Monday, August 22, 2011

Hanging from the Rafters - Intro and Atlanta Hawks

I'm introducing a new, ongoing feature today at the Glorious Extra Pass: Hanging from the Rafters. I've always been fascinated by how teams decide which players to bestow the honor of retiring a jersey upon on which ones they decide don't make the cut. But I'm going to tackle this from a perspective that every team must follow the same rules to retire a jersey, and then we'll see which players from which teams get to have that honor. I'm also going to look at which jerseys teams have actually retired, and whether or not they meet the criteria that I set up.

To start with, I'll explain the criteria I established for a jersey's retirement:
1. A player must score a 75 or greater with said team on the Greatness Equation. (This is kind of self-explanatory if you've been following my blog at all for the last year or so.)
2. A player wins an MVP or Finals MVP while on the team.
3. A player plays in at least 739 games with the team in question. (I feel like if a player puts in around 10+ years with one team - something that happens much more rarely than you might think, he's earned his place amongst the team's greats.)
4. A player plays at least 329 games with the team and makes the Hall of Fame. (This is actually more of a team honor than a player honor. I know I'd want to claim a Hall of Famer as one of my own if he'd been on my team for five or more seasons)

I'll start today with the Atlanta Hawks (I'll probably end up doing these in alphabetical order, anyway, but the Hawks are a good test case since they have a semi-rich history and they've been around since basically the beginning of the league.)

The Actual Retired Jerseys:
#9 - Bob Pettit
#21 - Dominique Wilkins
#23 - Lou Hudson
#40 - Jason Collier

The Jerseys that should be Retired:
#8 - Walt Bellamy
Qualifies under #4 (338 games and Hall of Fame)
#9 - Bob Pettit
Qualifies under #1 (468.2 rating), #2 (MVP in 1956 and 1959), and #3/#4 (792 games and Hall of Fame)
#14 - Lenny Wilkens
Qualifies under #1 (90.9 rating) and #4 (555 games and Hall of Fame)
#16 - Cliff Hagan
Qualifies under #1 (177.2 rating), and #3/#4 (745 games and Hall of Fame)
#21 - Dominique Wilkins
Qualifies under #1 (228.6 rating), and #3/#4 (882 games and Hall of Fame)
#23 - Lou Hudson
Qualifies under #1 (120.0 rating)
#30 - Tree Rollins
Qualifies under #3 (814 games)
#42 - Kevin Willis
Qualifies under #3 (753 games)

Overall, I'd say the Hawks have done a pretty good job with their retired jerseys. Three that definitely belong there and one (Collier) who they retired basically because he died while actually playing basketball for them. Still, though, I have no idea what's holding them back from putting Hagan or Wilkens up there as well.

And here's the "close calls" for each of the categories:
75.0 Greatness Rating
1. (#32) Dan Roundfield - 71.7 rating
2. (#32) Bill Bridges - 67.9 rating
3. (#55) Dikembe Mutombo - 64.5 rating
4. (#2) Joe Johnson - 63.3 rating
5. (#31) Zelmo Beaty - 59.0 rating

739 Games Played
1. (#32) Jon Koncak - 717 games
2. (#32) Bill Bridges - 683 games
3. (#3) Eddie Johnson - 619 games
4. (#22) John Drew - 595 games
5. (#25) Doc Rivers - 568 games

329 Games Played & Hall of Fame Inductee
1. (#44) Pete Maravich - 302 games
2. (#22) Slater Martin - 248 games
3. (#34) Clyde Lovellette - 245 games
4. (#2) Moses Malone - 244 games
5. (#20) Ed Macauley - 158 games


  1. Cool to see this begin....

    My counter for #3 is....that makes Tree Rollins # retired....I don't know about that one....

    Agree with you on Wilkens and definitly Hagan...very key guys to Atlanta (St. Louis).

  2. Glad to see Joe Johnson not in....but I would think he'd be coming in soon enough...

    And Bill Bridges was so close bad he doesn't get in...