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Winderman: It’s time for an NBA Hall of Fame

Apr 5, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

2011 Hall of Fame Class Basketball AP

OK, exhale. No, not from the disappointment that was the NCAA men’s championship game (Butler apparently couldn’t hit the exit on its way home, either), but rather from the Basketball Hall of Fame announcements.

Teresa Edwards, Goose Tatum and Herb Magee but no Reggie Miller, who didn’t even make it to the final round of balloting?

OK, enough already. Why isn’t there an NBA Hall of Fame?

There’s a Pro Football Hall of Fame that essentially is the NFL’s shrine.

There’s a Baseball Hall of Fame that is almost exclusively Major League Baseball.

But the NBA continues to share quarters with anyone who has achieved enduring success by tossing small ball through large hoop.

Here’s the issue:

There is a Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. It bills itself as “the only facility of its kind dedicated to all levels of women’s basketball.”

There is a College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. It boasts, “You will immediately recognize that greatness lives here.”

There’s a FIBA Hall of Fame for international players in Alcobendas, Spain, “to preserve the heritage of international basketball.”

But Google “NBA Hall of Fame” and you wind right back in Springfield, Mass., at the Naismith Hall.

There you can find Sergei A. Belov, Carol A. Blazejowski, Kresimir Cosic, Joan Crawford (seriously), Drazen Dalipagic, Forrest S. DeBernardi, Anne T. Donovan, Paul Endacott, and, well that just gets us through the “E” portion of the inducted-players list.

There is no doubt that basketball success comes at all levels, all nationalities and genders.

But for an entity such as the NBA that so tries to distinguish itself among the major sports leagues, there’s something about following Goose Tatum on the podium, even if the next inductee is Dennis Rodman. Ditto for when Pat Riley had to sit through Dick Vitale’s history of his dipsy-doo dunk-a-roo life (Baby!).

No, the NBA is a large enough global brand to have it own hall of fame.

So let’s get this straight: Vince McMahon has his own (WWE) Hall of Fame and David Stern doesn’t?

No, don’t desert the Naismith Hall, but appreciate that NBA basketball is like no other brand of the game and deserves to be branded as such.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

  1. metalhead65 - Apr 5, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    with as much money as the owners have despite thier cries of poverty there is no excuse not to have one. if lack of money is indeed the case I am sure nike or one of the other shoe companies can be persuaded to build it if not contribute a large sum for it. there is no way I am going to waste money and visit the hall they have now should I ever be in the area.I do not care about womens b.b. or who is a superstar overseas.I do not care if it is politicly incorrect to feel that way so please no lectures,just like I have no desire to go to the rock and roll hall of fame and be subjected to displays about people who niether sing or play an instrument yet somehow are consisered hall worthy.yea rap I am talking about you! I refuse to call scratching records and talking fast music.

    • helinhater - Apr 6, 2011 at 8:59 AM

      Hey grandpa – I’m sure your folks weren’t crazy about those ragtag kids and their electric geeeeeee-tars making feedback noise and screaming into the microphone, with that racy Elvis character shaking his hips about?

      OH MY!

      If you’re the type of person who simply can’t wrap your mind around the appeal of rap then you’re either old, racist, or simply incredibly white.

      The reality is it’s a form of music. I’m not into heavy metal – but if you notice, no one ever refuses to call speed metal music.

      I wonder if its because most metal bands are white?

  2. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 5, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    D-Rod is bad ass…….

  3. truprof - Apr 6, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Reggie belongs! KJ belongs! Mo Cheeks belongs! I’m sure there are others I’ve left out, just like the HOF leaves them out!

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