LOS ANGELES – It was good to hear national director of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo say that the Hall of Fame nominating process was to going to become more transparent and also more welcoming to players who’ve been overlooked in the past.
Now when the voters get it right with Bernard King and Artis Gilmore we can conclude that the system has been fixed.
Yes, there are plenty of other candidates who merit another look. But it continues to be almost beyond belief that Gilmore and King cannot get a foot inside the front door.
Gilmore had the numbers and the longevity and respect of all of the other centers who went up against him in his 17 years in the ABA and NBA. He was a first-time All-ABA center in five seasons with the Kentucky Colonels and that was after leading Jacksonville to the NCAA Final Four.
King, though he had personal problems off the court, was simply magnificent during his prime seasons in the NBA in the 1970s and 1980s.
In fact, Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins says that King is the most glaring omission from the Hall in his opinion.
“I was always confident of my ability and pretty fearless on the court during my career,” Wilkins has said. “But Bernard King was the one guy that put some fear into me as far as trying to guard him. There were times when I couldn’t. He could be unstoppable, an amazing talent and I think it’s time that his talent and ability should be recognized.”
If Colangelo and the Hall of Fame are going to sweep up players who have been brushed under the carpet, Gilmore and King are two of the most deserving places to start.