Vlade Divac, the former Lakers and Kings center, was one of the folks announced Saturday for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The story on the induction class, which included one of my all-time heroes, former Warriors guard and coach Al Attles, noted that Divac occupied some rarified air in terms of NBA statistics.
Divac is one of just 7 NBA players who has accumulated 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocks. Yes, I know, those are funky numbers. Why not 15,000 points and 10,000 boards? No kid grows up on the playgrounds hoping for 9,000 boards.
Anyway, that’s problem 1. Problem 2 is that stories like this that dangle stats before you NEVER tell you who the other guys are. Who are the other 6 players in the group with Divac?
So I looked it up. And it was pretty interesting. The list is Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pau Gasol and Kevin Garnett.
But what’s more interesting is who isn’t on it. And why.
For example Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Unfortunately, the two great centers played in an era in which blocks were not an official stat. How fast do you think those guys would have blown past 1,500?
Artis Gilmore and Julius Erving would have been in the group as well, if you counted their ABA stats.
Then, there are those high achievers who fell short in just one category. LeBron James, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley were right with Vlade … until you got to blocked shots. Patrick Ewing, Elvin Hayes and David Robinson, meanwhile, came up short on assists.
Divac deserves a lot of credit. He was one of the first Euro players to make a dent in the NBA. Great flopper. Very mobile and a solid passer. Great cameo in Space Jam. He puts on a gas mask and refuses to play because of this weird malady that is robbing NBA players of their skills.
And just so I don't violate my own principle ... here are the others announced with Divac: NBA players Carl Braun, Chuck Cooper, Bobby Jones, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma and Paul Westphal, NBA coach Bill Fitch, NBA contributor Al Attles, WNBA player Teresa Weatherspoon, the 1957-59 teams from Tennessee A&I and the Wayland Baptist University program.