Some people around the city were shocked a little today by the announcement of the Colts releasing Bob Sanders. Many more people were surprised by the slap in the face that Reggie Miller received, as he was not named as one of the 12 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The voting panel, which is completely anonymous, decided not to include Reggie in his first year of eligibility. It would be one thing for him to miss out in his first year, but to not even be named one of the 12 finalists? What a joke.
If you want to debate whether he belongs in the Hall itself, we can do that later. The fact that he was denied a place on the list of finalists, is something that we should all have a problem with. Not being even a candidate for enshrinement just goes to prove that something is very wrong with this voting system.
You want more proof? Take a look at the names that they voted over Reggie;
- Chris Mullin
- Maurice Cheeks
- Ralph Sampson
- Jamaal Wilkes
- Dennis Rodman
- Herb Magee
- Dick Motta
- Tex Winter
- Al Attles
- Hank Nichols
- Teresa Edwards
- Tara VanDerveer
We can talk about championships all you want, but how many guys not on the Chicago Bulls or L.A. Lakers won a championship in the past 15 years?
Reggie led the Pacers to the conference finals six times and the NBA Finals for the only time in its history. He is responsible for eight points in nine seconds, with 25 in the fourth quarter. Who could forget the fallaway game-winning 3-pointer over Michael Jordan?
Speaking of that, how many people can you recall that managed to get both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to snap? Reggie was able to get into both of their heads.
Perhaps Conrad Brunner said it best in his article today.
"If the ring's the thing, Reggie could've chased one by coming out of retirement and joining the Celtics in 2007. Had he made the leap, maybe he gets the jewelry, maybe he makes enough 3-pointers to keep Ray Allen in second place on the all-time list, and maybe the voters don't hesitate to place him on the list of finalists for the Hall of Fame.
If he is to be punished by the voters for doing the right thing, the noble thing, the honorable thing, and allowing his career to stand on its own merit rather than trying to piggyback on others, that says all that needs to be said about the flaws in the selection process."
Just add Reggie to the list of Hall of Fame snubs associated with the Pacers: Bobby "Slick" Leonard, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, and George McGinnis.
New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who drafted Reggie in 1987, was stunned by the news as well. "I'm surprised he will not be named a Hall of Famer this year," he said. "He took a franchise that wasn't in the playoffs and ended up leading us to the Eastern Conference Finals six times. I thought it would be a given that he would be voted in."
Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports has a fantastic article with more information on this story if you are interested. It is worth the read.
Reggie will eventually get in, but the voters (whoever you are) really need to open their eyes and realize they made a huge mistake today.