Is 2013 Tarkanian's Year for the Hall?
It’s the elephant in the room of the basketball world.
One of the games brightest, most accomplished personalities is still on the outside looking in. The numbers don’t lie, the accomplishments numerous, the contribution to the game undeniable. Yet coach Jerry Tarkanian still has not received the sports biggest honor: he is not in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Last year, I wrote in this space about this injustice. Yet, here we are again and the mysterious pool of voters still has not given Tarkanian the honor he so justly deserves.
In 2013, though, there is hope.
Tarkanian will once again be on the ballot when they’re mailed out to voters sometime this month. A list of his accomplishments and his bona fides will accompany the ballot. It’s a list so exhaustive we can’t print it in its entirety here. It’s that deep, that amazing, and that impressive. Despite this long list of accomplishments, will voters finally see the light?
Through sources, it appears the Hall and many circles in college basketball think Tarkanian has paid his due for any indiscretions – be they real or imagined. The tide may have turned and his chances might be better now than when he was chomping on his signature towel and changing the game forever on the court. More and more experts, pundits, coaches, players and the media are understanding just how far ahead of his time Tarkanian was both on the court and off it.
“The game has changed in a lot of ways that would fit him very well,” said former college basketball star, and current ESPN analyst, Jay Bilas in a New York Times story on Tarkanian published this week. “I don’t think there’s any question that college basketball today in a lot of places looks a lot like what Tark did at Vegas.”
Just how did Tarkanian change the game over the course of the past 30+ years? Here are some examples:Continued on the next page