Unfortunately for Warriors fans there will be no Basketball Hall of Fame inductions to provide a much needed silver lining to this very frustrating 2008-2009 Dubs campaign. As GSoM friend MT reports neither Don Nelson nor Chris Mullin will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame tomorrow.
Use your Hall of Fame quality hops for some thoughts.
I think Nellie will deservedly make it once he reaches the all-time coaching win total. If he coached guys like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, or Tim Duncan, he'd have a few rings. There's a reason why he's a 3 time NBA Coach of the Year.
Instead he's coached some deeply flawed rosters (Exhibit A: 2008-2009 Golden State Warriors). The one time where Nellie had a roster that was on the path towards finals contention, he, Chris Cohan, and Chris Webber screwed it up- big time. All it left us was one of the greatest NBA Live rosters of all time (Tim Hardaway, Latrell Sprewell, Chris Mullin, Billy Owens, and Chris Webber) and a 12 year playoff drought. I'll spare you the details.
Those Mavs team earlier this decade were just fun 'n gun. You simply cannot win a championship with 2 non-defenders like Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash leading the way, despite their prolific offense. The season after they ditched Nash they made it to the NBA Finals. (Trust me, it wasn't because of the way they used Erik Dampier.) Nellie really hasn't had coached that many championship-caliber (arguably none) rosters.
Decades after Nellie retires he will be remembered for Nellieball and the Point Forward role. Clips like this will only strengthen that retrospection:
Even the Nellie haters must admit his contributions to the game as a coach will be ingrained in our collective hoops memory forever. He belongs in the Hall of Game as a coach- no question.
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Mullin's Hall of Fame induction? I'm not so sure. I don't know if Mullin really made that long lasting impact on the NBA world. Mullin was a great player, a fun player, but does he stand alongside the all-time greats? Here's the very best of Mullin by the numbers:
- 1987-88: 21.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.1apg
- 1988-89: 25.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.8 apg
- 1989-90: 24.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.1 apg
- 1990-91: 22.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.6 apg
- 1991-92: 22.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.1 apg
- 1992-93: 22.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.1 apg
Obviously very impressive, but is that dominant? Remember this is the Magic Johnson - Larry Bird - Isiah Thomas - Michael Jordan era. There were some great, great players in the league at that time.
But was he a "winner"? Here's the win totals for those teams respectively:
- 1987-88: 20-62- No Playoffs
- 1988-89: 43-39- Swept the Utah Jazz in the 1st round of the playoffs (3-0) and lost in the Semifinals to the Phoenix Suns (1-4)
- 1989-90: 37-45- No Playoffs
- 1990-91: 44-38- Beat the San Antonio Spurs (3-1) in the 1st round and lost to the LA Lakers in the 2nd (1-4)
- 1991-92: 55-27- Lost in the 1st round to the Seattle Supersonics (1-3)
- 1992-93: 34-48- No Playoffs
It's not like Mullin's best seasons were part of some serious winning-ness or dominance. Makes you wonder. The point isn't that Mullin was a bad player, but to be a Hall of Famer I'd like to see a player that puts up big numbers and like Al Davis would say "Just win, baby."
If he gets in his college credentials and Dream Team selection are probably what's going to give him that extra push.
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