Sports Outside the Beltway

Phil Jackson and Roy Williams Elected to Hall of Fame

Phil Jackson, Roy Williams, and some people I’ve never heard of have been elected to the basketball Hall of Fame.

Phil Jackson can add Hall of Famer to his resume Monday as the current Los Angeles Lakers coach was named to the 2007 basketball Hall of Fame class that will be inducted this September.

Joining Jackson in Springfield, Mass., will be North Carolina coach Roy Williams, WNBA coach Van Chancellor, the 1966 Texas Western NCAA championship team, referee Mendy Rudolph as well as international coaches Fedro Ferrandiz and Mirko Novosel. Jackson and the Texas Western squad earned the honor in their first year of consideration. To gain election, each finalist needs at least 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee.

Jackson’s coaching accomplishments include six NBA titles with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls as well as three more titles with the Lakers. He is also the fastest coach to reach 900 wins.

There’s no question Jackson and Williams deserve the honor. I’ve never heard of the other coaches. While, frankly, I’m dubious that someone coaching in the WNBA could possibly qualify, Chancellor’s credentials are solid:

He spent 19 successful seasons as the head coach of the University of Mississippi Lady Rebels. Under his guidance, the Lady Rebels posted a winning percentage of .740 (439-154), made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances. As a collegiate coach, Chancellor ranks 14th in all-time winning percentage amongst women’s basketball coaches.

He has been the Comets’ only head coach, the longest tenured in the WNBA. His team won the first four WNBA championships, from 1997 to 2000.

Still, it’s women’s basketball and being 14th best is hardly that big a deal. And the WNBA isn’t exactly the most competitive league in all of sports.

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