The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2011, a 10-member field that will be honored August 11-13. The inductees include former NBA star and 1992 Dream Team member Chris Mullin; five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman; ABA/NBA legend Artis Gilmore and four-time NCAA women’s coach of the year Tara VanDerveer. Other inductees include four-time Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, European star Arvydas Sabonis, all-time NCAA wins leader Herb Magee, eight-time NBA champion Tom “Satch” Sanders, coaching legend Tex Winter and former Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum, who will be honored posthumously.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a little different than other sports’ Halls of Fame. It bring sin college coaches and the like, also crossing genders, which you won’t see much of in others Halls.
But there were two selections that surprised me a bit. The first obvious one is Dennis Rodman. Is he really one of the greatest ever, or was he on good teams that happened to win championships, such as the case with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls. Rodman was one-dimensional (defense) and if you really wanted to break it down, the only thing he cared about was rebounds. I don’t think you could say he was the reason his teams won five championships.
My other beef is with Arvydas Sabonis. Really? Sabonis was a nice threat down low, but he did not dominate the low post such as other greats like Russell, Ewing, or even Howard or Duncan in the NBA. He has superior passing skills for a big man and was a good shooter. Yippee. I guess this was more for his contributions in Europe and in international play, but that does little for U.S. fans.
I’ve said this before, but when I walk the halls of what is considered to be the shrine to the greatest players ever, they should be the greatest players (coaches,e tc.) ever. I’m not sure that is the case in this class.
but for those attending, you won’t have to worry about traveling to see one or two speeches. Pull up a chair, it’s going to be a long ceremony.