Fans to Vote for Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees
Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Hall and USA Basketball and former owner of the Suns, has a few ideas to fix it, according to NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper. One is great: votes will be public. We'll be able to see whether D.J., for example, earned 50 or 100 or whatever ballots. We'll be able to see how close certain players are, and which players or coaches might be longshots on future ballots. The Hall still won't reveal the voters themselves -- a substantial demerit, in my opinon -- but at least we'll see how close our favored nominees are.
But Colangelo's bad idea also involves public voting. As in, the public votes on who gets in. I'm all for the empowerment of the fan -- heck, I'm just a fan -- but this is a bad, bad idea. As in "Allen Iverson, starting point guard, Eastern Conference All-Stars" bad. As in "Tracy McGrady, starting small forward, Western Conference All-Stars" bad. As in "24 weeks of the Cavaliers or Lakers on NBA TV Fan Night" bad.
No offense to NBA fans, but I do not trust NBA fans to make the right decisions about the Hall of Fame. I don't want to see a bust of Rafer Alston or Allan Houston or Walter McCarty, if you catch my drift. Sure, the Hall is already flawed. But introducing a fan vote makes it worse. It makes it the Kids Choice Awards, or worse, the Peoples Choice Awards.
Colangelo promises fan voting will be limited in impact, that current members of the Hall and media voters will have the greatest say on who gets in. But if that's the case ... what's the point? Do the fans just provide a little nudge if a player is on the cusp of Halldom? Do the fans rescue a nominee's quest in danger of falling off the ballot permanently? If so, again, what is the point?
It sounds modern and exciting, but the NBA's history with fan-powered voting is suboptimal. This will not end well.