Well the Hall of Fame's biggest glaring omission to date has finally been rectified. Artis Gilmore has been inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2011. He gets in this year along with other players Chris Mullin, Dennis Rodman, Arvydas Sabonis, and Tom Sanders. (Others inducted were Teresa Edwards, Herb Magee, Reece Tatum, Tara VanDerveer, and Tex Winter.) So how worthy were these guys of making the Hall this year? Let's take a look.
This guy should have been inducted a long time ago. My Greatness Rating for him is 208.0. Every eligible player who has a rating above 200 is in the Hall. (Well, except for Reggie Miller now, who has a 244.7). Gilmore is also the 48th highest rated Hall-eligible player, and was the highest rated or second highest rated (along with Dennis Johnson) not in the Hall for a long time. (Again, except for Miller now.) The 3 guys directly above Gilmore: Tom Heinsohn, Dennis Johnson, and Neil Johnston. The 3 directly below: Adrian Dantley, Nate Archibald, and Bailey Howell. You might not recognize Johnston or Howell, but they both had some pretty impressive stats and accomplishments, and all of those guys above and below are in the Hall.
Now, you can definitely argue about how inclusive the Hall of Fame should be, and whether those seven guys listed there should be in it or not. But if you're going to include six of them, you really have to include all seven, so based on the Hall's on precedents, Gilmore definitely deserves it. It's nice to finally see the guy get his due.
Rodman's right on the cusp of the "Everybody Agrees He Should Probably Get in Based on Who's Already in" group (200+ Greatness Rating) and firmly entrenched in the "We've Got Mixed Feelings About It, But We'd Have a Hard Time Arguing Against It if He Gets in" group. (Catchy category names, I know.) I consider that group to be in the 175-200 Greatness Rating range. Rodman's got a 182.8, making him the 58th best Hall-eligible player. The 3 guys directly above him: Chet Walker (not in), Bill Laimbeer (not in), and Joe Dumars (in) - and yes, it's weird that three Pistons teammates are right next to each other, but I assure you it's a coincidence. The 3 directly below: Cliff Hagan (in), Alex English (in), and Jack Sikma (not in). If I were running the Hall, I doubt any of those guys would get in. The way it's constructed now, I'd say Walker should be in (very underrated) and I guess I understand why Dumars gets in, but I don't really agree with it - which is exactly how I feel about Rodman. None of those names really scream "Hall of Famer" in my mind. I can understand the reasoning, but I don't agree with it.
Mullin's a bit of a head scratcher for me. He's got a rating of 160.3, well below the "iffy" range. Then again, my ratings only take into account NBA (and, irrelevant to Mullin, ABA) accomplishments. He's certainly getting bonus points from the Hall for his college career and his time on the Dream Team. Let's just hope Christian Laettner doesn't get the same inflated legacy since he had an even better college career and was also on the Dream Team. (No offense to Laettner, but if he gets in, I'm going to stop putting any sort of credence in the Hall of Fame whatsoever.)
Mullin is the 74th highest rated Hall-eligible guy, falling below guys like Bob Dandridge, Shawn Kemp, Tim Hardaway, Paul Westphal, Kevin Johnson, Buck Williams, Maurice Cheeks, and Horace Grant. I'm not saying Mullin wasn't a really good, and for a stretch of a few seasons, genuinely great player. It's just hard for me to justify putting him in when those other guys aren't.
I'm really not even sure where he falls on the Greatness Rating scale in terms of number of guys above and below him. I never bothered to calculate out his total until just now, so there's a lot of other guys that probably have higher scores than him that I didn't do either. He's got a score of 26.4, which is virtually nothing. Just for comparison's sake, Danny Granger currently has a score 26.9... so, yeah. Arvydas is in because he's an International Trail Blazer. (Ironically a Portland Trail Blazer as well, but I doubt that had much influence on the committee.) I'm sure Vlade Divac is definitely pumped about this, as it surely helps his odds immensely. Same for Gasol and Ginobili later on down the line.
(When the Hall of Fame eventually gets revamped, I'd really like to see an International Wing or something like that. Just a showcase for the guys that were the best foreign players from their respective countries. Like "Croatia - Drazen Petrovic," "Lithuania - Arvydas Sabonis," "Germany - Dirk Nowitzki" and so on, and then Dirk gets to be in the NBA Wing of the Hall as well.
Look, if the Hall of Fame is going to induct everyone who was on the Celtics in the 1960's, can they just do it and get it over with already? Sanders has a rating of 62.3. Not terrible or laughable by any means, but it places him directly behind luminaries such as Terrell Brandon, Steve Smith, and Sidney Wicks.
Okay, that's not entirely fair. A lot of the guys on those old Celtics teams definitely deserve to be in the Hall. But then we have guys like Sanders, K.C. Jones, and Frank Ramsey. Those are probably the biggest ones I can think of. We may need a Celtics Wing in the new Hall, too, just so when Jim Loscutoff gets inducted his plaque can have a more proper hanging place.