The NBA plans to give fans a voice in the voting of candidates to the Basketball Hall of Fame but efforts have been derailed by a lack of sponsorship and officials say it won't be until the Class of 2014 that the public will have a say.
John Doleva, CEO and president of the Springfield, Mass. Basketball Hall of Fame museum said that the initiative is a top priority for him and Chairman Jerry Colangelo, who also serves as director of USA Basketball for Olympic competition.
Under the current proposal, as described by Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, fans would vote on the candidates after the official voters -- basketball officials, former players and/or coaches, athletic directors, media -- release the initial list at All-Star weekend in February. The top three candidates on that list, as voted by the public, would then get one additional vote toward the final decision:
The anonymous voters selected by the Hall — basketball officials, former players and/or coaches, athletic directors, media — would still decide the finalists. Mass participation would begin once that list is revealed at All-Star weekend in February, with fans part of the second layer of balloting that decides enshrinement later that summer. The top three finishers would get one additional vote toward the final decision, providing a 25th chance to get the 18 votes needed for induction rather than the current model of 18 from 24 electors.
Doleva said the initiative would encourage more dialogue among the fans and he hopes to have the plans finalized next year:
“It’s one of those things when you think about it, they’d be able to impact the vote and to get chatter going back and forth about the finalists and ‘Should this person be in? Should that person be in?’ I think there’s a lot of value there. We’re hoping to, in 2014, definitely do that.”