By A. Sherrod Blakely
LOS ANGELES The news that Reggie Miller will not be part of this year's Naismith class of Hall of Famers caught many by surprise - including Boston's Ray Allen.
Miller, widely considered a lock to at least make it as a finalist, was not among the 10 players chosen by the North American Committee.
Aside from an NBA title in 2008 with the Celtics, there are a lot of similarities between what Allen has done in his career and what Miller did prior to retiring.
Because of that, it gives Allen reason to pause and wonder about his legacy that, like Miller, is widely considered to be one that will end with his enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
"I didn't see the overall report of (who) the finalists were, but I am surprised," Allen said. "I don't know what else he has to do. I don't understand how the Hall of Fame works, the balloting and obviously, the different people around the country voting. His career is not going to change the next time it comes around. It would see that they got it wrong on this one."
Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors, said the process by which players are chosen for the Hall of Fame has to become more transparent.
However, Colangelo has no plans to reveal who the voters are.
"The only thing I'm not saying is who the people are that are voting," Colangelo said. "I want to protect the integrity of our process by not identifying the individuals."
Colangelo didn't get into too many specifics, but there were a number of factors that might have weighed against Miller getting in this year, his first on the ballot which, Colangelo said, may have been one of the factors considered by the North American Committee.
"There isn't one individual who is there for the first time," Colangelo said. "He (Miller) would have been a first-time selectee. There are a number of people who ended up here, who were not first-time selectees. Sometimes you wait your turn. Within a group, you need to get traction. When you discuss any individual, you talk about accomplishments. We'll talk about where he kind of falls. Sometimes an individual is looked at more as a specialist than maybe an all-around player. And maybe it's just not his time. Timing, that's another issue with the selection into the Hall of Fame."
Colangelo added, "Reggie just didn't get enough traction this time. He's a first time candidate. That speaks nothing about his future. He could very well, next year could be a whole different story for Reggie Miller, he's certainly a candidate going forward for the Hall of Fame."
The same could be said for Allen, who recently surpassed Miller as the NBA's all-time leader in made 3s.
Still, Allen now understands even that might not be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame on his first attempt.
"He's been in his era, he's been the best shooter playing the game and I'm trying to figure out I need to get to the bottom of it. What are they looking for?" Allen said. "What's going on? When I saw that this morning, I was surprised. It seemed like an injustice."