finals MVP. Bernard King was the most explosive scoring forward of his era and still found time to star in Fast Break. None of those guys is in the Hall. Joe D wasn't better than any of them.

Here's where it gets nutty. Sidney Moncrief won two Defensive Player of the Year awards, made an All-NBA first team and four second teams, played in five straight All-Star games, owns statistics nearly identical to Dumars' and could have been a legend if his knees hadn't betrayed him. Dennis Johnson won a Finals MVP and three rings, played in eight conference finals, made All-NBA first and second teams and six All-Defensive first teams in addition to being one of the memorable clutch players of his era. There's no possible way, under any criteria, that anyone can prove Dumars was a better guard than either DJ or Moncrief. More likely, he was the worst of the three. But Moncrief and DJ have been rejected by the Hall. Repeatedly.

So why was Dumars elected? For the same reasons most borderline candidates are: 1) He's a good guy, and 2) the voters don't know any better. But Joe D symbolizes an even larger problem. Fact is, neither Moncrief, DJ nor Dumars is a legitimate Hall of Fame choice. Neither, for that matter, is Big Artis, Westphal, JoJo or Bernard (as much as it kills me to say that). Only Dantley has a legitimate case. Including Alex English and Nique in the Hall while omitting Dantley is like inducting Suzanne Somers and Farrah Fawcett into the Bimbo Hall of Fame but leaving out Pam Anderson. One day Dantley will be elected, even though he couldn't have guarded me. And there's the problem: Once you make a mistake with one guy, it opens the door for everyone with a similar case. Pretty soon all the sports Halls will be like the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, where Robert De Niro gets a star, but so does Ryan Seacrest.

Unless we overhaul the process. Here are two scenarios for a rebirth. Feel free to choose either one.

1. An alternative Hall of Fame for each sport. You know how the Golden Globes offer a counterargument to the Emmys and Oscars? The new Halls would be like that, except they would be the ones that really matter. The goal is simple: Only the best guys get in. Membership is limited to 12 to 15 players per decade. That would separate the no-brainers (Kareem, LT, Mike Schmidt) from iffier candidates (Dominique, Troy Aikman, Bruce Sutter). If you have to consider a player's credentials for more than a second, he's out. If you have to make excuses for him, like "maybe he wasn't the best, but he had 15 straight seasons in which he won 12 games or more," he's out. If you can reasonably compare him to multiple peers and none of them particularly stands out, they're all out. If the guy wasn't one of the undisputed best at his position for an extended stretch, he's out.

2. Halls of Fame restructured like pyramids. We'll assign each elected player to a level, with the shakiest picks (the Phil Rizzuto types) on the first floor; solid guys (the Terry Bradshaw types) on the second; no-brainers (the Wade Boggs types) on the third; defining superstars (the Tom Seaver types) on the fourth; and the pantheon guys (The Babe, MJ and the like) in the penthouse.

I once pitched this idea in a column about the Baseball Hall of Fame, but why couldn't every sport adopt it? Imagine how fun the voting would be. And how cool the buildings would look. And the goosebumps you'd get as you climbed to the next level.

Scenario 1 probably isn't realistic. Halls of Fame have monopolies on their sports, amassing decades and decades of mementos and collectibles. No fledgling rival could compete with the inventory. We're stuck with the Halls we have. But Scenario 2? It could work. Imagine the most recent inductions: Dumars is welcomed into Level 1, Nique to Level 2, Sir Charles to Level 3. It would have been fun. Instead, the three enter as equals -- which is ridiculous, when you think about it -- and Moncrief and DJ wonder if their day will ever come. It's a frustrating process that makes no sense and never did. It should be fixed, and sooner rather than later. My vote is for pyramids all around. And, as a sign of good faith, I promise never to read my argument off a teleprompter.

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His new book "Now I Can Die In Peace is available on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&camp=1789&tag=espncom-20&creative=9325&path=tg/detail/-/1933060050/qid=1125671321/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1?v=glance%26s=books) and in bookstores everywhere.

travmil
09-14-2006, 12:23 PM
Kstat in 5....4....3....2....1..... ;)

Kegboy
09-14-2006, 01:29 PM
the voters don't know any better

I love it that SG thinks he knows better than the voters about basketball. I could spend time refuting his arguments, but there's no need. The simple fact is he's a Celtics fan, and he's shown consistently that he hates everybody who wore a Pistons or Lakers uniform during the '80's, period. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that, but he's not impartial, never has been.

rexnom
09-14-2006, 04:08 PM
My question is: does Dumars as an exec factor into this...officially or unoffically?

Kstat
09-14-2006, 05:57 PM
That article is so ridiculous I'm not going to waste my breath.

Simmons can't write hyperbole-filled crap and hide by satire, and then all of a sudden expect to be taken seriously.

Yep, one of the 5 best 2-way guards of all time, arguably the 2nd-best defensive SG in history, and he's not deserving of a hall of fame vote. ****ing stat-whore.

And no, his work as an exec does not factor into his going in as a player, but the fact is it should matter nontheless.

Kstat
09-14-2006, 06:00 PM
Can't wait to read his column in 5 years on Reggie Miller.

rexnom
09-14-2006, 08:09 PM
I can't see Dumars as not in the hall of fame...it's all about perspective, I guess.

Moses
09-14-2006, 10:23 PM
I think Simmon's point about Dumars being in the HOF is that there were guys that should have gotten in before him..and I agree. Dumars should probably have gotten in, but not before alot of other lesser known all-time greats.

JayRedd
09-15-2006, 12:37 AM
That article is so ridiculous I'm not going to waste my breath.

Simmons can't write hyperbole-filled crap and hide by satire, and then all of a sudden expect to be taken seriously.

Yep, one of the 5 best 2-way guards of all time, arguably the 2nd-best defensive SG in history, and he's not deserving of a hall of fame vote. ****ing stat-whore.

And no, his work as an exec does not factor into his going in as a player, but the fact is it should matter nontheless.


And we're supposed to not take his "hyperbole-filled crap" seroiusly?

5 Best 2-way guards of all time?

MJ
West
Rick Barry
Clyde Drexler
Big O
Kobe
Clyde Frazier
Isiah
Gary Payton
Stockton

Ya know...off the top of my head and all.

Major Cold
09-15-2006, 10:27 AM
That article is so ridiculous I'm not going to waste my breath.

Simmons can't write hyperbole-filled crap and hide by satire, and then all of a sudden expect to be taken seriously.

Yep, one of the 5 best 2-way guards of all time, arguably the 2nd-best defensive SG in history, and he's not deserving of a hall of fame vote. ****ing stat-whore.

And no, his work as an exec does not factor into his going in as a player, but the fact is it should matter nontheless.


1. MJ
2. Oscar
3. AI or Kobe
4. Walt Frazier
5. Drexler
6. Paul Westphal
7. Sam Jones
8. Reggie

HOF is for the career not a 4 year window

Fool
09-15-2006, 10:29 AM
Its really hard to stay out of both the Reggie/Dumars thread and this thread.

Kstat
09-15-2006, 11:59 AM
1. MJ
2. Oscar
3. AI or Kobe
4. Walt Frazier
5. Drexler
6. Paul Westphal
7. Sam Jones
8. Reggie

HOF is for the career not a 4 year window

wow....

Reggie, Westphaul, Drexler, Sam Jones, Iverson and Oscar were 2-way guards? That's cute.

Kstat
09-15-2006, 12:01 PM
And we're supposed to not take his "hyperbole-filled crap" seroiusly?

5 Best 2-way guards of all time?

MJ
West
Rick Barry
Clyde Drexler
Big O
Kobe
Clyde Frazier
Isiah
Gary Payton
Stockton

Ya know...off the top of my head and all.

Since when was Rick Barry a guard?

I'll leave it out there that Dumars might not be top-5 as far as 2-way guards go...but he's absolutely top-10 all time. Most of the guys on your list didn't play good defense.

Major Cold
09-15-2006, 12:06 PM
wow....

Reggie, Westphaul, Drexler, Sam Jones, Iverson and Oscar were 2-way guards? That's cute.


My bad I thought you meant 2 guards. AI is a combo guard. He played PG his first season and the last two. Everything in between was SG. Oscar not a combo? Your kidding right?

Fool
09-15-2006, 12:19 PM
2-way = good at offense and defense
combo = can play both guard positions

JayRedd
09-15-2006, 04:17 PM
Since when was Rick Barry a guard?

I'll leave it out there that Dumars might not be top-5 as far as 2-way guards go...but he's absolutely top-10 all time. Most of the guys on your list didn't play good defense.

Cool...Barry is a forward.

Drexler played plenty of D. Rebounding is a defensive skill.

The only one I have there that may not have been great on D is Oscar. And frankly, I never saw him play. But again, he was a great rebounder. And I imagine that a guy who lots of people consider the best to ever play the game had at least some above-average defensive abilities.

The only other thing I have to add is:

Jason Kidd
Dwyane Wade
Bill Sharman
Mo Cheeks
Penny Hardaway
Lenny Wilkens

And I doubt Dumars is a Top 30 guard in NBA history when you take your "two-way" tag off it.

Kegboy
09-15-2006, 09:42 PM
The only guy mentioned in this thread who could be argued as a better defender than Dumars is Payton, and that's if you think about the 90's Payton and forget how nowadays Tinsley kicks his *** every other time they play.

Some of the other names in this thread make me want to throw up.

rexnom
09-15-2006, 10:30 PM
Btw, by the Sports Guy's logic, there is no way Reggie is a 1st ballot hall of famer, right?

Moses
09-15-2006, 10:36 PM
Btw, by the Sports Guy's logic, there is no way Reggie is a 1st ballot hall of famer, right?
Actually, he said that one of the most important things is a players 4th quarter/clutch performance. He said that Dumars was often taken out of the game on key plays of the game because he wasn't a very good clutch player. Reggie's clutch alone MAY get him in as a 1st ballot HOF. Not to mention he has the most 3 pointers all time.

Kstat
09-15-2006, 10:47 PM
Actually, he said that one of the most important things is a players 4th quarter/clutch performance. He said that Dumars was often taken out of the game on key plays of the game because he wasn't a very good clutch player. Reggie's clutch alone MAY get him in as a 1st ballot HOF. Not to mention he has the most 3 pointers all time.

Which is one of the single most ignorant things I've ever heard ever.

Kegboy
09-15-2006, 10:56 PM
Which is one of the single most ignorant things I've ever heard ever.

It's not ignorant, it's libel.

Kstat
09-15-2006, 11:04 PM
It's just flat untrue. I could name numerous plays at the end of playoff games where dumars was not only on the floor, but was part of the final play, be it taking the last shot or not.

Eindar
09-15-2006, 11:12 PM
I think if you consider it solely in terms of what they did on the court, there are some guys not in the HoF that have a gripe that Joe got in. However, once you take his career as an executive into account, it's a no brainer. And don't give me any crap about that not having anything to do with it. If Chick Hearn can get in, never having played an NBA game in his life, you can't tell me that what you do off the court yet in relation to professional basketball has nothing to do with your induction.


Just let it go, he's a first-ballot HoF'er regardless of if there were guys better than him on the court. Last I checked, none of those guys have a ring as a GM.

Kstat
09-15-2006, 11:20 PM
That, and the fact Dumars has an award named after him....

ChicagoJ
09-15-2006, 11:30 PM
It is a shame Sidney Moncreif isn't in the Hall, though.

Kstat
09-15-2006, 11:30 PM
It is a shame Sidney Moncreif isn't in the Hall, though.

No argument here.

How that somehow is held against Joe D though is beyond me. He's no less deserving.

tdubb03
09-16-2006, 08:17 AM
Since I don't feel like starting a new thread, what do you guys think of the idea that the HOF should be a set number of guys? Say 100 players, some one new gets in, some one old goes out. I think that's the only way for it to be a true Hall of Fame.

And Dumars is a HOFer in my opinion. But if he weren't on the Bad Boys, I don't think he'd of gotten in. And put Bernard King in already.

DisplacedKnick
09-16-2006, 09:29 AM
The guy who needs to be in is Dantley. Yeah, he couldn't defend my sister but he played when defending my sister wasn't a priority. Just because he played in Utah's no reason to hold it against him.

I have no problem with Dumars. You wouldn't put him in based on numbers but numbers never reflected his game impact.

I'd like to see Bernard in too but I figure I'm biased.

Naptown_Seth
09-16-2006, 02:02 PM
No argument here.

How that somehow is held against Joe D though is beyond me. He's no less deserving.
Really? You have no possible idea of how that relates to the debate?


Okay then, I think he is establishing the previous standards for the HOF set by voters, and showing that by comparison previous voters have already addressed their feelings about Dumars in the HOF.

Instead of telling us why Dumars deserves to be in, explain to us why DJ and Moncrief aren't. That answer will address why Dumars is called into question.

Your solution is to "let 'em all in", which is a way to view it of course. But I think Simmons is making the case for keeping the limits as tight as they apparently used to be. Can you honestly tell me that if Dumars had been a late 70's/80's player who had to come up for the vote at the same time DJ, Westphal or Moncrief did that he would easily have made it in?

I couldn't agree with that, I don't think in a same year vote that Dumars would have stood above their careers. And that is his point. What's changed? Moncrief coming up for vote now would apparently go in, but back then he didn't.


IMO Reggie wouldn't make it were it not for having so many famous moments and enough longevity to give his vote some semi-validation. Were it not for things like 8 in 8.9, Reggie would be an outsider with the same case as Dumars for getting in.

People forget that there were truly great, impact players from other eras that didn't get in the HOF. They just think of the guys they watched. But to see Dantley or Gilmore was just as impressive as seeing Dumars or Reggie. They were THE threats, the guys that did make monster impacts when they played.

They missed their votes and now get swept aside. Fine. But should we open the door for other players who wouldn't get more votes than them in a first year head to head vote, meaning if they retired in the same season?

Or is a guy who compares statistically to Jerry West, Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor and George Gervin really going to lose out in a comparison to Dumars?

And for all his vaunted defense, his playoff steals average is firmly below 1.00 a game. This idea that despite just being part of the team, he was the ace stopper that changed games with his defense is not accurate. Jordan was still able to go off against him (see game 7 in 90) and he never won the DPOY award either.

He was a solid defender and one of the better 2-way players to come along, but is that enough?

Kstat
09-16-2006, 04:52 PM
Really? You have no possible idea of how that relates to the debate?




COnsidering that I think both are deserving of the hall of fame, no, i don't see why dumars is signled out.



Instead of telling us why Dumars deserves to be in, explain to us why DJ and Moncrief aren't. That answer will address why Dumars is called into question.

Dennis Johnson isn't deserving. Moncrief is.



Your solution is to "let 'em all in", which is a way to view it of course. But I think Simmons is making the case for keeping the limits as tight as they apparently used to be. Can you honestly tell me that if Dumars had been a late 70's/80's player who had to come up for the vote at the same time DJ, Westphal or Moncrief did that he would easily have made it in?

Considering westphaul couldn't hold me under 30 points inh his prime, um, no.




IMO Reggie wouldn't make it were it not for having so many famous moments and enough longevity to give his vote some semi-validation. Were it not for things like 8 in 8.9, Reggie would be an outsider with the same case as Dumars for getting in.

If you think Reggie should get in and dumars shouldnt.....wow. End of discussion right there.


And for all his vaunted defense, his playoff steals average is firmly below 1.00 a game.

...and, as we all know, steals is how you rate how great a defender is...


This idea that despite just being part of the team, he was the ace stopper that changed games with his defense is not accurate. Jordan was still able to go off against him (see game 7 in 90) and he never won the DPOY award either.

The greatest player of all time called Dumars the greatest defender he ever faced.

You're free to argue with him, of course, but I won't.....

You can also explain to me how Dumars' achievements as a GM and the fact he has an award named after him shouldn't count....

Kegboy
09-16-2006, 05:09 PM
If you think Reggie should get in and dumars shouldnt.....wow. End of discussion right there.

Exactly. If Dumars doesn't get in, than Reggie doesn't get in either.

rm1369
09-16-2006, 07:16 PM
Exactly. If Dumars doesn't get in, than Reggie doesn't get in either.

I agree with Simmons that the process seems very arbitary and Dumars does not fit my description of a hall of fame player. I also can not understand how anyone can believe that Reggie deserves to be in and Dumars does not. Neither Reggie nor Dumars had sustained greatness, IMO. That is what I think of when I think "Hall of Famer" - not very good player on great team, not very good player for a really long time, not good player and very nice guy, and certainly not best player on my favorite team. Yes Reggie was clutch, Dumars played good D, Reggie helped raised the Pacers from struggling Franchise to a good one, and Dumars has shown to be a good executive, but thats not enough. Both players are guys I'd love to have on my team, but neither where great.

ChicagoJ
09-18-2006, 11:00 AM
Gotta agree with Kstat on this one, Dumars (and Moncreif) both belong in the HoF.

Of course, I always thought Dumars *was* the best player on that team.

JayRedd
09-20-2006, 12:11 PM
Been away a few days....

My real point isn't that I'm upset Joe Dumars got into Springfield. Good for him.

The whole idea I am coming from (and I believe it's what Simmons was implying) is that the "basketball Hall of Fame" is not really living up to the ideal that it should. To me, the tag "Hall of Famer" should not be thrown around lightly and it should be reserved for the very best (and very few) who made a mark of the game as one of the most elite players of their time. To me, Hall of Famers should only be the MJs, Birds, Hakeems, Isiahs, Shaqs, Stocktons and Barkleys of the world.

But that bar was lowered long ago. The standards were never set all that high (as they are in MLB, mostly) and it has resulted in somewhat of a mockery of the ideal that a "Hall of Fame" should denote the most elite of the elite. I mean, how many Celtics are in the Hall of Fame? 30? I'm surprised no one voted in Reggie Lewis.

I also doubt Reggie Miller has the talent to deserve this type of Hall of Fame status. His game just had a lot of flaws in it. And despite all the theatrics and heroics and all that, he was really never able to "take over" a game as regularly as a Hall of Famer should.

Like Dumars, he's a great player and he will be in Springfield as soon as he's eligible.....but in my mind, there should be a very definite line between being "great" and being a "Hall of Famer".