Defense Takes Part in 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists

CHARLOTTE – Sidney Moncrief took a cunning pleasure in making life as miserable as possible to the men he kept throughout the NBA's eleven seasons. With the wizard 's hands, dancer' s feet and elbows and bony knees that could prove useful in contractions, the long – time Milwaukee Bucks keeper would lock himself into his fight and make a fight. effect of a politician caught in a tabloid scandal: Deni, denies, denies.

And then the Moncrief Bucks would go to Philadelphia or welcome the 76ers home, the MECCA Arena shimmering colors, and the scenario would be reversed. Hunter has been hunted down, the defender is forbidden, because Moncrief would see Bobby Jones close to him, stuck on him.

"I could not do anything against him, I had 20 points and more [per game] scorer, but Bobby was 6-9, long, fast. Scary to the defense, "Moncrief said Friday after he and his Sixers foe became two of the 13 finalists in the 2019 Class, headed to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Sixers legend Bobby Jones was a notoriously tough defender.

Finalists announced Friday at the Spectrum Center were defensive during this annual tradition at the All-Star Weekend. The 13-member squad will be cut in the NCAA Finals in Minneapolis on April 6, when the appointed 2019 Hall members will be named and then registered in Springfield, Mass., On September 6. They will be joined by direct election selections from African American, International, Veteran, Contributor and Veteran Pioneer Committees.

Next to Moncrief and Jones, Ben Wallace, a former Detroit Pistons strongman, and WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon also excelled in defense. But just like the game of the stars itself, the offensive seems supreme at the Hall – and for most of the NBA's annual awards.

"They should further honor the defense," said Moncrief, who won the defensive player 's award of the year in the first two seasons (1983 and 1984). "In general, the Hall of Fame has a lot to do with championships and points, and players like Bobby Jones, Ben Wallace and myself have really played the game on both sides. important, but when it comes time to pay rewards, normally they do not do it. "

In fact, players who have won 24 of the top 25 DPOY Prizes are eligible for the Hall – Metta World Peace (2004) competition only retired in 2017 – and seven of them, with a total of 13 prizes DPOY, have been registered. Only Marcus Camby and Mark Eaton, with a DPOY trophy each and the list of nominees for the first time in the Hall this year, missed the victory with Moncrief.

Of these, most were considered formidable two-way players. Only Dikembe Mutombo (four DPOY) and Dennis Rodman (two) were known in the field mainly for their defense.

It was a subject that Jerry Colangelo, president of Hall, had thought of this winter.

"When I went to Dallas for our committee meeting, I thought about the whole process," said Colangelo after Friday's ceremony. "We give credit to All-NBA, All-Star teams, stats and awards, but not much to defense." In the aircraft, I developed a points system [based on] first team all defense, second team, defensive player of the year. It's as important as making the first team championships.

"Suddenly, two or three guys really got up: Bobby Jones, Ben Wallace, Moncrief was just as good a two-way player as we are, the fact is that defense is an important part of the game."

Sun shooter Paul Westphal averaged 22.5 points per game for Phoenix from 1975 to 1980.

Paul Westphal, another former NBA alumna selected from the Hall finalists, was not known for his defense. He peaked as a scorer of 25 points per game (51.6% of the FG) in 1977-1978. But he knew when he had to face it. "A great attack will always defeat a great defense," said Westphal. "But a big defense can find your weakness and shut you in. Those guys who have been known for their defense have been phenomenal."

Wallace, who helped Detroit win his NBA title in 2004, won four DPOY awards. Moncrief has been selected four times among the NBA All-Defensive teams. It should be noted that Jones has never been named defensive player of the year, but he has been a regular player of all-defensive teams, appearing eight times.

Other names of NBA players as Hall finalists on Friday were Brands Johnson, Jack Sikma and Chris Webber. Coach Bill Fitch will be considered for the 2019 promotion, as will referee Hugh Evans. The other finalists were high school or college coaches, including Eddie Sutton, Leta Andrews and Barbara Stevens.

Milwaukee is another connection for a subset of the finalists. Moncrief, Johnson and Sikma all played for the Bucks, and Del Harris, one of the co-winners of the illustrious John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, was coached in this team. The 1980s Bucks, coached by Don Nelson and possibly Harris, are considered one of the best teams to ever reach a final.

Future Bucks teammates, Jack Sikma (3rd of L) and Marques Johnson (3rd of R) played together in the 1980 All-Star Game.

"That makes my heart smile," said Moncrief, of Bucks flavor Friday. "It shows how good we were, but it also shows how good Philadelphia and Boston were, as well as the Lakers, we had good teams, but we were just not as good as those teams. "

The other winner of the Bunn Prize with Harris was Harry Glickman of Portland, long considered the "father" of Trail Blazers basketball. The annual Curt Gowdy Media Awards have been awarded to Marc Stein in the Press category – Stein has covered the NBA for ESPN and more recently the New York Times for over 20 years – and the legendary Ralph Lawler Clippers in the broadcast category. Lawler has been with the Clippers for 37 years, hosting more than 3,100 games.

None of the other nominees for the first time with links to the NBA have acceded to the finalist round. Among them: players Camby, Eaton and Dale Ellis, as well as coaches Rick Adelman and George Karl.

Retained or recurring players known to NBA fans who did not qualify as finalists include players Mark Aguirre, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tim Hardaway and Kevin Johnson, as well as coaches Rudy Tomjanovich, Dick Motta and Cotton Fitzsimmons and the referee Jake O Donnell. .

A number of the biggest names in the NBA appeared on stage for the televised news conference, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Artis Gilmore, Rick Barry, Alex English, Spencer Haywood and David Thompson; Nancy Lieberman and Rick Welts, Hall of Fame member, also participated.

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Steve Aschburner has written on the NBA since 1980. You can send him an e-mail. here, find his archives here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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