Curtis Harris of @HPBasketball and @ProHoopsHistory on Michigan’s Hall of Famers Mel Daniels and Chet Walker
September 7, 2012 in Professional
One of my favorite writers around, Curtis Harris, who writes for Hardwood Paroxysm and curates the fantastic @ProHoopsHistory Twitter feed, wrote about the state of Michigan’s two Naismith Hall of Fame inductees this year — Benton Harbor great Chet Walker and Detroit Pershing great Mel Daniels — for Yahoo! Sports this week.
The Bulls never quite made it to the NBA’s summit like the Sixers, but Walker’s experience there was tremendously successful and the halcyon days of Chicago basketball until Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen began three-peating. Walker, Jerry Sloan, Norm Van Lier, Bob Love and the ever-exciting Tom Boerwinkle were a spectacular crew that were three times defeated in heart-breaking Game 7s. Twice, the loss would be at the hands of the Lakers in the conference semis, but the defeat at Golden State’s hands in 1975 is the hardest of them all.
Imagine a player who for 7 seasons averaged 20 points and 16 rebounds. A player who grabbed more rebounds than any other player in that span and scored the 11th most points.
A player whose teams won an average of 50 games a year and captured 3 titles. A player who was Rookie of the Year, a two-time MVP, a four-time All First Team member, and a seven-time All-Star. And throw in an All-Star Game MVP for good measure.
Now “open your eyes” and imagine this was all accomplished by an NBA player.
He’d have been feted and escorted into the Hall of Fame decades ago. Instead, Mel Daniels’s ABA accomplishments languished over those decades until now.
I highly recommend both articles and all of Harris’ writing in general, particularly if you love reading more about the history of the game.