Van Chancellor v. Guy Lewis
I see that ex-Comets coach Van Chancellor has just been elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame. I ask: how? How can Chancellor get in when former University of Houston coach Guy V. Lewis can't? Just what is it that Chancellor did that Lewis didn't?
Did Chancellor take four teams to the NCAA Final Four? No. True, Chancellor did win the first four WNBA titles, but I'd argue that once the league strengthened its talent pool, that Chancellor lost the ability to win. And it's not like Chancellor was losing in the Final Four to teams coached by Dean Smith and John Thompson and led by players like Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing.
Was Chancellor a pioneer? True, he's a woman's coach. And he did sign onto a fledging league. But that league had the backing and financial support of the NBA. That's nothing like the barrier that Guy V. Lewis broke — recruiting and playing black players at a major college in the South , and Guy V. Lewis did this before Don Haskins beat up on Kentucky.
But that's not all. It was Lewis who had the idea for the 1968 UCLA/UH Game of the Century. That game played in the Astrodome before a nationally televised audience, in an era where college basketball didn't get national television airtime.
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And let's look at Lewis's impact on the game. Among the players produced by Lewis are Don Chaney and Otis Birdsong. And Lewis produced three of the 50 greatest players in NBA history: Clyde Drexler, Elvin Hayes, and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Yes, Guy V. Lewis never won a national title. But then again, neither did John Chaney, and he made the Hall of Fame as a coach. Chaney never produced a Final Four team, or an Elite Eight team. And unlike Chaney, Lewis never threatened to kill another coach http://cbs.sportsline.com/collegebasketball/story/8226522 , nor did he send out one of his players to cripple a player on another team .
Look, before anyone gets the wrong idea, I've got nothing against Van Chancellor or the WNBA. I just don't see how his accomplishments are greater than those of Guy V. Lewis.
On the plus side, at least Dickie V. didn't get in. Then I would've been really angry. And you wouldn't like me when I'm angry. - John Royal
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