A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Hall of Fame

The Perennial Snubbing of Artis Gilmore

with 3 comments

Artis Gilmore 1970

Image by Vedia via Flickr

The basketball Hall of Fame announced their 2011 finalists for induction yesterday, and the big snub everyone’s talking about is Reggie Miller. I think people are overreacting there. You’ve got people who seem to think this means Miller will never get in the Hall, and even extrapolating about what the snubbing means for Ray Allen. It’s as if people have no experience with players not getting in to Halls of Fame on their first year of eligibility. I personally won’t be alarmed unless we go a few years without him getting into the Hall.

With everyone in a mood for snub-based outrage though, let me take the opportunity to shed some light on the elephant in the room: Artis Gilmore.¬†Gilmore retired over 20 years ago, and he’s not on the HOF voters’ radar. Short of something major changing, he’s not getting in the Hall, and this folks, is completely and utterly indefensible.

Artis Gilmore in the ABA

Any discussion of Gilmore’s accomplishments has to start out with the ABA. Gilmore hit the league and took it by storm. His combination of 7’2″ size with tremendous leaping ability made him a devastatingly effective shotblocker. In the words of Rick Barry:

Artis Gilmore was incredibly agile and was just an amazing shot blocker. In fact, I’ve had him on my radio show a couple times, and I think that he stopped blocking some of the shots because they were calling goaltending on him. I don’t think that anybody had ever seen anything like that and they figured that he had to be goaltending, that you can’t possibly block somebody’s jump shot.

Read the rest of this entry »