The NBA Hall of Fame finalists were announced on Friday, and one man's absence stands out: Reggie Miller. Forcing Miller to wait at least one more year to make it into the Hall of Fame makes no sense. He is an all-time great who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as soon as possible.
Miller, a 6'7" guard/forward, spent his entire 18-year career with the Indiana Pacers. Over that time, he averaged 18.2 points, 3.0 steals, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. During Miller's career, the Indiana Pacers missed the playoffs only three times. In the postseason, Reggie's game was as good as ever, scoring 20.6 points per game in the playoffs.
There was never a doubt as to who was the best player on the Pacers. From the moment Miller was given a starting spot, he remained the team's most valuable player until the age of 37, when Jermaine O'Neal and Brad Miller broke out. Even then, Miller was a top contributor until he retired at 39 years old.
Judged Against the 1990s
In the '90s, the NBA had perhaps its most talented decade in history. Amongst this stiff competition, Miller rose to the upper tier.
A ranking of the best players of the 1990s would look something like this list:
1. Michael Jordan
2. David Robinson
3. Karl Malone
4. Charles Barkley
5. John Stockton
6. Hakeem Olajuwon
7. Reggie Miller
Being in the top 10 of a decade, while also having a handful of high-quality seasons in other decades, should make a player a lock for the Hall of Fame. Apparently, the selection committee believes otherwise.
Judged Against History
Miller made a noticeable mark on the NBA record book throughout his lengthy career. He made more three-point shots than all but one man, he has the ninth-highest free throw percentage in history and he ranks 14th all-time in points scored.
Between his regular season and postseason contributions, Miller must be ranked amongst the top 50 players of all-time. The decision of the committee not to include Miller alongside Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin and the other finalists was an inexcusable snub.