MobTownSports Beat Hall of Game Nominees

March 09, 2012 | Thyrl Nelson

Dwayne Wade


Ever heard the expression “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? Maybe that’s why Wade rolled out the welcome wagon and convinced Lebron James to take his talents to South Beach.


We’ve always appreciated Wade as a player and respected him as a champion, but just 3 years ago, Wade’s name was pretty far removed from the “best player in the game” argument. Wade had a ring, Wade had charisma, he had game for sure but he was still on the outside looking in at guys like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James et al.


Fast forward to Lebron’s infamous “Decision” to leave Cleveland for Miami and the outpouring of outrage that followed. Suddenly those looking to indict Lebron’s game are using Wade ring as evidence that he’s the Heat’s leader. The result is that Wade now has to be included in the best in the game argument. If folks are using him as the Jordan to Lebron’s Pippen, and if Lebron is in the “BPITG” argument, then surely Wade is too.


For all of the 4th quarter meltdown talk that surrounded James last year, especially in the Finals, Wade was just as bad in those 4th quarters if not worse. Add to that the fact that James was playing 44 or so minutes per night in those games and anchoring the second unit so that Wade and Chris Bosh could collect rest, it would stand to reason that those guys would be more capable than Lebron of stepping up at the end of games. Even James All-Star performance, a great one by the way, and the criticism that followed all happened despite Wade’s failing to simply catch a perfect pass on a fast break.


In compelling Lebron to South Beach, Wade helped create sports’ new super-villain and lightning rod, and then positioned himself right next to it and looks better than ever by comparison, fairly or not.


I’m not sure that Wade envisioned this result when recruiting Lebron to Miami, but it’s what he’s got. And if he did plan it all out, he’s got more game than anyone…period.



Jim Boeheim


At 30-1 on the season and ranked second in the nation, Boeheim’s Syracuse Orange have somehow remained mostly anonymous. The balance and overall athleticism of the Orange attack is only slightly less impressive than the composure and poise that seems to define this team and which has led them possibly to the precipice of ultimate success once again.


Syracuse’s year began with the ugliest kind of scandal imaginable surrounding long time Boeheim assistant Bernie Fine and child sex abuse charges, along the way they endured a suspension for canter Fab Melo (and their only loss of the season during that suspension), and just ahead of tournament time, the latest issue of players failing drug tests over the last 10 years allegedly without punishment surfaces. In the meantime all Boeheim and his charges have done was to bunker down and to keep winning.


Boeheim was inevitably asked about the latest Syracuse scandal after they prematurely ended what had become UConn’s annual 5-game pilgrimage to the Big East title game on Wednesday and Boeheim responded like a great coach would. Boeheim, used to preparing his team to deal with difficult situations, had clearly seen this one coming in his game plan. His response was a far cry from his contentious and accusatory response to questions about the Fine accusers as he simply used it as a platform to applaud his team (none of whom are implicated in the current drug scandal) for their abilities in dealing with all of the turmoil that has swirled around the program this season. And they should be applauded.


Whether their focus is a result of the turmoil, and the team has found comfort and security only with themselves and their anonymity, is arguable. Where Boeheim and the Orange decide to go after the season is debatable. But the simple fact that Jim Boeheim and his Orange just plain have game is undeniable.



Peyton Manning


We all knew Manning had weight but it appears we have only begum to find out just how much.


Now free to shop his services, Manning has already reportedly heard from as many as twelve teams, some easy to guess, others apparently confirmed and some still mysterious.


Manning hasn’t played in a year and has apparently had as many as 4 neck procedures in the meantime; the team that he propelled to the big time didn’t see his value as a top quarterback any longer and instead are set to welcome a blue chip rookie into the mix. Still however, teams are lining up for the chance to bid on Manning’s services, in some cases allegedly sight unseen or on the basis of the mysterious and grainy YouTube video of a couple of days ago.


Most of the teams bidding on Manning’s services already have a quarterback of some sort, and all but one will likely have some relationship repairing to do with those quarterbacks if they aren’t the ones who land him. That teams are willing to stick their necks out that far for a guy whose own neck may or may not still be functional certainly speaks to Manning’s game, even on the chance that he’s still got games (left).