NBA / Apr 6, 2009 / 6:34 pm

2009 Hall of Fame: Who’s missing?

Michael Jordan, Sports Illustrated '89

Michael Jordan, Sports Illustrated '89

The 2009 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class is, in a word, loaded. Michael Jordan, John Stockton, David Robinson are the players who will be inducted into the Hall in September, and they’ll be joined by coaches Jerry Sloan and C. Vivian Stringer.

No way you can argue against anyone in this year’s class. You’ve got the widely-accepted greatest player of all-time, arguably one of the two or three greatest point guards of all-time, one of the 10 greatest centers of all-time, one of the NBA’s most successful and respected coaches, and a virtual giant in the women’s game. (And rather than waiting on Stockton to let him go in with Karl Malone, I like how they have him go in with Sloan.)

The only question is, was anyone left out? The finalists who didn’t make it in this year included Bernard King, Chris Mullin, Dennis Johnson, Cynthia Cooper, Don Nelson (coach), Bob Hurley Sr. (H.S. coach), Johnny “Red Kerr (contributor, for his work with the Bulls), and Al Attles (contributor, for his work with the Warriors).

Did anyone else deserve to join the 2009 class?

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  • Tha Boddy “Agent Zero Still DMV Hero”

    I think Malone coulda got his chip if he played another year or two.He still coulda put up 20pts 8rebs for another contender

  • gdog

    How the hell did Dick Vitale get in over Tex winter?

  • http://jdig.com jdig

    king,mullen, hurley need to be in.

  • Raj S

    As a Rutgers alum, I know C. Vivian Stringer deserves her spot. She is a great basketball coach, and she handled the Don Imus controversy with confidence and class.

    It’s crazy how Jerry Sloan gets inducted to the Hall of Fame, but he has never won a Coach of the Year award. Don Nelson, on the other hand, has won the award three times and he doesn’t get in. This is an example of how the Hall of Fame election, the Coach of the Year award, or both are bullshit.

  • king

    DJ should be in w/o question

    9 str8 all defensive selections
    1st & 2nd team nba team selctions
    5 time allstar
    finals MVP and three rings

    a shame hes still not in

    also don nelson should be and Bernard kings shouldve got in as well and Cynt cooper. shes as decorated as any womans ball player

  • Ross

    I think they made the right call this year.

  • blah

    i dunno about robinson being one of the top 10 centers:


    well i can’t name 10, but i gotta be missing somebody.

    how is DJ not in yet?
    i think mullin should be in but not a first balloter.
    bernard king should be in by now.
    and definitely don nelson, i think the fact he’s still coaching is hurting his case.

  • s.bucketz

    nelson will get in once he retires…he changed the game…first coach to implement point forwards (anthony mason and his hair cut) and now you see so many forwards runnin (or tryin to) the point..
    also bobby hurley should be in too for sure…St. Anthony’s in jersey city runs shit and hes been holdin it down for too long

  • Tone

    Cynthia Cooper!

  • Blue

    DJ should get in next time, but I kinda see what they’re doin…Admiral, Stockton and MJ are one tier above DJ.

    Yo AB…
    did you see the article on ESPN.com sayin’ how MJ should’ve been inducted alone? it was pretty interesting. I don’t know if I agree, but i see how being in the same class with MJ might kinda steal the spotlight from the Admiral and Stock’s big day.


  • AY

    All that hate on Tim Hardaway, he’s still a good candidate to get in.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Blue — Yeah, I don’t agree with putting MJ in by himself. It makes it seem like MJ is bigger than the game. Some people would say he is, but then you have to go back: Should Russell have been inducted by himself? Wilt? Magic? Mikan?

  • Celts Fan

    @blah – had the same reaction as you, but after your list (gotta add Moses in there too and maybe Wes Unseld, possibly Bob Pettite) I think Admiral’s right there just above Mr Chewing. I’m surprised too!

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    Bob Pettit was mostly a PF in his day, pretty much the best PF by most sports writers of all time back before Malone, Barkley, McHale and Duncan started winning in the L.

  • jackass

    mj shouldn’t be in

  • Mark

    Jerry Sloan? I don’t know the logistics behind induction, but do you have to retire before getting in (not that it means anything… the guy’s been a lock)?

  • dagwaller

    Mark – no, that’s not the case.

    Celtsfan/blah – really?! Obviously this is an opinion, but to me, he’s easily in the top 10. There’s a reason why you can’t think of 10 better than him…there aren’t that many. He and Hakeem held the position down for a decade. The ones blah listed are ahead of him, but there aren’t many others that are.

    There are a LOT of guys out that “should be in”. I like that the bball HOF is so hard to get into, though – makes it all the more special for those in. 30 years from now, when i’m still watching, it’ll be easier for me to remember them all, too haha.

  • Dave

    This could arguably be the best HOF class of all time, just think about the players inducted along with Coach Sloan, they’d win a lot of games on the same bench together and many chips.

  • http://myrtlebeachramblings.blogspot.com/ Myrtle Beached Whale

    I don’t understand inducting someone who is still actively coaching. I also don’t understand inducting a woman’s coach who has never won anything meaningful. I think the women should have their own Hall of Fame if they want one. It really diminishes the award putting one in just because it is politically correct.

  • Raj S

    Coaches don’t have to be retired in order to be eligible for Hall of Fame induction. C. Vivian Stringer is still coaching. Phil Jackson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, and he is still coaching today.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Coaches are eligible once they’ve hit 25 years of service (at the same level, I think; i.e., Sloan is eligible after 25 years as an NBA coach — any time he spent in college/HS doesn’t count). Players have to be retired at least 5 years (I think).

  • Ian

    blah and celts fan lol robinson not a top ten center tell me how many of them won every damn award in the league , carried scrubs to deep playoff runs and won twice.
    isnt he the one that landed most of the allnbas first teams over hakeem in his prime??? and u rank one so high over the other fuck that.

    celts fan im surprised u agree with this crap from someone that cant name the ten centers he claims are better than the admiral

    mikan over robinson sure blah
    unseld over robinson sure celts fan u even had a power foward on your list lol how about karl malone also over robinson on the center list.

    go check out the dreams stats and awards and compare then to robinsons and get back to me

    some centers that are ranked over him arent better they just had better careers like your russell celts fan (yeah i said it hes like if ben wallace played in the 60s)

    didnt espn run an article about the greatests centers ever isnt robinson a top 25 player alltime in every list u can google up one thing is to hate a player but u cant talk out your ass just to bash him.

    yeah i think kobe isnt a top 10 sg i rank jordan west and some others i dont know ahead of him… yeah blah thats what u sounded like.

    celts fan this is your line in that conversation hey add to that list of sgs bird and pippen

    “in 94 when jordan retired the admiral was the best player left standing” kalb

  • Ian

    bye bye to the spurs season

  • alf (from melmak)

    i am a jazz fan and it would have been sweet to see stock, malone, and sloan go in together in the same year.

    the nba selection process for coy is really so bad that sloan is now a hof and he has no coy award. take that stern!

  • blah

    damn seems like i really hurt some feelings with the robinson thing.

    i wasn’t knocking him, i like the dude. it just seemed to me like in all the years of the NBA there would have been 10 better. I watched his whole career, i liked him and glad he got in. It’s just when i think of great centers, i think of wilt and jabbar, and no offense they’re like two levels above robinson. so it seemed like there would be more ahead of him. maybe celtsfan was thinking something similar. obviously, even in my opinion there isn’t since i couldn’t name any more.
    apparently great centers are few and far between, but fuck that olajuwon is better. he embarrassed robinson and shaq in 95. (or was it 94?)

    i do think it would be easier to name 10 better than kobe though.

    ok not really, i’m just not a big kobe fan. he’s skilled, but sloooooooow now.

  • Ian

    blah im not sayin the admiral had a better career that hakeem im sayin they had a very similar one for one to be ranked so high over the other.

    btw yeah u did hit a soft spot for me fav player ever so ill break out the ranger john (homer) in me to defend him lol

    i didnnt even say the admiral was 1 but not top ten damnn
    and of the alltime list i think russell and jabbar are a bit overrated great yeah but overrated nonetheless.

  • nao_diga

    @ blah and celts fan:

    For sure Moses and Wes Unseld. Willis Reed too. It shouldn’t even be controversial to put them ahead of Robinson.

    I’ll get a little controversial, and put Robert Parrish ahead of DR too. Give me a choice between either in their prime, and I’d take the Chief over the Admiral.

  • blah

    adding moses, unseld, and reed, that puts DR 10th.

    russell may have been overrated, but anyone that gets 11 rings deserves to be. i don’t care what the surrounding cast or other circumstances may have been, he was the common link in all 11. Put DR over him and u lose BBall cred.

    I always thought phil jackson was overrated, but you can’t argue with 9 rings.

    Jabbar was getting buckets even as a slow as 41 year old. If you think he’s overrated you prolly didn’t see him play. In his later days,he was the opposite of shaq. no physical presence, just a lot of bball knowledge and skill.

  • Ian

    lol now u r picking up every name that has been thrown out
    and u question my bball cred because i think one player is overrated
    didnt i say they are great????? i just rather i have a couple of centers over him in their prime.

    unseld and reed over the admiral and im the one losing bball cred lol hey how about walton and sabonis that puts the admiral around 12th and longley u cant argue with 3 rings right?

    of all those centers u mentioned tell me how many have a more impressive resume than the admiral or even better how many can put up the stats the admiral did in his prime.
    some people will just talk about anything to bring down a player i remember someone that said that robinson had a very limited offensive game (scoring champ 71pts yes very limited apparently) and wasnt a good rebounder.

    third highest per alltime after jordan and shaq also.

    dude do you know who reed is??? to put him that high please tell me you are a knicks fan

    dude do you know who unseld is??? highest scoring season of 16ppg and career avg of 10ppg dude is not even top 1000 goh with that



    my man u r making no sense sayin those 2 are better than the admiral btw loved how u say u cant argue with the rigs but then admitted that someone with 9 rings is overrated so you agreed with me.

    now all im sayin is that how can a player that u rank 12th on the center list (u can only name 12 thats why hes so high on your list) can win mvp , scoring title, rebounding title , defensive player of the year , 2 rings ,rookie of the year , third highest per alltime and during his prime had more all nbas 1st teams than hakeem that is so high on the list?? how many rookies carry lottery teams to 50 wins and game seven of the second round vs the conference champs??? how many of those centers had a superstar sidekick in their prime all of them except one the admiral.

    no again back up what you are sayin with something not just names.

  • Ian

    sorry man unseld really??? unseld and his 10ppg really???
    reed i think you need to google some of these names up so you can see those short careers and those stats and awards but hey its ok its only my bball cred in question.

    again overrated doesnt mean you are a scrub you can be the 5th best player alltime and if someone call u 1 then hes overrating you a bit but you are still one of the alltime greats

  • Specs

    Bernard King should have gotten in if C. Vivian Stringer did. Nothin against her, but I didn’t see her drop 25 a game destroy her knee and then come back and drop 22 a game after that. I’m just sayin

  • Sanpitch

    Cynthia Cooper and DJ should be going in.

    I am glad Dime hasn’t written an article like every other sports web site about how MJ should be going in alone. Every time I read those articles I get fired up. You have a PG who is the all-time leader in assists (record that will never be broken) and steals that you are slapping in the face.

    Thanks Dime for being level-headed about the MJ into the HOF. Someone needs to b*** slap the rest of the writers.

    He is arguably the best. They all use the Gretzky example. Well first off this isn’t hockey and second off MJ didn’t retire the all-time leader in the major categories, like Gretzky.

    MJ is awesome and all but he is NOT above the game. And please stop comparing players to old players. No one will be the next MJ.

  • hucklebuck

    Cynthia Cooper and Johnny Red Kerr and Dennis Johnson all got SNUBBED!

  • alex

    no one is saying he’s above the game of basketball. in fact, the article is saying he should be inducted alone so that the other people can get their fair share of attention and importance.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the explanation about the coaching requirements, guys. Still doesn’t make much sense (albeit 25 years IS a long time), but whatnot. Congrats to quite possibly one of the greatest Hall of Fame induction classes ever in any sport.

  • rell

    Cynthia Cooper, Benard King, and DJ were snubbed. There isn’t a reason why a ball player that is a 2X NCAA champion, 4X WNBA champion, 2X WNBA MVP, and a olympic gold medalist should be left out of the hall. I guarantee Lisa Leslie will get in on her first try. I wonder what is the reason the voters gave to leaving her off.

  • Fraz

    If you guys knew your info, Cynthia Cooper didnt get in because as a NCAA coach she gave WNBA tickets and cash to players and the school lost scholarships because of her violations. She deserves to be in the HOF but they just werent going to put her in on the first time.

  • Sanpitch


    yeah it’s saying he should go in alone, but it doesn’t say that everyone going in should go in alone. just mj.

    why should he be the only one that gets to go in alone?? isn’t that suggesting he is bigger than the game and all the other people??

    it’s saying he is more important and more special than the all-time leader in assists and steals. it’s saying that david robinson won a scoring title, mvp, and rings but he doesn’t mean as much to the game as this guy did. jerry sloan has won over 1,000 games with the same team. that’s good and all but your role in the game of basketball doesn’t mean what this guys role means, never mind the people you have taught the game to.

    to me, it’s just a big slap in the face to everyone else.

    he is mj and he accomplished lots but let’s put it in perspective to the game of basketball.

    maybe i am seeing it different but that’s what it tells me.

  • MSkittle

    Bob Hurley and Bernard King should have made it!

  • Celts Fan

    Just to clarify, I said Robinson is top 10, just that I hadn’t thought it beforehamd until I actually listed them (and I thought Pettite was a 4, but wasn’t sure and knew he was the biggest guy on his team.). It wasn’t a knock on Robinson, who’s clearly a HOFer.

  • joeman

    Sam Bowie for allowing MJ to come to the Chi! LOL

  • K.JOhnson

    Dennis “DJ” Johnson……period!
    The entire state of Washington and the Seattle Supersonic organization sould have voted for this man alone! the only NBA Championship 1979 and co-mvp of the series before ending his career with 2 NBA Championships with Boston C’s. come on the NBA is ridiculous.