The NBA Pantheon of Legends

 
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joeblow
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: The NBA Pantheon of Legends

I'm not a big fan of the Basketball Hall of Fame. It is far too easy to get in, and it allows players from far too many leagues. That's why I am commissioning a superior version that will overshadow the HoF:

The NBA Pantheon of Legends.

Off that bat, this is for NBA players only. The best basketball league in the world has the best players in the world. So it is fitting that we recognize the best of the best this way. No college, international or WNBA accomplishments are acknowledged in any way, shape, or form (including USA Olympic and World play). Entry is based strictly on one's NBA career.

As for what NBA careers can be considered for entry into the Pantheon, the player's impact on the court must be that of a legend (in the context of the era he played in) before he can be immortalized.

Having multiple rings is the minimum qualification; what is the point of playing the game if not to achieve the ultimate prize? Still, just getting one ring is not enough to be considered among the best of the best since plenty of players earned only one championship. Making two of them mandatory means that the Pantheon is solely for a champion among champions.

Also, the player must've earned the (minimum) two rings while being the alpha dog of his team (for the full seasons; FMVP awards are not reliable indicators). The 'role player' championships don't qualify and are not considered during evaluations. BTW, the only seasons that will be looked at are those that happened after the 24 second clock was instituted. That's the true beginning of "modern" NBA basketball.

Lastly, if this were actually instituted, who would decide who gets in? After the initial group below gets inducted at its inception, moving forward it is only the Legends themselves who will have a vote moving forward. Once every ten years they will consider a maximum of two new (retired) entries. 75% of the Legends must agree to add someone to the roster, or that player doesn't get in.

~~~~~~~

Here are ten players that receive an automatic entry into the NBA Pantheon of Legends on day one (in no particular order):

- Michael Jordan
- Magic Johnson
- Larry Bird
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar
- Hakeem Olajuwan
- Bill Russell
- Shaq
- Kobe
- Tim Duncan


Last edited by joeblow on Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:56 pm    Post subject:

There are always some fans who think Halls of Fames should be limited to GOAT level guys. The problem with that is the Hall membership would stagnate and people would lose interest it.

I'm also not a fan of rigid entry requirements like two rings. It doesn't make sense that Isiah Thomas qualifies for consideration but Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, who were superior, don't.
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joeblow
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:03 am    Post subject:

^^ By limiting entry to the greatest of the great, it becomes even more prominent since each new entry is an event. People currently yawn at the induction of 99% of the players admitted into the HoF (which would continue to exist with this idea, BTW). I mean, there's an article in the main forum arguing for the admittance of a career role player into the HoF.

Whether he makes it or not, there are a ton of peeps who made it in despite careers that were nothing more than defent, which shows how ridiculously diluted it is, and therefore has very little worth, IMHO.

However, gaining entry into the PoL that I describe above would always be a major event because of the rarity and quality level of the achievement. Remember: retired players can only be considered every ten years, so it would become anything but routine.

As for the Isaiah Thomas vs. West/Baylor point that was raised, that's not an issue really. None of them would make it in for different reasons. Eligibility in and of itself isn't an actual achievement, so not a concern there at all.

Making entry a two ring minimum requirement does a couple of things... first and foremost, it puts winning championships as the primary focus of a player's career. This is emphasized by saying one is not enough. No one can barely squeak their way in. With two rings, all those who do make it in do so boldly.

Also, motivating current players even more is another positive aspect to all of this. You want to be officially considered a Legend of the sport after you retire? Go out and win it all, then we can talk. Winning games, developing talent and improving one's skill for much of their career must be their focus or they cannont be considered.

And in the end, achievement at the highest level is what all of the Legends have in common. Everyhting else in the sport means less, but can still be celebrated in the old HoF.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject:

I would definitely enjoy seeing you propose your idea to the NBA owners, and see how Mark Cuban reacts to an NBA Hall of Fame where Dirk isn't even eligible for consideration
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:22 am    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
I'm also not a fan of rigid entry requirements like two rings. It doesn't make sense that Isiah Thomas qualifies for consideration but Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, who were superior, don't.


Ring requirements are popular with fans of the Celtics and Lakers, and to a lesser extent with fans of the Bulls and Spurs. Note that Hakeem is the only player on the list who did not play for those teams. Wilt does not actually qualify for the list, because he won only one ring as an "alpha dog." If we count him, though, we wind up with 5 Lakers, 2 Celtics, 1 Bull, 1 Spur, and 1 Rocket. Let's replace Hakeem with Mikan to get rid of the outlier.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:48 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
activeverb wrote:
I'm also not a fan of rigid entry requirements like two rings. It doesn't make sense that Isiah Thomas qualifies for consideration but Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, who were superior, don't.


Ring requirements are popular with fans of the Celtics and Lakers, and to a lesser extent with fans of the Bulls and Spurs. Note that Hakeem is the only player on the list who did not play for those teams. Wilt does not actually qualify for the list, because he won only one ring as an "alpha dog." If we count him, though, we wind up with 5 Lakers, 2 Celtics, 1 Bull, 1 Spur, and 1 Rocket. Let's replace Hakeem with Mikan to get rid of the outlier.



There's a lot of reasons this proposal would never work in real life.

Fundamentally, it really comes to whether you think a Hall should be limited to a very small number of GOAT-level members. That's been an argument people have been having since there have been Halls of Fames. Like most things to do with Halls, Bill James has written pretty well on why Halls always go with a more expansive approach.

But, yeah, I noticed that Wilt didn't really qualify too.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:10 am    Post subject:

http://www.hoophall.com/about/about-hall/our-mission/

Personally, I think the best thing the HOF can and does do is inspire fans by revealing some bit of history about the sport that we don't ordinarily know and talk about. That is what deepens the relationship between the casual fan and the game of basketball.

I guess there's some benefit to have a special gallery for the fans of very specific players. Maybe the players can pay for their own exhibits. Or they can be fan-generated. Then the casual fans can hang out there.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject:

LuciusAllen wrote:
http://www.hoophall.com/about/about-hall/our-mission/

Personally, I think the best thing the HOF can and does do is inspire fans by revealing some bit of history about the sport that we don't ordinarily know and talk about. That is what deepens the relationship between the casual fan and the game of basketball.

I guess there's some benefit to have a special gallery for the fans of very specific players. Maybe the players can pay for their own exhibits. Or they can be fan-generated. Then the casual fans can hang out there.



The Hall has hundreds of interactive exhibits, some which are permanent, some which rotate in and out. I can't imagine any Hall would allow a player to pay for his own exhibition, but they already have lots of displays for individual inductees.

Something like 650,000 people go to the Hall ever year, so you get the full range from basketball zealots to people who know virtually nothing about the sport.

Surprisingly to me, that's twice as many visitors as the baseball hall of fame, and four times as many as the football hall of fame. I would have thought the baseball hall would be #1
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joeblow
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:38 pm    Post subject:

I'll state it for the third time... the Hall of Fame isn't going anywhere with this idea. Fill it up with all the Dirks and Barkleys and Mailmen that you want.

The PoL is a separate entity for a special recognition of players whose tremendous impact achieved the highest goals. It doesn't replace what already exists in the HoF for everyone else who's eligible. Please stop bringing up that particular argument.

As for wanting this because I'm a Laker fan, that's nonsense. I want something similar for each of the major sports, where L.A. hasn't been as successful. But being that this is an NBA sub-forum, I posting the NBA PoL idea here.

Lastly, if Wilt doesn't make it, fine. It's better to release someone on the fringe than to allow in some others who could dilute the PoL with accomplishments that didn't translate into winning it all as described above.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:42 pm    Post subject:

joeblow wrote:
I'll state it for the third time... the Hall of Fame isn't going anywhere with this idea. Fill it up with all the Dirks and Barkleys and Mailmen that you want.

The PoL is a separate entity for a special recognition of players whose tremendous impact achieved the highest goals. It doesn't replace what already exists in the HoF for everyone else who's eligible. Please stop bringing up that particular argument.

As for wanting this because I'm a Laker fan, that's nonsense. I want something similar for each of the major sports, where L.A. hasn't been as successful. But being that this is an NBA sub-forum, I posting the NBA PoL idea here.

Lastly, if Wilt doesn't make it, fine. It's better to release someone on the fringe than to allow in some others who could dilute the PoL with accomplishments that didn't translate into winning it all as described above.



Personally, I don't see a strong need for a Hall or Pantheon or plaque or whatever to announce that the consensus GOAT short list -- MJ, Magic, Bird, Kareem, etc. -- sit at the top of the mountain. We already know that, and a Hall or Pantheon or whatever dedicated to stating the obvious sounds a little dull.

For fun ... In 2007, there were a lot of calls for the NBA to start its own Hall of Fame. The reason was because there had been a long stretch where only one, two, or even no NBA players had made the Hall each year.

David Stern, the NBA commissioner, announced the league would continue to support the Naismith, but he wished they would let more NBA players in.

Lo and behold, that led to an era where all sorts of NBA players who had been left out of the Hall for decades were let in -- Adrian Dantley, Gus Johnson, Artis Gilmore, Jamaal Wilkes, Chet Walker, and on and on. Basically, the floodgates were opened for all the borderline guys, because that's what the NBA wanted.

If the NBA went to the trouble and expense of starting its own Hall or Pantheon or whatever you wanted to label it, it's hard to imagine they'd go the route of a highly restricted list of the usual suspects. If nothing else, the NBA is great at marketing. If they wanted to do something to honor their all-time greats, they'd go with something like the All-Time 50 Team which spurs debate and interest, rather than something where the honorees are predictable and perfunctory.

Cause that's a lot of the fun of things like this. It's not about having a formula (2 ring minimum) that eliminates debates about who can get in. Just the opposite. It's about fans debating who deserves to be honored beyond the obvious guys.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject:

I'm not fond of the notion of formalizing a pantheon distinction within the Naismith HoF or of something created by any other voting body. These are not distinctions which will add much to the game's celebration, not really anyway. I can't visualize much momentum being formed for it, mostly due to the inevitable controversy and politics around the haggling over who's in and who's not, and then further still, who's still better than whom.

Leave this stuff (the GOAT discussions, the stabs at an all-time top ten or top twenty-five list, and similar pantheon tier machinations) for the pizza joint, the way Kareem suggested. It's not important.

BTW, I'm very happy seeing true excellence recognized in the game in the Naismith HoF the way it is. Jamaal Wilkes was a great player. If his entry implies that ten names are added to the honor roll every year (be it from international play, college or NBA), it's got to be a good thing.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject:

70sdude wrote:
I'm not fond of the notion of formalizing a pantheon distinction within the Naismith HoF or of something created by any other voting body. These are not distinctions which will add much to the game's celebration, not really anyway. I can't visualize much momentum being formed for it, mostly due to the inevitable controversy and politics around the haggling over who's in and who's not, and then further still, who's still better than whom.

Leave this stuff (the GOAT discussions, the stabs at an all-time top ten or top twenty-five list, and similar pantheon tier machinations) for the pizza joint, the way Kareem suggested. It's not important.

BTW, I'm very happy seeing true excellence recognized in the game in the Naismith HoF the way it is. Jamaal Wilkes was a great player. If his entry implies that ten names are added to the honor roll every year (be it from international play, college or NBA), it's got to be a good thing.



Jamaal had a great career. His resume -- 18-6-3, 3 all-star teams, 3 rings, 2 all-D second teams and a good college career -- wouldn't have made the cut if I were a Hall of Fame voter, but he's not a ridiculous choice. That said, there's a reason he took 25 years to get in.

During his best season, he was probably only the 4th to 7th best small forward in the league behind Dr. J, Bird, Marques Johnson and arguable behind George Gervin, Adrian Dantley and Bernard King.

The recent inductions of Wilkes, Dennis Johnson, and a few other guys has lowered the threshold on who is a borderline pick.

Right now, the guys who are just barely outside the Hall are Jack Sikma, Tim Hardaway, and Shawn Marion. Those three guys, at the moment, are the HoF cutoff point.

Personally, I think the Hall has made a huge number of weak/borderline choices in the past decade, and Wilkes is one of them.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject:

I kind of like the idea of the fifty team as a hall. Each year add one guy so the Hall always has one player per year of existence.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject:

Omar Little wrote:
I kind of like the idea of the fifty team as a hall. Each year add one guy so the Hall always has one player per year of existence.



It would be 72 players by this point, since the all-time 50 team was done 22 years ago.

I'd calculate the Hall has about 90-110 players who are there based mostly on their NBA careers (hard to say for sure because you can't always separate college, international, ABA and NBA achievements). There are about 370 inductees altogether, but many have no association with the NBA.

The big problem with adding one a year is you might have a year with no worthy candidates, so you have to let someone in who doesn't deserve it just to maintain the quota.

*

The fun thing would be who'd you would drop. (I am not counting college/ABA/interantional stars like Bill Bradley Drazen who I'd drop in a second). But guys who are clearly in the Hall based on their NBA careers that I'd drop include:

Calvin Murphy, Frank Ramsey, Gail Goodrich, Dave Bing, Maurice Cheeks, Jojo White, Zelmo Beatty, Mitch Richmond, Gus Johnson, KC Jones, Jamaal Wilkes, Maurice Stokes


Last edited by activeverb on Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:30 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
Personally, I think the Hall has made a huge number of weak/borderline choices in the past decade, and Wilkes is one of them.


Jo Jo White was the one that got me. For 35 years, I never heard anyone arguing that he was a Hall of Famer, then bam. At least I'd heard people talking about Wilkes. It's a flawed process when guys regularly get voted into the Hall a quarter of a century after retiring.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
activeverb wrote:
Personally, I think the Hall has made a huge number of weak/borderline choices in the past decade, and Wilkes is one of them.


Jo Jo White was the one that got me. For 35 years, I never heard anyone arguing that he was a Hall of Famer, then bam. At least I'd heard people talking about Wilkes. It's a flawed process when guys regularly get voted into the Hall a quarter of a century after retiring.



The Basketball Hall is incredibly secretive and they don't reveal their voting. My guess is a lot of their process is, "Hey if you let my buddy in, I'll let your buddy in"

Jojo was a seven-time all-star, but even so ...
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