Dominique Wilkins was informed Thursday that he will not enter the Basketball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, the former Hawks superstar told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I was shocked," said Wilkins, the ninth leading scorer in NBA history. "I think everybody will be when they hear that announcement.
Wilkins was named one of this year's 16 finalists for the Hall in February. Finalists are chosen by screening committees and must get 18 of 24 votes - 75 percent - from the "honors committee" for induction. "I have no idea" why the voters bypassed him, Wilkins said, "but over the years I've learned to be very strong and deal with things as they come. . . I just have to sit back and wait. "Of course, I'm disappointed, definitely, not to go in on the first ballot. I have done just as much as some guys who have gone in. . . . Some of my peers have gone in, and I want to be in amongst those guys. But I've learned to stay hopeful and confident in my life.
A few things I'd like to point out. And I'm not entirely sure I agree or disagree with this decision, but here are some probable reasons why he won't be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
1. As was mentioned earlier, he oftentimes was the best player on a bad team. His Hawks teams missed the playoffs on at least four occasions, and even when they made the playoffs, they didn't make it past the second round. I'm not saying 100% of the blame should be placed on 'Nique for that, but... well, Hall of Fame voters like guys who can win championships. And Wilkins never even came close.
2. He had a reputation for being selfish with the ball, which is probably fair because he averaged only 2.5 assists for his entire career.
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Wilkin's Atlanta's teams were very good for the most part. They just had the bad luck to face either The Bird-led Celtics, the Dr J-led Sixers, or the Isiah-led Pistons in the playoffs throughout the 80's in the playoffs.
Through the magic of Youtube and NBA TV, here's the highlight of the Kings' disastrous "gave up a 21 point lead" loss to the Jazz, "Rugged" Ronnie Price's posterization of Carlos Boozer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?