When Don Nelson, the NBA's all-time winningest coach, received word that he finally was entering the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, there was an obvious question. What took so long?
NBA commissioner David Stern believes it could be because the Naismith is a "basketball" Hall that is not run by the NBA. It's an all-inclusive hall , drawing not only from the pros, but also the collegiate, amateur and international ranks.
"That's why there are some unusual decisions that get made," Stern said. "I don't know about politics being involved, but it does become more crowded. It takes longer for true talent to be recognized."
Stern said the NBA continues to support the universal nature of the Naismith. But we wondered: What if the NBA created its own Hall of Fame? And if so, who would be in the inaugural class?
There's a ballot waiting for you online. Just past this link into your browser --mercurynews.com/sports/ci_21419650 -- and cast your vote for 10 players and one coach. Use the comments section to make your case for your favorite players.
In a week or so, we'll reveal the inaugural class for the (mythical) NBA Hall of Fame.