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Spencer Haywood told he made Hall of Fame, then told sorry, no you didn’t

Apr 7, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

NBRPA Lunch With Champions Getty Images

It’s one thing not to make the cut for the Hall of Fame when you should clearly be in.

It’s another to be told you are in, then find out you are not.

Spencer Haywood was told he was in and his former agent released that information last Friday afternoon (we ran it here at PBT as did many outlets). But later that day he found out he had been misinformed and had not made the cut. Yea, I’d be pretty pissed off, too.

Haywood spoke to the Las Vegas Review Journal about it.

“I don’t know why there was confusion,” Haywood said Saturday from Atlanta, where he is attending the Final Four. “Someone from the NBA told me I was in, then I found out Friday night that I wasn’t in.

“This is so embarrassing. My stomach has been so bad I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. This isn’t a punch in the stomach. It’s below the stomach.”

The official announcement comes Monday in Atlanta, and we know Gary Payton and Bernard King are in (as are college coaches Jerry Tarkanian, Guy Lewis and Rick Pitino).

The other blow to Haywood is that he should be in — one of the most graceful big men ever to play the game he is an NBA champion, an ABA MVP and Rookie of the Year, a four-time NBA All-Star (plus one in the ABA) plus he has a gold medal. He averaged 20.5 points and 9.9 rebounds a game for his career. That is a killer resume.

He should be in anyway, but this is the Hall of Fame and this is what we always seem to get.

  1. franchiseplaya - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Hopefully whatever influence Stern and the NBA have will wane when Stern is gone. This man is a pioneer. Why more players aren’t speaking out in favor of Haywood is beyond me. This man needs to be inducted before its too late

    • zblott - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      He was a big part of pioneering selfishness and coasting through your career due to too much money too soon, and the whole cocaine epidemic of the late-70’s. Other than that, not sure about his HOF-worthy pioneer status.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    That’s wack, he should have been in already, ANYWAY. And they better not pull this with Bernard King. We will find out tomorrow.

  3. dondada10 - Apr 7, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    The word you’re looking for, Kurt, is “yeah.”

  4. zblott - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    How did we get to the point that playing in 4-5 All-Star games in a career marked by selfishness, peaking early and then coasting downhill quickly, cocaine, and rampant team-jumping is supposed to sound like part of a good argument for why a guy should be a Hall of Famer? Can anyone honestly imagine a team trying to build a winning franchise around Haywood? He helped tear apart that great Knicks club and ruined coach Bill Russell’s love of the game – no wonder teams refused to hang onto this guy.

  5. rajbais - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    He broke the trend for underclassmen and yet he got no respect.

    He should be in, but these inept NBA GMs make his fight for underclassmen look terrible. He was a great player when he first came in, but his drug issues and lack of win and All Star power later in his career got him more ostracized by the NBA.

    I know that he’s had life ups and downs, but he was great enough to be enshrined as a player.

  6. chitownjeff - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    yeah their was a lot to not like about how Spencer Haywood’s career went.. but you can’t ignore that for several years.. the man was unstoppable. Put up unbelievable numbers and changed the game. I think like Orlando Cepeda its high time he was recognized for his talents..

    • zblott - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Unstoppable…except in the case of the opposing teams that never seemed to have a lot of problems stopping his teams. The best club he was ever a major contributor on (’69-70 Rockets) was killed in the playoffs by a 43-41 team. So, yes, he and whatever contributions he made to a winning franchise were quite stoppable.

  7. paulhargis53 - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Zblott: Did Haywood bone your mom or something?

    Its the BASKETBALL HOF, not the NBA HOF. It includes college/International play also.
    He was a great player….you’re clueless.
    He deserves induction.

    • zblott - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Great player…who got worse throughout his career, couldn’t stay with a team that wanted him, and who was never a significant part of a good franchise. But I guess he did have some good individual numbers during what’s universally considered the worst era of NBA talent in league history, plus he was an NCAA All-American as many times as Scottie Reynolds.

      • fanofevilempire - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        dude, did he bang your wife or what?

  8. paulhargis53 - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    17000 points 8000 rebounds.
    leading scorer on 68 Olympic champ team.
    Read his bio.

    With each posting you look more ignorant.

    • zblott - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      If that’s how you’re defending players’ careers, then you better have Elvin Hayes in your top-5 all-time.

      Name the franchise that Haywood played for that seemed to get better in the way you’d expect with a HOFer. In fact, name even a 2-year stretch from his career in which it looked like his club was getting closer to contender status due to his HOF-worthy contributions. No doubt he had great individual stats, but you can’t find anything even resembling a positive influence on his team that makes you think Hall of Famer. Seriously, try to do it. And then wonder why he kept changing teams and none of them really did anything to keep him.

      • zblott - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        And how long has this cokehead been eligible and not made it in with his amazing resume of constant team-jumping and 5 whole All-Star games?

      • zblott - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        Definitely put a thumbs down instead of actually looking up facts and defending what his teams did. Trust me, it’s WAY easier to click the mouse than find a 2-year stretch from his career that looks like a HOFer affecting his club in a positive way. It literally doesn’t exist, which is pretty pathetic considering how obvious of a selection you think the guy is. But I’m sure Sonics fans (who hated him) or Knicks fans (who hated him) would agree with you and not the voters who have kept him out for 30 years.

  9. paulhargis53 - Apr 8, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Seriously, did Haywood run over your dog or something? Not give you an autograph? Steal your coke?

    HOF is an INDIVIDUAL honor, not a team one. His stats and accolades deem him worthy. You are the only idiot I have seen arguing against him.

    • zblott - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      1) Oh, so a player doesn’t need to actually improve his team at all to be HOF-worthy in your eyes. Great thinking there – time to let the And-1 guys and Amar’e Stoudemire in.
      2) I’m the ONLY one arguing against him? He’s been out of the league for 30 years and still isn’t in. Yeah, I’m the ONLY person who doesn’t want him in there.
      3) Have you ever spoken to a Sonics or Knicks fan from the 70’s? See what they think of Haywood. Hint: not highly.
      4) Again, he’s been kept out for 3 decades; it’s not like I’m inventing an anti-HOF bias against him that isn’t firmly grounded in the reality of his continued failure to impress multiple generations of voters.

      • loungefly74 - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        winner = zblott.

        very convincing argument….more so than “steal your coke”

        i will say the basketball HoF criteria is more lax than compared to baseball’s…

  10. paulhargis53 - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Uff!!! You continue to solely focus on his NBA/ABA days. Its not the PRO BASKETBALL HOF!!!!! Its the BASKETBALL HOF!

    Good God are you obtuse. He was a man among boys in college, was the leading scorer on the 68 Gold medal Olympic team BESIDES , being ROY/Mvp in the ABA and scoring 17000 points as a pro.
    There are less deserving players in already.

    You have something personal against the guy and that’s fine, but to totally deny his talents is absurd. He was a very good player and deserves the honor for his COMPLETE BODY of work.

    If it was just for pro basketball, I may agree with you, but its not.

    • zblott - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      1) His career points rank 85th all-time.
      2) His rebounds rank 60th.
      3) He played in only 5 ASG during the era of ~50 players from ~27 teams playing in them each year (NBA + ABA).
      4) His career took a massive swan dive once the leagues merged in ’76 and more talent was around for him to face. He was only 27 at the time.
      5) He was indeed the leading scorer in the Olympics, just like the great Jerry Shipp the games before (’64) and the great Dwight Jones in the following games (’72).
      6) He was a one-time college All-American, not some all-time collegiate legend.
      7) He improved zero teams for any sort of consistent basis which is why no team held on to him for very long.

      Wow – I am blown away by his resume.

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        You miss two big points: First, he was one of the best big men of his generation; second he changed the game forever by suing the NBA saying they had to allow underclassmen to come out of college. He changed the game (for the better, I think). Sorry if you don’t know your history well enough to see that. Haywood is a lock in any decent HOF.

      • zblott - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        To say he was one of the “best” big men of his generation is to focus completely on his individual numbers and the aesthetic of his game (well, really just for the first few years with lesser talent before the leagues merged and then he magically sucked) while completely ignoring his impact on his teams. He was his generation’s Amar’e Stoudemire, except Haywood was loved much less by his teams’ fans and passed around from franchise to franchise more regularly; sorry if you don’t know your history well enough to see that. To disregard something as huge as having a positive impact on his club shows that you are valuing the wrong things when talking about which players are the best. Like I said earlier, all someone needs to do is talk to some old Sonics or Knicks fans to see how “great” he was.

        If suing the NBA to enter early is some sort of HOF-worthy accomplishment, then your idea of what a “decent HOF” is is not the same as mine. So the Sonics’ lawyers did a bunch of work to get him out early before realizing a few years later that he did nothing to actually help their team. Good for them – didn’t exactly change how the game was played, simply brought in younger guys who wanted that cash right away and screwed up their careers quickly (see also: most of the 70’s). I’d say this “accomplishment” doesn’t quite negate the beauties that were him passing out before a game due to too much cocaine use and later deciding to have a mafia hitman kill his coach before calling it off at the last second. I’m not sure he did a lot of positive things for the league if the big one you’re pointing to helped ruin lots of young talent for an entire decade.

      • LPad - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        well when you consider that thousands of players that have played at least one minute in the NBA ranking 85th or 60th all time in anything is pretty good. He only played 13 years so you can’t say that those are longevity stats.

        Also he only played 31 games his age 27 season and yes his numbers were down the year after where he only played 67 games but immediately went back up in his age 29 season.

    • zblott - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      And please, name the less-deserving players from his era who are in the Hall already. Not a bunch of “pioneers” from the 50’s whose stats all sucked — guys who played reasonably around the same time as this 3-decade outsider.

  11. paulhargis53 - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Dummy. Mel Daniels,Silk Wilkes, Dennis Johnson,David Thompson, Calvin Murphy,Chet Walker

    Wilkes, Daniels,Thompson and Johnson all had inferior scoring numbers.
    Murphy and Walker and McAdoo were comparable.
    He had mire boards than the other bugs besides Daniels.
    Johnson,McAdoo and Thompson had drug issues also. Murphy was a sex offender, or accused of it.

    Why is it ok for them to be in, but not Haywood? It sounds to me like you were a fan of a team he played for and you’re harboring a 30 year grudge over it. Grow up!

    Lounge, per usual, you add nothing to the convo. Your opinion means zilch as you are a know nothing.

  12. genericcommenter - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    He’s no Chris Bosh, but he should be in.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      So, is someone disagreeing that he’s a Hall of Famer? Or that he’s better than Bosh?

  13. paulhargis53 - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    You just have to laugh at a guy like this moron for life Zblott.

    Guy has no clue.

    • zblott - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Thinking HOF-caliber players should actually help their teams win with some consistency doesn’t make me a moron, but it certainly sheds light on what you value in the game (getting yours). By your way of gauging things, Elvin Hayes and Pete Maravich are certainly top-10 all-timers despite the obvious problems they had impacting the outcome of games.

  14. paulhargis53 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I KNEW I recognized this tool!

    This is the same guy that urinated all over Silk Wilkes induction last year!

    This is the same guy that dismissed Kobes 30000th point because he didn’t do it fast enough.

    This is the same guy that had a pemanent erection for disparaging Wilt Chamberlain.

    You are a turd with a capital T.

  15. paulhargis53 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Elvin Hayes and Maravich were good players, not top 10, but very good players nonetheless.

    Dismissing individual talent in favor of team accomplishments is immaterial to the hof induction.

    Again, you are basing entry only on pro stats and wins and losses.

    I’m done. You’re an obtuse old man with way too much time on your hands and way to many axes to grind.

    Seek help for your mental issues.

    • zblott - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      Just to be clear, we’re talking about the player who retired 30 years ago and who has barely been mentioned as HOF-caliber in those 3 decades as he’s continually passed over each spring? I’m a moron for not agreeing with everyone on this site that he should be in the Hall?

  16. dadawg77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    He was retired by the time I could comprehend the game. However his Hall of Fame Probability as Basketball Ref is 0.5158 which puts him right on a line of in or out. Thus I can see how people can argue about if he should be in. He seem almost like a Jim Rice/Jack Morris of basketball.

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