An ESPN: The Magazine feature looked to quantify who should and shouldn't be in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, concluding that former Portland Trail Blazers guard Terry Porter should earn admission.
Stroll through the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the sensation is of a house in serious need of spring cleaning -- a dusty collection of indiscriminate players. There are those who wither under the glare of analytics (sorry, Isiah Thomas). College stars who made little NBA impact (sorry, Ralph Sampson). Those who never truly dominated (sorry, Alex English). And international players who -- while huge in, say, Latvia -- hardly merit a plaque (sorry, Uljana Semjonova). Indeed, basketball's Hall needs more than a feather duster. It needs a statistical wrecking ball.
So with the help of stat guru Dean Oliver, we built a new Hall based on irrefutable analytics. We started with career regular-season win shares, a metric that indicates how many wins a player contributes to his team -- 10 win shares, like Kevin Love had last season, constitutes a dominant year. The stat boasts the benefit of equalizing for the historically fluctuating pace of NBA play. A second benefit? Unlike traditional stats, win shares do not help stat compilers who hang on past their primes. (Poor production yields minuscule win-share totals; you can't, in other words, Joe Dumars your way to win shares.) Then, to reward the best players of their eras, we added in a dominance factor to arrive at our Hall of Fame Rating. When we tallied it all up, two legends topped 300, another 11 eclipsed 200 and a natural line between greats and not-as-greats was a clear 100. Big round numbers, after all, make the best wrecking balls.
The formula also concluded that Clyde Drexler does deserve Hall of Fame recognition while Bill Walton, Arvydas Sabonis and Drazen Petrovic did not do enough to make the cut off.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter