Monday, September 26, 2011

Udonis Haslem and the Greatest Gators in the NBA

Udonis Haslem is the latest men’s basketball player to be inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame, but where does he rank among Gators in the NBA?

Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post reported on his blog earlier this month that UD was scheduled to be honored next spring as the 15th Gator Great from the men’s basketball team. Haslem is only the third player from the modern era (i.e. since 1978) to make the University of Florida’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

While he was a hall-of-famer in college, UD only ranks fourth in Wins Produced among all Florida alumni that played in the modern NBA. See this article and this FAQ for more information on Wins Produced.

Mike Miller, Haslem’s college teammate, has produced more wins than any other Florida Gator in the modern NBA. This spreadsheet lists the Wins Produced for all of the Florida alumni in the NBA since 1978, and the top five are listed below.

Top Five Florida Gators in Wins Produced
  1. Mike Miller: 84.4 Wins Produced
  2. David Lee: 71.9 Wins Produced
  3. Al Horford: 44.6 Wins Produced
  4. Udonis Haslem: 42.6 Wins Produced
  5. Jason Williams: 42.2 Wins Produced

While he may not be the biggest Gator in the NBA, UD was the man on campus from 1999 to 2002. The Gators made it to the NCAA tournament every season of his collegiate career and advanced to the school’s first championship game in his sophomore year when they lost to Michigan State University.

Miller was the star of that 2000 Gators team but he probably won’t be inducted into the hall of fame since he only played two seasons at Florida. Horford and Joakim Noah (who won back-to-back NCAA titles) will probably be the only NBA players with more wins produced than Haslem that will be inducted as Gator Greats.

Of course, if the Miami Heat win the NBA title next season, then Haslem will still have some bragging rights.

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