Adrian Dantley, HOFer
Great news this morning as we find out that Adrian Dantley finally got the call the the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Dantley was one of the most underrated scorers in the game in the 80’s. He averaged more than 24 points a game over his career including close to 30 a game while he was with the Jazz. He was a 6 time All-Star and left the league in scoring twice. It’s great that he finally gets this recognition after 8 attempts.
The subject that’s brought up all the time for this and for other sports HOFs is what’s different now than when he retired? He hasn’t scored any more points. If he’s a HOFer now, he should have been called in his first year of eligibilty. You could debate this all day, but we’ll just be thankful that he’s in now.
Dantley was in his final years as a Jazz man when I started getting into NBA basketball. So I don’t have too many memories of his playing time. But he certainly spawned many NBA fans in Salt Lake when the franchise was trying to get off the ground after its move from New Orleans. He put butts in the seats and really made the Jazz relevant by getting them to their first playoff series. He has a lot to do with keeping the Jazz in Utah and that they weren’t forced to move again after a few lean years to start with.
The Jazz finally showed him the same recognition by retiring his number last year. I wrote about that here.
He was then traded away as the Jazz turned the reins over to Stockton and Malone. As the story goes, Frank Layden came to Malone and told him that they were going to trade Dantley and build around Stockton and the Mailman. So he was shipped off to Detroit where he still scored more than 20 a game.
So here’s to #4, the first real star the Jazz had.