Dumars, Barkley, Wilkins to enter Hall of Fame today

Friday, September 8, 2006

DETROIT -- Joe Dumars is going into the Basketball Hall of Fame just as he played -- under the radar.

Making all the noise, drawing all the attention tonight will be two other inductees -- Charles Barkley and Dominique Wilkins. Barkley, no doubt, will have the most entertaining speech. Wilkins will monopolize the highlight tapes.

Dumars plans to stay nice and quiet, in keeping with the way he acted as a player and conducts himself as the Detroit Pistons' president of basketball operations.

Unlike Barkley and Wilkins, Dumars was an NBA champion. He was the MVP of the 1989 NBA finals and helped Detroit repeat the next year.

"The three of us are getting to the same mountain top as players, using three different routes," Dumars said. "You're either a Hall of Famer based on championships or numbers, and I'm 100 percent comfortable and happy with the route I've taken."

Detroit drafted Dumars with the 18th pick overall in 1985, and the skinny, unknown shooting guard from McNeese State spent his entire 14-year career with Pistons -- the longest any player has played for the franchise.

"What's great about only playing for one team is that when people think about your career, they don't have to piece it together," he said. "They don't have to say, 'What did he do there?' or 'Did he win a title there?' If people think about my career, they only think about the Pistons, and I like that."

Michael Jordan has said Dumars was the toughest defender to score against in the NBA, helping him earn a spot on the All-Defensive team four times. The shooting guard averaged a relatively modest 16.1 points and 4.5 assists.

Dumars was the good guy on the Bad Boys, a person respected so much that the NBA created the Joe Dumars Trophy after he won the league's sportsmanship award following the 1995-96 season.

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