Who should (and shouldn’t) be in the Hall of Fame
While there can be no imaginable objections to the qualifications of the latest round on Hall of Fame inductees, there are several individuals who have already been enshrined who are not worthy of the honor.
Carneseca showed his true colors when he coached the New York Nets in the ABA (1970-73), where he was generally confused and had to be bailed out in key strategic situations by his veteran players. Overall, Carneseca’s record with the Nets was 114-134.
Indeed, his only semi-righteous qualification is that he led St. John’s into the Final Four. Otherwise, Carneseca was a smiley-faced, gregarious mediocrity.
Notice how many of all of the above-mentioned men worked in the Northeast. That’s one reason why so many discriminating observers of the basketball scene feel that there’s an Eastern Mafia that exerts undue control over the Hall of Fame’s selections.
Here’s a corresponding list of personages who should be in the Hall of Fame but are on the outside looking in:
If high-volume scorers who never won an NBA championship are in — the likes of Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, George Gervin, Alex English and Walt Bellamy — then why haven’t the following players been inducted?
World B. Free (career average of 20.3 ppg). Lou Hudson (20.2). Bernard King (22.5). Mitch Richmond (21.0).
And if several one-time NCAA championship coaches are in, then what about NBA coaches who only won a single ring? Such as George Senesky, Al Attles, Dick Motta, Paul Westhead, Bill Fitch and Rudy Tomjanovich (who won twice). The truth, however, is that the Eastern Mafia has always favored the college game.
Even so, the biggest omission continues to be Tex Winter. Everybody knows that he developed the triangle offense from the center-opposite offense that he learned under Sam Barry at USC. And it was the triangle (further refined by Phil Jackson) that was the design behind six Bulls’ and four Lakers’ championship teams.
But the powers-that-be in Springfield give no credence to the contributions of NBA assistant coaches.
Still, Winter was a very successful college coach. In 15 seasons at Kansas State, Winter was 262-121, the Wildcats were the top-ranked team in 1958, among the top 10 a total of four times, qualified for the NCAA tourney four times (back when the field was limited to 24 entries), were conference champs eight times and reached the Final Four in 1957 and 1964. In 1958, Winter was named the NCAA’s Coach of the Year. Moreover, until Winter lleft for Northwestern in 1973, he had the highest overall winning percentage of any of his peers.
Several years back, Winter was presented with the John Bunn Award for lifetime achievement, which was a catch-all honor that failed to fully consider his specific and incredibly significant accomplishments in the NBA.
Denying Winter full entrance in the Hall of Fame makes a mockery of the entire process.