Marvin Miller and Curt Flood, who opened door for Durant, still aren't in Hall of Fame

Since people are once again acting outraged that an athlete is earning a large paycheck, or choosing his own team to play for, or both, this is a good time to remind everybody that the two men most responsible for the birth of free agency are not honored in their sport’s hall of fame.Marvin Miller and Curt Flood give a new definition to "long overdue."  No two men changed the landscape of sports more than they did — first in baseball, obviously, where they teamed up to challenge the excessively-restrictive reserve clause and make sure players have the same rights as every other American worker. Since then, every sport has benefited. MORE: Ranking 25 best NBA stars to change teams in their prime  Warriors fans should love them — they’re why Kevin Durant is a Warrior today. The same for Heat and Cavaliers fans; thank them for LeBron James joining the former team and re-joining the latter. And Grizzlies fans, you got to keep Mike Conley … and Conley got to partake of the riches he helped create.If opening the door to player freedom, economic justice, competitive balance and good ol’ American capitalism — even at the price of scorching-hot Twitter takes and videos of jersey-burnings — doesn’t earn you a spot in the Hall of Fame, nothing does.But Miller and Flood aren’t being honored by baseball. Every vote has left them on the outside. Miller, who died in 2012, was last denied in 2013. Flood, who passed away in 1997, has fallen short on the writers’ ballot and with vari

ous veterans committees.MORE: There is no Kevin Durant in baseball Miller, of course, will be forever frowned upon by the baseball establishment for fighting like a pit bull for players’ fair treatment of owners. As part of that, he put his weight behind Flood’s 1969 lawsuit against baseball over his late-career trade from the Cardinals. Flood’s letter to the commissioner, explaining his refusal to accept the trade, is a latter-day declaration of independence. It includes this immortal line: “I do not feel I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes.”Ironically, that letter has been posted on Major League Baseball’s official website for years. Further irony: Flood was honored by the Hall of Fame at last year’s induction weekend for his brave stand, even though he can’t win induction himself.Final irony: Durant’s leap to the Warriors, which ignited so much fury and was a continuation of Flood’s and Miller’s legacy, came on the Fourth of July.

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