2011 Hall of Fame Class

Posted by By at 5 April, at 10 : 45 AM Print

Congratulations to Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, Tex Winter, Herb Magee, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, Teresa Edwards, Reece Tatum, Tom Sanders, and Tara VanDerveer. Those are this year’s inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. All are well deserved and have made their own unique contributions to the game we’ve come to watch and love.

Dennis Rodman was one of the most colorful men the NBA has ever seen. Beneath the eccentric hair, piercings, and tattoos was a rebounder and defender that was unparalleled during the time he played. From 1992-1998 he led the league in rebounding, with a high of 18.7 per game during the ’91-’92 season. He holds 5 of the 8 highest per game rebounding averages since 1973 with 18.7, 18.3, 17.3, 16.8, and 16.1. He was the Defensive Play of the Year twice ( in 1990 and 1991). He was a member  of seven NBA All-Defensive First Teams (1989-93, 1995, 1996). His career offensive numbers were modest (about the only thing that was modest about him), but that’s not why he’s in the Hall. He’s one of the greatest rebounders and defenders the game has ever seen. The only question I have is, what will he be wearing at his induction ceremony?

As much as Dennis Rodman was about defense, Chris Mullin was about offense. The smooth-shooting lefty is the only Warrior besides Wilt to average 25ppg for five consecutive seasons. He was a five time all-star and All-NBA First team in 1992 and Second team member in 1989 and 1991. He was also a member of the Dream Team that won the Gold Medal at the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona. He finished his 16-year career with 17,911 points and is the Golden State Warriors all-time leader in games played and steals.

Morice “Tex” Winter started out as the head coach at Marquette University in 1952 and, at the time, was the youngest coach in major college basketball. Where he made his name was for his Triple-Post or Triangleoffense.  He wrote a book about it 1962. In 1985 he was hired by Jerry Kraus, whom he met during his head coaching days at Kansas State, to be an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls. The rest was history. His offense helped lead the Bulls to titles in ’91-’93,  and ’96-’98. He then followed Phil Jackson to the Lakers, where he collected three more rings from ’00-’02. Three different three-peats, not bad. There maybe something to that Triangle Offense after all.

Herb Magee was a two-time all-American and was selected by the Celtics in the 1963 draft, but where he made his name was coaching Philadelphia University. He’s been the region Coach of the Year four times, National Coach of the Year twice for his achievements with the Division II School. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Artis Gilmore began is career with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA where he led the league rebounding four times, twice in field goal percentage and blocks per game twice. He was named to the ABA All-First team five consecutive seasons, the All-Defensive team four times, and was an all-star five times. He set ABA records for career field goal percentage (55%), blocked shots (750),  and rebounds in a game with 40. He was taken with the first pick in the ABA dispersal draft by the Bulls after the ABA folded. He went on to play in six more all-star games in the NBA and is still the NBA’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage at 59.9%.

It’s a shame that America didn’t get to see the real Arvydas Sabonis. He was one of the most talented and skilled big men the European game as seen. Unfortunately he was almost 31 in his “rookie” season with the Blazers and had already suffered multiple knee injuries that had robbed him of the majority of his mobility. During the 1997-1998 season he averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, which were all career highs for his NBA career. The general consensus is that had he started his career here instead of in Europe he might have gone down as one of the best big men to play in the league. I guess technically he still is, but those best years came overseas and not here.

Teresa Edwards had one of the most decorated international careers of any American athlete. She competed for the U.S. in 19 international competitions and came home with 14 gold medals. She was the first female basketball player to play in five Olympic games. She’s also the youngest gold medalist in women’s basketball (20) and the oldest gold medalist in women’s basketball (36). While she did play in the WNBA in the 2003 and 2004 seasons her mark on the game is one as a great ambassador for United States and women’s basketball on an international level.

Reece “Goose” Tatum was once a Negro League teammate of Satchel Paige. He later went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. He and former Globetrotter Marquis Haynes formed their own team, the Famous Harlem Magicians. Often called the first real personality of the Globetrotters, his comedic routines paved the way for those that would follow in the red, white, and blue striped uniforms that would make “Sweet Georgia Brown” famous.

Tom “Satch” Sanders #16 jersey number is retired by the Boston Celtics. That alone should let you know he must have been pretty good. He spent thirteen years in Boston and won eight titles in 1961-66, 1968, and 1969. He was elected to the All-Defensive team in 1969. In NBA history only Bill Russell and Sam Jones have won more titles as players. He finished his career with 8,766 points, 5,798 rebounds, and 1,026 assists.

Tara VanDerveer is Stanford women’s basketball. She’s been there since the 1985-86 season and her accomplishments as the head coach are almost too much to list, but I will anyway. She’s won two national titles, four Big Ten titles, 18 Pac-10 titles, three National Coach of the Year awards, two Big Ten Coach of the Year awards, 10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards, is 54-22 in the NCAA tournament (before this season), 5-1 in the Big Ten tournament, and 22-2 in the Pac-10 tournament. She’s also one of six NCAA women’s basketball coaches to win 800 games and even put together an Olympic team that went 80-0 over the course of a year.

Congrats again to this year’s class, well deserved by all.

The Bowse's Word

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One Comment

  1. Jay, 6 years ago Reply

    Rodman, but no Miller. He averaged like 5 points per game. The HOF screwed this one up.


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