Does “Big Shot Bobby” Deserve To Be Enshrined In The Basketball Hall of Fame?

By Gregory Moore
Updated: June 22, 2005


Big Shot Bob has been dropping threes for over a decade in the NBA. If he helps the San Antonio Spurs win their third title in seven years, would his six rings guarantee him entry into Springfield?

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Spurs fans used to hate him almost as much as they hated Karl Malone. Sacramento Kings fans flat out deplore him for his game winning antics. Just about every NBA team, minus the ones he won championships on, has called him the biggest team killer in league history. Now the Spurs can add him to the legendary lore as being one of the greatest players to ever don on the silver and black. And while Robert Horry may have just sealed the fate of the Detroit Pistons, an interesting debate has arisen: is he Hall of Fame material?

The scenario on Father’s Day is typical Horry script. With time running down to mere seconds, a teammate comes off a curl or double team and throws Horry the ball. He catches, shoots and leaves the hand hanging, all the while knowing that he has just taken the heart of a fan base. In playoffs past those victims were the David Robinson led Spurs or the Chris Webber formed Kings. In 2005 it has become the Wallaces and Company Pistons. Forget all the others that he may have hit in the game or series because the only that folks are remembering is the one that landed with 5.8 seconds left. Once again “Big Shot Bob” has fired a salvo across the bow to his opponent and he is daring them to answer the bell.

“That’s why he (Horry) has five (championship) rings,” Pistons coach Larry Brown said.

Maybe Brown is being his usual monolithic self when he made that statement after their loss but the truth of that statement is self-evident. Horry, no matter how you look at it, is a player who has been on championship teams not because he was the best player on the floor but because of his reputation alone. So with that said where does Horry fall when it comes to the biggest clutch shooters in basketball lore?

Horry’s career isn’t a stellar one that many would think. A career 8-ppg player, his stats are average compared to so many others who are in the Hall. However look at the game winners that he has been a part of. If he isn’t taking the winning shot, he has taken the shot before that play to seal the deal. When he was in Houston, he was capable of slashing to the basket but he built his reputation of an opponent killer by hitting the one shot that so many younger players take too many of. Horry’s uncanny knack for being at the right spot to take a 23-foot jumper has given him five championships and this latest one could give him his sixth. That would tie Michael Jordan in the ‘modern’ era of the NBA. But would being a clutch shooter guarantee him entry into the Springfield Hall? If we are talking that Hall, then yes it would.

When it comes to pure basketball, the Springfield Hall of Fame is where Horry’s bust and career montage needs to lie. Forget about the NBA Hall of Fame, that lollipop center has some goofy standards and they are all about flash and dash; something that has escaped Horry for the most part. The Springfield Hall of Fame would not only be fitting of a player like Horry but he would fit the mold of what that Hall stands for. Horry is about winning and many inductees in that Hall have exemplified that essence.

Just how much pull Horry’s play will have on the selection committee could come down to one more piece of hardware besides a sixth ring. If Horry wins the Finals MVP trophy, then he is a sure bet for this Hall and who knows he may even get into that ‘other’ Hall as well.

Robert Horry deserves to be considered into the Springfield Hall of Fame because of the things he has done in hs career that has helped whatever team he has played for. Many may feel that if the team didn’t put him on the playoff roster, a lot of these heroics would not even be considered. Many of those experts are right to a degree but if it weren’t for Horry’s reputation of being a clutch player, the Rockets, Lakers and now possibly the Spurs would not be experiencing the victory parades that his play has helped make happen. Horry is a difference maker and many of these individuals are in the Halls today.