Dear Hall of Fame Voters: Here's What You Can Do With Your First Ballot Exclusion


Reggie Miller won’t make the Hall of Fame this year.  Apparently, he wasn’t even deemed good enough to be on a list of finalists that included Maurice Cheeks and Reggie’s long-time teammate and friend, Mark Jackson.  Now, I love both of those players, but anybody who thinks they belong in the Hall ahead or instead of Reg is – quite simply – drunk.

But that’s not the point here.  The point is the arbitrary, artificial, and monumentally silly mystique constructed around the idea of “first ballot” induction.  Reggie wasn’t measured against the others up for induction this year.  Bizarrely, Reggie – and every other player in their first year of eligibility – is measured against Wilt and Russell, Bird and Magic, Michael and Scottie.

And this is patently ridiculous.

There is no restriction on annual inductees.  There is no special section of the Hall devoted to those who made it on the first ballot.  You can’t go to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame website and find out who they are.  Neither they nor Basketball-Reference list any information at all saying on what ballot the members were inducted.

Either someone is in the Hall of Fame, or they aren’t.  Either someone belongs in the Hall of Fame, or they don’t.  Guys like Reggie – or Dominique Wilkins or Dennis Rodman or Dennis Johnson – shouldn’t be forced to spend time in purgatory for this nonsense.

It’s as if people fear that Reggie Miller making the Hall on the first ballot somehow cheapens it for everyone.  That somebody, somewhere will use that fact to draw equivalence between Reggie and Michael Jordan.

C’mon, man.

Look, if you’re talking to someone who would do that, or would argue that Reggie was as good as Michael – and they aren’t his mom – run away!  You’re talking to an idiot.

It’s true that there are arguments to be made against Miller’s inclusion in the Hall.  He never won a title.  He never won an MVP or was a serious candidate.  His mantle is not full of All NBA or other awards.   However, he has enough accomplishments (25,000+ career points, recently broken 3-point record, 5 All Star appearances) to go along with his reputation as a playoff performer and his iconic presence in Pacer lore to get a relatively broad consensus to agree he belongs.

But – again – beside the point.

I would be less angered (or just disappointed) today if I thought the voters felt he didn’t belong.  However, I have the unshakable conviction that there were voters who felt Reggie Miller (and others before him) belonged in the Hall of Fame, but not on the first ballot.

And that’s just bullshit.

I’ve said pretty much all I have to say, so I’ll have to leave it up to the pantheon-level badass, Robbie Benson, to say what people can do with their first ballot exclusion.

Tags: Reggie Miller

  • http://shearsportscuts.blogspot.com/ Adam

    Bra-vo!

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  • Tom

    not to mention he still has the all time record for career threes in the playoffs (very unlikely to be broken soon, too) and is one of just 5 players in history to go 90 from the line, 50 from the field, and 40 from three for an entire season. oh, and he has the highest career true shooting percentage of ANY GUARD IN NBA HISTORY, 6th overall for any position in the history of the whole damn league.

    ray allen is 53rd…

  • http://thetop7.net/ Kent

    He deserves to be there.

  • LazyAce

    well put sir.. Bull Shit is an understatement.

  • PaulStowers

    Reggie lead the Pacers from an obscure NBA team to a team of relevance National tv games multiple playoff runs ect… Not to even be a finalist is beyond printable description. A selfless regular season player who deferred to teammates and took over in the playoffs. Shame of the biased morons who selected these finalists. For the many thousands of Hoosiers who chanted his name REG-GIE in unison and cried with Reggie during his retirement speech today is a dark day. I pray the real Basketball Hall of Fame the Indiana High School HOF will enshrine Reggie for his contributions to the game of basketball in this the Great State of Indiana.

  • Andrea from Italy

    Hopefully this is the last strow that leads to an NBA-only hall of fame. It would be about time.

  • Jeanne

    Unthinkable. They’re still trying to get even with him.
    Reggie Miller – Mr. Clutch at http://tiny.cc/hgvi1

  • jk31

    It’s the same thing with ballots all the time…. They don’t look who is the best Player of those who are on the ballot-list, but they think to much about “what happened with Jordan and all the other great players…ok he isnt better than them so he cannot get in in his first year”… same thing with MVP’s …. you remember the 2 MVP’s Steve Nash received? I think in the year after his 2nd MVP he played much better than the 2 years before and he didnt receive it…why? because nash isnt as good as bird or magic who both got 3 of them…. the whole things where people with “knowledge” vote things is crap!

  • http://hardwoodhype.blogspot.com Hardwood Hype

    I personally think Reggie was a GREAT shooter, but a very-good-but-not-quite-great player whose legacy has benefitted from a handful of memorable moments and high-profile successes.

    With that said, whether or not you think Reggie Miler deserves to be in the Hall of Fame (I think he’s a low-end HOFer, but deserving of a spot), there’s no disputing that he deserved to be considered for the Hall- especially when Mark Jackson, one of Reggie teammates who was a lesser player, is on the ballot. He’s one of the best players of his era, at his position, was the best player on a series of very good teams and built a great statistical resume.

    All of that aside, his exclusion from the ballot, simply because he’s in his first year of eligibility, is unconscionable.

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  • Swirsky’s Soldier

    Reggie is overrated. A pretty good player, and a great shooter. But he has already been surpassed in the thing he did best (shoot 3s).

    Is he better than Marc Jackson.. yeah. But him not being on the ballet is hardly a travesty.

  • Manfred James

    It IS a travesty when you consider the other people who DID make it on to the ballot. And I’m not talking about the few at the top of the list such as Jackson & Mullin who should also be there.

  • Tad

    Reggie Miller quite simply put the Indiana Pacers franchise and carried them on his back to heights the franchise had never been before nor has been since. He was a truly great player who involved his teammates as much as possible in the regular season and took over in the playoffs. If Scottie Pippen had been on the Pacers instead of Chicago, I guarantee Reggie has the rings to go with his pedigree. No one will ever realize how much having Pippen helped Michael Jordan’s legacy. It’s not Reggie’s fault that he never had another truly great player like Pippen alongside during his career.

    Mark Jackson was a very good point guard, but he was not a scorer and could not defend well. Chris Mullin was past his prime and could play only part of the game when he got to play with Reggie. It’s ironic that both of these guys advanced their furthest as players when Reggie was “the man.” Reggie made guys like Rik Smits, Jalen Rose, Dale Davis and Antonio Davis look better than they were. Each of these guys were good role players, but with Reggie they could look like studs… just consider the contract Jalen got when he was with the Pacers. I hope Reggie got a percentage.

    When a man has the highest true shooting percentage of any guard in NBA history… and played for 18 seasons at a high level, shouldn’t that count for something? To not put this man in the Hall is a travesty and only goes to show what a joke the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has become.

    Let’s pick some obscure guy who coached women’s basketball in Armenia ahead of Reggie. The NBA needs a Hall of Fame. If for no other reason than the current Hall of Fame is horrible to visit. If you’ve ever been there, you know the Hall of Fame is located in the thriving metropolis of Springfield, Massachusetts in the parking lot of the Hilton Garden Inn off of I-91. Not fitting for the basketball Hall of Fame… but fitting for a place that doesn’t think Reggie belongs with the greats of the game.

    What a joke!

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