Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs legend Robert Horry deserves recognition for his clutch plays, but he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.
The Robert Horry debate has begun once again.
In his Hall of Fame induction speech, former Los Angeles Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich went to bat for Horry as a Hall of Fame candidate.
“I want to speak up for Robert Horry to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Tomjanovic said, per 710 ESPN Los Angeles. “He’s got seven rings to prove it. This is where he belongs.”
Horry should be content with those seven rings. He earned them. What he hasn’t earned is a place in the Hall of Fame.
Robert Horry just isn’t a Hall-of-Fame player
Realistically, Horry belongs in the Hall of Good or the Hall of Incredibly Clutch Shooters.
You just can’t put a guy in the Hall of Fame when he averaged seven points per game in his career. He had just three seasons averaging more than 10 points per game. His career-high average was 12 in his final season with Houston in 1995-96. He never once made it on an NBA All-Star team.
You definitely can’t put him in before you acknowledge the careers of tons of other worthy players. Chris Bosh, Michael Cooper, Tim Hardaway, Marques Johnson, Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace and Chris Webber are finalists for the 2021 class who are still waiting their turn. Each of those are multi-time All-Stars with dozens of other accomplishments to their name.
Shawn Marion, Chauncey Billups, Horrace Grant, Larry Nance, Elton Brand, Rasheed Wallace and countless others with greater win shares for their careers aren’t even finalists yet.
Horry ranks 213th in points per game of the 218 Hall of Fame-eligible players for 2021 listed on Basketball-Reference.
What Horry did with the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs was incredible. There’s no question about that.
His corner 3 in the final minute of Game 3 in the 2001 NBA Finals was the epitome of clutch. He hit a game-winning 3 in Game 3 of the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs for the Lakers. He dropped in a triple at the buzzer to give LA a series-tying victory in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals that year as well.
When he left the Lakers and landed with the Spurs, his clutch shooting continued. He knocked down a 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left as San Antonio beat the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the 2005 NBA Finals.
Those moments will go down in NBA lore, that’s for sure.
There’s just more to a Hall-of-Fame career than a handful of big shots.