1. There has been a sort of general sentiment amongst NBA Writers, Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons (Who wrote an entire book’s worth of words on the subject I don’t particularly care for) a synecdoche, that there needs to be an NBA Specific Hall-of-Fame. There are too many college coaches and guys with tremendous college careers who were marginal NBA players and other sorts of riff raff, that the Hall doesn’t “Mean anything” or whatever.
The value of “Meaning” in sports is nominal. Halls of Fame are absurd and debates around them are the height of brain candy, sweet and addictive but possessing no genuine intellectual value (But here I am!). Their only genuine virtue is as museums to collect the history of aesthetics, strategies and social refractions in their games.
An NBA only hall that functioned like the MLB’s fucked up mountaintop clubhouse guarded by club wielding writer trolls would ignore early pioneers, innovative college coaches (Even if there are way too many in now), European pioneers (A hall without Sabonis might be more objective, but Sabonis isn’t in it, so who gives a shit) and blackballed legends like Connie Hawkins. These groups have had as much to do with the game as any NBA player and deserve recognition in any museum celebrating the history of a sport that have been played in a far more contexts than baseball has.
It would also marginalize the women’s game. Listening to NBA_Writer type flap their gums about an NBA only hall without even giving deference to Bird and Jackson and Cheryl Miller and Angela Salvadores drives me up a wall. Women play basketball! They’ve played basketball for a long time in a lot of different places depending on where they could make money and they deserve the same recognition that men do in a museum about the history of the game.
Are there some weird dudes in the BasketHall? Absolutely! Jamal Wilkes!? Kick the bum out, if you ask me! Rick Pitino belongs in the fucking in public Hall of Fame (don’t eat at the restaurant) but basketball is a stretch if you’re dead set against inducting Rick Adelman. Phil Knight? That shit is gross as hell! But it’s worth it if the eclectic history of the competitive game gets told. It’s good to avoid reducing the history of the game to a series of bronze busts of tall dudes who racked up rings in the NBA.
2. Stern should obviously be in the Hall. But fastracking? You should only get fastracked if you’re a lock and also on death’s door so a sick person can be given a nice thing. Even if you already died, we wait five years, and get a good re-mourning on. This was a series of sentences that were pretty callous, I’m not terribly proud of them. Please disregard this.
3. This is a pretty weak class, from a watchability standpoint. One article I saw when I was searching for this was “Stern leads inductees,” which is kind of a bummer, because he probably is the most prominent person getting in. If you’re going to have a system that is deeply nontransparent like like they do, at least manipulate it to get someone interesting in every year. This paragraph is maybe a little unfair to Alanzo. Also Slick Leonard might say some folksy shit, God knows how much Americans love folksy shit.
4. It’s really too bad that Basketball was actually invented in Springfield, because if that was just a fantastical myth the way Cooperstown is, there would be a really good case for moving it somewhere hospitable. There was that Aztec game that resembled basketball, maybe they could move the Hall to Mexico City.
5. The theater space where they do the inductions is very ugly on TV. Red is not neutral enough to be on my TV. Blue is better. You know what a great color would be, is a sort of dull whiteish brownish orange, the sort of color a high school gym is painted. They should just do the induction in a high school gym.
6. Someone once said that the history of Rock and Roll is written by the losers. I don’t remember who. Maybe Axl Rose, that is something that would affect him. Look it up, you’ll find it. These halls all celebrate winners and only winners and everyone knows how fucking lame it is. I want the Basketball Hall of Dudes, a hall that celebrates mid-major conference stars who went to play in Europe for a 10-12 years after graduation and make a living teaching at skill academies well into their 50’s. You get their bust and right behind it is a video playing all their Summer League highlights on a loop.
7. Every inductee should have to dunk a basketball. We start the rim at ten feet. They have to try. If they can’t we lower it to nine. Then eight. Then seven. If they can only dunk it on the seven foot setting, everyone in the building snickers at them.
8. They sometimes hold high school proms at the Hall of Fame. You can also hire Robert Parish to DJ (DJ Big Green), he lives in a little condo in the back.
9.Novel pitch : Larry Bird’s treasure is buried underneath the Hall of Fame. A group of teenage girls break in to find it. They open the chest, and there’s a little slip of paper that says “Hard work, dedication and teamwork.” They are mad at first, until they realize that that breaking into the hall taught them those lessons. They start a frozen yogurt shop together, and it becomes the rage of Springfield. The last scene is Larry Bird stopping in buying a cup with his favorite toppings, which are grit and basketball IQ, paying their leader Laura Falcon who is working the counter and winking at the camera. It's actually a movie, not a novel.
10. Okay, there were only nine.