Photo: Keith Allison / Flickr.com
Seven years after playing his final game, Reggie Miller enters the Basketball Hall of Fame tonight. Miller played his entire 18-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers.
He retired as the league‘s career leader in three-pointers, and famously tormented the New York Knicks with a string of memorable playoff performances. Despite that, Miller wasn‘t even a finalist for the Hall in his first year of eligibility.
Pacers play-by-play announcer Mark Boyle points out Miller‘s stat line isn‘t overwhelming compared to other players, but still says he doesn’t know why Miller wasn’t a first-ballot inductee.
“The way the Basketball Hall of Fame works is very cloak-and-dagger,” Boyle says. “I don‘t, to tell you the truth, even know the process. It‘s not like baseball, where you know exactly how it works. But I do think people obsess over stuff like that a little too much. I don‘t think it matters if you get in on the first try, the second try or the 20th try.”
Miller never finished higher than 13th in the MVP voting, and had only two seasons in which he received any votes at all. He made the All-Star Game just five times, and the All-NBA team just three times — never higher than third team. Even his three-point record has since been surpassed by Ray Allen.
But Boyle says only Michael Jordan may have meant as much to one franchise as Miller meant to the Pacers. Without Miller as the linchpin of the Pacers‘ playoff contenders from 1990 to 2005, Boyle says Bankers Life Fieldhouse might never have been belt, and the Pacers might have left Indianapolis.