At a press conference in Houston, 10 names were called to be inducted to the Naismith Hall of Fame including Arvydas Sabonis, Tex Winter, Artis Gilmore, Chris Mullin, Dennis Rodman and Tom Sanders.
One that immediately sticks out if the selection of Artis Gilmore, who is pretty much long overdue. Gilmore averaged 18.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game between 16 seasons in the ABA and NBA. He’s been up for enshrinement for quite a few years now and finally hasn’t gotten the snub which is great to see.
“What an overwhelming feeling I’m experiencing right being selected to the Hall of Fame,” Gilmore said after his name was called.
Gilmore ranks 20th all-time in scoring (ABA and NBA combined). All 19 in front of him are in the Hall, as well as the 14 next names behind him. Gilmore is also the career leader in field goal percentage (59.9 percent). It’s a shame it took this long for the 7-foot-2 monster, but he’s officially in now. And it’s more than well deserved.
Chris Mullin is one of the all-time great shooters (38.4 percent career from 3) and averaged 18.2 ppg in 16 seasons with the Warriors and Pacers. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medal winner, including a member of the 1992 Dream Team, which was inducted as a team last summer.
Sabonis was inducted by the European Committee for his resume as one of the all-time greats in European basketball, but you’ll recall that Sabonis did spend seven seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. Sabonis was a truly gifted 7-3 center who was hampered in the NBA by knee issues, but during his time in Europe was one of the truly gifted big men ever.
As noted a few days ago, Tex Winter will head to the Hall as the father of the triangle offense. The triangle is responsible for 14 NBA championships. Winter is being inducted as an assistant coach, which is a pretty cool honor.
Tom “Satch” Sanders was inducted by the International Committee. He played 13 seasons all with the Celtics and was known as one of the all-time great defenders.
And finally, Rodman’s name was called and he graced the stage looking just how you’d expect Rodman to look. Sunglasses on, piercings all in, sideways hat and some “fashionable” clothing. But Rodman was clearly humbled by the recognition.
“I feel kind of out of place because of some of the things I’ve done,” he said.
Rodman is truly one of the most gifted defenders in NBA history, having won two Defensive Player of the Year awards and five NBA titles. He was a rebounding machine, averaging 13.1 per game and as many as 18.7 in a single season.
Also, selected was Reece “Goose” Tatum of the Harlem Globetrotters, Teresa Edwards, Tara VanDerveer and Division II coach Herb McGee.
The induction ceremony is at the Hall in Springfield, Mass., from Aug. 11-13.