Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Robert Horry hall of fame? More like hall of LAME

It appears Robert "Cheapest, dirtiest player in the game after two incidents, one of which was not that bad and the other was an award-winning flop-job" Horry will be retiring soon.

Dude has seven championship rings. Knee-jerk reaction from the world: he might be a HOFer. Career stats may not be great, but he's a winner. Let the debate begin!

J.A. Adande, of Around the Horn fame, thinks he's in. Me? Not convinced.

Just know this: The NBA hasn't seen a winner like Horry in three decades. John Havlicek retired in 1978, the last member of the Boston Celtics' 1960s dynasty to check out, and one of only six players in NBA history with a championship ring collection larger than Horry's seven.

Of those six players -- Bill Russell (11 rings), Sam Jones (10), Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Tom Sanders and Havlicek (eight each) -- Sanders is the only one not in the Hall of Fame. But the fact that K.C. Jones
is makes the case for Horry.

My favorite Hall argument in any sport? "Player X is in, so player Y must be in if he's similar." What if they messed up? Isn't that possible?

And I counter with "Sanders didn't get it, so why should your guy?" So there.

Jones averaged 7.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in his nine-year career. Horry has averaged 7.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in 16 seasons.

So they both kind of stunk.

And nine years with those stats and like six other Hall teammates gets your ticket punched?

Jones proved there's a place in the Hall for underwhelming statistics if they came on winning teams.

Over at databasebasketball.com (a bunk-ridden nerd site, I know) they have this magical invention called the HOF monitor. Basically, it places values on various achievements one could accrue during an NBA career. MVP is the most highly weighted, as every MVP is in the hall. Go read about it if you want to know more, it's not that complicated, makes a ton of sense and isn't perfect. But it's something. And, much to Horry's chagrin, three-pointers made in the Finals is not worth that much. Zero, to be exact.

Anyway, Jones' score is 135, right at the average for a HOFer. Horry's score? 90. Conclusion = Jones was a better player of the game of basketball than Horry. At least more Hall-worthy. [Update: I was looking at Sam Jones' score, not K.C. Jones'. I blame the fact that there are two Jones' in the article and that I am dumb. K.C.'s score is actually 88, less than Horry's 90. So I actually helped out J.A. here. Meh, it happens.]

For reference: current dudes Antoine Walker, Baron Davis and Mike Bibby are all 95+ and I doubt they're on their way anytime soon. Dennis Johnson, who most see as borderline, has a 134. Hell, Reggie Miller is at 130 and is the same player as Horry, but actually good in non-clutch situations.

Maybe Horry didn't get his teams to that point, but he brought them home. If relievers like Bruce Sutter and Rollie Fingers can get into the baseball Hall of Fame,

Really J.A.? Two crazy-good relievers compared to a guy who makes "clutch" shots? I think the more fitting comparison would be an awesome pinch-hitter. Of which I doubt there are any in the Hall of Fame (correct me if I'm wrong).

and people believe kicker Adam Vinatieri deserves a bust in Canton, there's a place for Horry in the basketball Hall.

Now we're getting silly. Vinatieri didn't just come in and make some kicks in the playoffs. He's one of the most accurate kickers ever - ninth all-time in FG%. If we want to do some crazy apples to oranges to tomatoes comparison, Horry isn't even in the top 100 in three-point percentage at 34%. And in the clutch-tastic playoffs? 36%. Seems right in line with his career... "No he is clutch!" (that was J.A.)

Think about it: Has there been anyone you'd dread seeing in position to kill your team more than Horry?

I seem to remember a certain Jordan guy who was OK.

And just for a frame of reference, his HOF monitor score is 731, second all-time. That's 8.12 Robert Horries. That's also the number of milliseconds it took me to think about someone I am more afraid of killing my team.

He has appeared in more NBA playoff games than anyone else,

This is the definition of cherry-picking. Appeared is the key word. He could have appeared for one second in 1,000 playoff games, and turned the ball over 1,000 times with 1,000 fouls for all I know. Luckily, a thing called the internet exists and I can see that Horry is number 12 all-time in playoff minutes, not including this post season. He could easily get top ten, but Kareem (number one) has almost 2,000 more minutes than Horry. That's 42+ more games.

See, I can cherry-pick too.

made more 3-pointers in the Finals than anyone else

I take back the definition of cherry picking from the previous statement and move it to this one. Three-pointers made in the Finals? If scrub player X somehow made it to the Finals one thousand times and makes one stinkin three in each of those games does he deserve to go to the Hall (ignoring his freakish longevity and age)? And what if he made a ton, but missed three-times as many? I normally try and stay away from statements like this but: Give. Me. A. Break.

Because when he's gone, you'll never see another player like him.

A mediocre to good role-playing three-point shooter who got insanely lucky to be on teams that got to/won the NBA championship seven times, of which the outcome may or may not have been slightly affected by his shooting, but also a bajillion other factors?

Well, Adande may have me there.

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