Former Bulls Dennis Rodman, Artis Gilmore, and Tex Winter were among the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame class announced on Monday. Rodman, the greatest rebounder in NBA history, and the rest of the class will be ceremonially inducted on Aug. 12, 2011 in Springfield, Mass.
Rodman's 14-year career began in Detroit for seven seasons -- where his number, 10, was retired in a 37-minute ceremony at halftime of the Bulls' win over the Pistons. After a two-year stinit in San Antonio, where his flamboyance joined his vulgarity, he was acquired by the Bulls via trade in 1996 and was integral to the second three-peat of the 1990s.
Defense and rebounding win championships. Rodman, arguably no taller than 6-foot-5 but listed at 6-foot-7, was in ways more unique than 6-foot-6 fellow power forward Charles Barkley as a defensive and rebounding machine. Rodman is one the best defensive players in the history of the game and most efficient rebounder in NBA history (23.4% total rebounding rate).
After finishing second in rebounds per game in his first season as an everyday starter in 1990-91, he led the NBA in the category for next seven consecutive seasons, including those three championship years in Chicago. He overcame a height disadvantage with I.Q. and one some of the most aggressive play in the game's history to dominate the glass. Here's are his single-season offensive, defensive, and total rebounding rates when he made the leaderboards with his ranking in parenthesis. (Click here to enlarge):
Gilmore's long-overdue induction was made possible as the year's selection by the new ABA Committee at the HOF.
Gilmore, arguably the best center in Bulls history, began his 17-year professional basketball career in the ABA with the Kentucy Colonels for five seasons before beginning his NBA career with six seasons as a Bull. The 7-foot-2 double-double machine spent the next five-plus seasons with the Spurs before ending his career with a final half-season in Chicago at the age of 38. He finished his professional career averaging 18.8 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 2.3 APG. More staggering was his efficiency.
Gilmore's .599 career FG% and eFG -- having never made an NBA 3-pointer -- with his .643 TS% are all the best in NBA history. His 11,514 defensive rebounds, 17.1 RPG, 1,431 blocks, 3.4 BPG, 41.5 MPG, 82.2 WS, and 0.226 WS/48 are all the best in ABA history. His career 23.5 PER is 3rd best in the now-defunct league. Though his NBA career began at the age of 27, he posted a 20.2 after the merger -- including the 20.3 he posted at the age of 35 -- for a career NBA/ABA rating of 21.4.
Gilmore has a website and posted the Jacksonville University press release at his blog, if you'd like to congratulate him. Here's an homage to the A-Train posted in January on YouTube (h/t: Kelly Dwyer, BDL):
Also among the 2011 class is Tex Winter, Bulls assistant coach from 1985-1998 widely credited as the "innovator of the 'Triangle' offense," as NBA.com noted. Winter assisted Phil Jackson's coaching staff in nine NBA championships -- all six of Jackson's in Chicago and the first three in L.A. with the Lakers from 2000-2002. Following health issues, he was a consultant to the staff that won the 2009 championship.
Five-time NBA All-Star, two-time gold medal Olympian and 1992 Dream Teamer, St. John's University all-time leading scorer, and current ESPN analyst Chris Mullin was also selected by the voters. Tom Sanders, Men's NCAA coach Herb McGee and women's NCAA coach Tara VanDerveer are the other coaches in the 2011 class. Arvydas Sabonis was selected by the International Committee. Harlem Globetrotter Reece "Goose'' Tatum was selected by the Early African-American Pioneers of the Game Committee.
Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards was selected as well because.... Wait, who?
The NBA needs a HOF real bad. You know, one reserved for the best basketball players, coaches, and executives among the actual best.
Source: AP via Yahoo!