I've gone through all your emails and comments and tallied up your choices for the 2008 Induction Class of the Denver Stiffs Hall of Fame.
Next to each name will be the total votes received for that player.
Nikoloz Tskitishvili (75 votes) and Joe Wolf (47)
Others receiving votes: Tony Battie (38), Kevin Brooks (21), Tim Kempton (16), Mark Alarie (11)
Write-ins: Juwan Howard (7), James Earl Ray (5), Orlando Woolridge (2), Reggie Williams (1)
Analysis: Skita's name appeared on all but about five submitted ballots. Given that he was so recently a colossal bust/stiff, I wasn't the least surprised to see him inducted in our inaugural class. Wolf, on the other hand, was a surprising inductee for me, as he's a relatively obscure player in Nuggets history. Regarding the write-ins, I can't believe I forgot to include Ray on the initial ballot. Not to be confused with the man who assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr., the Nuggets' James Earl Ray was a catastrophic bust. Like Skita and Battie, Ray was drafted fifth overall - ahead of Andrew Toney and Kiki Vandeweghe - and would play in only 103 NBA games over three forgettable seasons, all as a Nugget. I have to disagree vehemently with the Denver Stiffs readers who submitted Howard. If memory serves, Howard took his trade from the contending Mavericks to the god-awful Nuggets like a man, kept his mouth shut and played hard.
Scott Hastings (37)
Others receiving votes: Blair Rasmussen (35) and Dean Garrett (21)
Write-ins: Danny Schayes (11), Joe Kopicki (2), Marcus Camby (1)
Analysis: Hastings barely edged out Rasmussen to be the first-ever center inducted into the Denver Stiffs Hall of Fame. I'm sure Hastings will be thrilled to mention this during his opening night broadcast on Altitude. I took a lot of heat from many readers for not including Schayes, and in his e-mail to me posted below, the Rocky Mountain News' Dave Krieger did a good job describing why Schayes is the epitome of a Denver Stiff. I seriously considered putting Schayes on the ballot, but just felt that Rasmussen's contract and Garrett and Hastings' lack of skills vaulted them over Schayes this year. I considered Kopicki, too, but he doesn't meet the minimum game requirement for induction.
Tariq Abdul-Wahad (68) and Mark Macon (63)
Others receiving votes: George McCloud (26), Maurice Martin (23), Todd Lichti (22), Dale Ellis (16)
Write-ins: George Karl (11), Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (9), Earl Boykins (7), Yakhouba Diawara (5), Bryant Stith (4), Cory Alexander (2)
Analysis: Abdul-Wahad and Macon were shoe-ins for induction this year per all the reasons documented in our initial ballot. Not surprisingly, Karl received 11 write-ins (as coach, not guard) so I put him here since he played guard in the NBA, although not for the Nuggets. I was surprised to see Abdul-Rauf receive nine write-in votes. Even though he had numerous off court problems (and made some vicious anti-semitic statements on HBO's Real Sports after 9/11), I'd hardly call Abdul-Rauf a Stiff on the floor. In fact, Abdul-Rauf was one of my favorite Nuggets to watch play basketball...during the regular season only, of course. I'm assuming his bizarre behavior since embracing Islam - like refusing to stand for the national anthem - contributed to him getting so many write-in votes here.
Tony Battie (38)
Analysis: Since everyone submitted different sixth men from various positions, I decided to give this spot to Battie as the sixth-highest vote getter overall. The runner-ups were Rasmussen, McCloud and Martin.
I want to sincerely thank all of this blog's readers for not just submitting ballots but detailed commentary on their choices. Unfortunately, I couldn't give away a prize to every participant, but I randomly selected three winners by plucking names out of a hat, and they are:
Kevin B. from San Diego
Brian D. from Denver
Charles A. from Philadelphia
So Kevin, Brian and Charles, your X-Box 360 video games are on their way!
I also want to congratulate our first-time inductees into the 2008 Class of the Denver Stiffs Hall of Fame. It's thanks their ineptitude as players that we've been able to induct such a well-deserved inaugural class and kick this Hall of Fame off on the right foot!