On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Mike G wrote:
> --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>
> > I like the more organic "laugh test" which just sort of arose here
> > by mutual consent a couple of years ago, I think it was in the
> > of a discussion of Dave Berri's rankings, which had Dennis Rodman
> > the top player from some late 1990s season. The Shaq rule will
> > obsolete someday, when Shaq no longer rules the NBA (or if you're a
> > CharlesB type who says Duncan has already been ruling it). But the
> > laugh test will work forever.
> The laugh test is somewhat subject to the general tenor of the
> discussion. Just as in real life, one person laughing becomes 2
> laughing, becomes a room full of laughers, sometimes.
> Now the joke may have been truly funny, or it may have just struck
> the first laugher a certain way. In any case, it's always better if
> the idea being laughed at is truly funny (or ridiculous).
> When I listed Terry Cummings in the Alltime Top 50 (he's since
> slipped out, due to the rise of Iverson, Kidd, Bryant, Garnett..),
> it's because he shares statistical attributes with everyone else in
> that range.
> I feel the burden is on others to explain why the rebounds and
> points that Cummings got are not due the consideration of the same
> points and rebounds gotten by a more glamorous player. I'm never
> going to penalize a player due to his lack of popularity.
> I don't think I'll ever be convinced that Artis Gilmore isn't
> deserving of the Hall of Fame. He was never in an NBA Finals;
> neither was Cummings. So what? They still had long, productive
This is certainly something deserving of more intense scrutiny, I'll agree with that much. My take on Cummings and Gilmore, based only on personal observation (more in Top Cat's case than in Gilmore's) and reading/hearing analysis of his play is that they're sort of basketball equivalents of Jim Kaat, Rusty Staub, Tommy John, or Jerry Reuss (more valuable than Reuss, but you get the idea). That is, they had very long careers of being 2nd tier stars. Is that kind of player HOF worthy? I don't know. It's a good question. Certainly they aren't as famous as a Bill Walton type who is incredible for a couple years and then gets hurt.