It’s a travesty. It’s absolutely unexplainable. It’s completely shameful.
There is absolutely no reason Reggie Miller should not be on the list of finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame!
Maybe the voters on the “Honors Committee” have something against first-time eligible players or maybe they felt that some hold-overs finally deserved their accolades. But in a class that featured no other significant first-year candidates, Miller’s omission from the list is especially startling.
The actual finalists included Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, Ralph Sampson, Maurice Cheeks, and Jamaal Wilkes as players.
Now, Wilkes and Sampson played before my time, so I cannot hold Miller against either of their credentials. Instead, I’ll compare him against the two peers in which he played with, were from my generation of interest, and also were both selected as finalists in front of Miller; Mullin and Rodman.
Scoring-wise, Miller gets the complete edge here, serving as the primary shooter for the Indiana Pacers for the entirety of his career, while Mullin was part of the Run TMC crew in Golden State with Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond. For his part, Rodman was never truly a scoring threat, serving as a shut-down defender and rebounder for World Championship teams in Detroit and Chicago, while also making pitstops in San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
Miller: 25,279 Career Points
Mullin: 17,911 Career Points
Rodman: 6683 Career Points
On the rebounding side, Rodman was the obvious leader, being one of the preeminent rebounders in the history of the NBA. Miller actually has a slight edge on Mullin in the rebounding department, but that could be attributed to playing two more seasons than Mullin.
Miller: 4,182 Career Rebounds
Mullin: 4,034 Career Rebounds
Rodman: 11,954 Career Rebounds
Passing the ball was never really Miller’s forte, but he wasn’t without his ability to share the ball either. Again, he has a slight edge on Mullin here and absolutely buries Rodman because “The Worm” was never truly a featured part of any offense.
Miller: 4,141 Career Assists
Mullin: 3,450 Career Assists
Rodman: 1,600 Career Assists
The final metric to really compare a player’s talent and contribution is the amount of time he spent in playoff situations. Rodman would be the obvious leader here, having been on five world championship teams. However, Miller played on a number of good Pacers teams that went deep into the playoffs, including one team that reached the finals in 2000, where they lost to the Lakers in five games. Mullin would play on that same Pacer team in 2000, but while his Golden State teams would make playoff appearances, they never truly went deep into them. What separates Miller is how is was essentially the cog that drove those Pacer teams as deep as he did, including a memorable game against the Knicks where Miller single-handedly drove them further.
Miller: 144 Career Playoff Games
Mullin: 71 Career Playoff Games
Rodman: 169 Career Playoff Games
I’m not saying that any of these players shouldn’t be worthy candidates. They all did enough during their careers to be enshrined in Springfield. However, Miller was one of the biggest stars of the league during the 90’s and early 2000’s. He was always over-shadowed by players like Jordan, Bird, and Johnson, but he held his own against any and all three of those players and let’s face facts, who didn’t live under the shadow of those players during their time?
Fact is, the small contingent of voters who picked this group of finalists missed the boat here and really failed to see a truly great player and award him the honor he deserved.
It’s just a damn shame.
- Reggie Miller, Basketball-Reference.com
- Chris Mullin, Basketball-Refeerence.com
- Dennis Rodman, Basketball-Reference.com