View Full Version : Reggie Lewis vs. Drazen Petrovic: A HOF Debate

09-18-2012, 06:18 PM
Drazen Petrovic started what was a promising career which a car accident tragically cut short. He was one of the best shooters in the league when he passed away, shooting almost 52% from the floor and almost 45% from behind the arc, and an impressive 87% from the free throw line. He was one of the three main pieces of a NJ Nets team that feature Kenny Anderson, and Derrick Coleman and had some great pieces fit around them (Jayson Willimams, Benard King, Maurice Cheeks, Rick Mahorn). The team had some great potential. Though known for being a cardboard cut out on defence, Petrovic still managed to pull in 1.5 steals a game during his final seasons, and got a couple of rebounds a game to go along with 3.5 assists (though his 2.9 turnovers didn't give him a very impressive assist-to-turnover ration. Petrovic started his NBA career a little late, at 25, as he played in Europe for a few seasons before coming state side. Several years after his death he was voted into the HOF, obviously not entirely based on his NBA career as he only had two seasons averaging more than 20 points per game (in fact, his career average is only 15.4 a game), and though he never made a single All-Star appearance, he did make the All NBA Third team in his final season.

On the flipside there is Reggie Lewis, who came into the league around the same time and like Petrovic sadly passed away before he hit his prime. Lewis, though not as good a shooter as Petrovic (47% from the floor though he was almost as good as Petrovic from the free throw line at 86%). Lewis those was as good a scorer and had a much better post game. His career average is high than Petrovic's at 17+ and he was a much better defender, pulling in 1.5 steals a game and leading all guards (including a guy named Michael Jordan) in blocks at 1 a game. He was also a solid rebounder, pulling in 4.3 on his career and 5.2 in his best season, better than double Petrovic's best effort, and handed out a career best 3.7 assists while only turning the ball over 1.7 times. Like Petrovic, Lewis was on a team that had a birght future, though some of the key players were getting older (Bird had retired, by McHale and Parish were still around, and Dee Brown was seen as a bright young talent to go along with Rick Fox). And Lewis was such a uniquely versatile player that he remains the only Celtic to ever post 100+: steals, blocks, rebounds assists and points in a single season. And while Lewis may not have an All-NBA team nod on his resume, he does have an All-Star apperance which Petrovic does not.

NOTE: Lewis's death is doubly tragic for Celtic fans who also saw Len Bias pass away before he even got to suit up for a game. A young core of Lewis and Bias would have certainly put a road block up for Jordan and Pippen's six run to NBA titles.

Statistically, in my view, Lewis was a better all-around player. Of course, Petrovic had something that Lewis didn't have on his resume: A European career. But that said, Lewis had something Petrovic didn't have: a 60-0 record over his final two years of highschool. I admit, highschool may not seem like much in the eyes of the HOF, but there are highschool coaches in the HOF. Also, Lewis had something else Petrovic didn't: A college career. In four years of college Reggie Lewis was named that America East Conference Player of the year three times! Lewis didn't enter a big basketball program, but in his first year he lead the team to their best record ever and four striaght North Atlantic Conference titles, while posting the highest scoring average in the school's histrory as a sophomore. He also got them into the NCAA tournament, which not even Ralph Sampson managed to do each of his college seasons, and as we all know Ralph Sampson recently made it into the HOF largely based on his college career (which didn't see a single NCAA title).

Now, I know a death at such a young age, though tragic, should not be an automatic pass into the HOF. And I know that European careers should count for something. It is the basketball HOF after all and not the NBA HOF. But that said, accomplishment in highschool and college should count for something as well. I think we can all agree that had Reggie Lewis finish his career, he would have been a HOF player and had his number retired alongside Bird's. That said, we have to look at what he accomplished during the time he had with us. I think that what he did in highschool, College and the NBA was impressive enough to warrant a HOF nod, especially considering that Drazen Petrovic has already been given a HOF nod.

So, I put the question to you: Does Reggie Lewis deserve to be in the HOF?

09-18-2012, 06:34 PM
Darn my short attention span

09-18-2012, 06:38 PM
Darn my short attention span I had to take a couple of breaks to finsh,i feel ya!

I think so, great writing as usual Jhorn.

09-19-2012, 10:08 AM
No to reggie.

Sorry but Petrovics resume in fiba is simply amazing and thus he was a lock even if he never played in the nba, just like dalipaglic or meneghin ( and sooner than later oscar schmidt and epi).

So unless Lewis had a fabulous ncaa career ( wich has taken the likes of ralph sampson in the hof) he has simply no shot at it.

09-19-2012, 10:17 AM
I believe Reggie had two peak years in his last two years. He was a fine player, but, back in that era, you could only be sure the be a major title threat if he was your #4 - or you had two of the top 15 players in the game, then he could be the 3.

Petro gets the nod.

09-19-2012, 10:55 AM
I think reggie was the better player, I actually got to see the two play against each other very many times, as I used to go to a lot of Celtics games around that time. Niether of them will be Hall of Famers, because of their untimely deaths, but I feel like Reggie had HOF talent. Petro did too, but it's one of those things we will never know.

09-19-2012, 11:09 AM
Maurice Stokes, man. Maurice Stokes. :(


its great that they put him in HOF.