Another Jeff-Fox-of-Hoops-Manifesto generated discussion… of these recently retired NBA players, who should get in the Basketball Hall of Fame?
As per the previous two, there are those considered locks, and those considered “toss ups”.
Allen Iverson – In my honest opinion, perhaps the best “small man” to ever play the game. Easily a first ballot candidate.
Shaquille O’Neal – Covered here…
Gary Payton – A beast of a point guard. Helluva defender, and greatest remembered for being half of the Sonic Boom.
Chris Webber – C-Webb at one point was the best 4 playing the game. And when you include his HS (National HS Player of the Year), and somewhat-infamy-laden college career, then C-Webb’s an easy inclusion into the Hall. Yes.
Alonzo Mourning – Zo… I’d like to think that he’ll get into the Hall of Fame – it could be a close call, but I think his resume’s good enough. Guy was sheer testament to willpower.
Sidenote: as a high school senior, Zo averaged 25 points, 15 rebounds and 12 blocks a game. That, is insane.
Steve Francis – Stevie Franchise certainly has his fans, and he definitely had a lot of flash… but I don’t see much substance to his career. Good player, but no.
Sam Cassell – Again, a guy with some flair and interest… but despite having a knack for being in the right place at the right time, no. Simply not good enough to be a Hall of Fame member.
Stephon Marbury – If anyone could challenge Ron Artest as being the craziest player to have every graced the NBA hardwood, it’s Starbury. Certainly made headlines in his time, and is one of the more philanthropic players the NBA’s seen… but I can’t see him in the Hall of Fame.
Dikembe Mutombo – Speaking of philanthropy, Mutombo. A great man, but a Hall of Famer? Hell yes. Anyone who wins the DPoY 4 times should be in (note that on Ben Wallace!). To any who disagree: you get the finger-wag.
Rasheed Wallace – The heart and soul of the Detroit resurgence. As Sheed went, so’d the Pistons. As a Lakers fan, I hated LA playing against him – but the guy was a warrior, and I still believe he deserves the HoF status that I have the other Pistons getting. Yes.
Anfernee Hardaway – Hell, I could honestly flip either way on Penny, but at the moment I’m feeling “no”.