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We here at Notinhalloffame.com thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least number of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

Last time, we looked at the NBA Finals MVP.  This time we went back to basketball, and the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.

The J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award is given to the player who shows the most outstanding service and dedication to the community.

While this is generally given to star players, we will not dissect the season in question as the award is not meant to be defined by stat lines and on court accomplishments.  Please also note that players do not always win this award, and those will be marked with an asterisks. 

So how many J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winners have made the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame?

Let’s find out!

The following are the past players who have won the J. Walter Citizenship Award who are eligible for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and have been enshrined.

Wes Unseld, Washington Bullets 1974-75                       

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Dave Bing, Washington Wizards 1976-77                       

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Bob Lanier, Detroit Pistons 1977-78                              

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Calvin Murphy, Houston Rockets 1978-79                     

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers 1982-83                     

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Dan Issel, Denver Nuggets 1984-85                                

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons 1986-87                          

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Alex English, Denver Nuggets 1987-88                           

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers 1991-92                 

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons 1992-94                            

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Vlade Divac, Sacramento Kings 1999-00                        

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta Hawks & Philadelphia 76ers 2000-01       

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat 2001-02                          

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs 2002-03                 

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers 2003-04                           

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves 2005-06          

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.

Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns 2006-07                                

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

The following are the players who have won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award who are eligible for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and have not been selected:

Slick Watts, Seattle SuperSonics 1975-76                      

Eligible Since 1985.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com

Austin Carr, Cleveland Cavaliers 1979-80                      

Eligible Since 1987.  Ranked #66 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Mike Glenn, New York Knicks 1980-81                          

Eligible Since 1992.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Kent Benson, Cleveland Cavaliers 1981-82                    

Eligible Since 1992.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

*Frank Layden, Utah Jazz 1983-84                                

Non-Player.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Michael Cooper, Los Angeles Lakers 1985-86 Co-Winner   

Eligible Since 1996.  Ranked #33 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Rory Sparrow, New York Knicks 1985-86 Co-Winner      

Eligible Since 1998.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Thurl Bailey, Utah Jazz 1988-89                                    

Eligible Since 2005.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Doc Rivers, Atlanta Hawks 1989-90                               

Eligible Since 2002.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns 1990-91                          

Eligible Since 2006.  Ranked #17 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Terry Porter, Portland Trail Blazers 1992-93                 

Eligible Since 2002.  Ranked #72 on Notinhalloffame.com.

*Joe O’Toole, Atlanta Hawks 1994-95                            

Non-Player.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Chris Dudley, Portland Trail Blazers 1995-96                

Eligible Since 2009.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

P.J. Brown, Miami Heat 1996-97                                    

Eligible Since 2014.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Steve Smith, Atlanta Hawks 1997-98                             

Eligible Since 2011.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Brian Grant, Portland Trail Blazers 1998-99                  

Eligible Since 2012.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Eric Snow, Cleveland Cavaliers 2004-05                        

Eligible Since 2014.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons 2007-08                    

Eligible Since 2018.  Ranked #11 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Samuel Dalembert, Philadelphia 76ers 2008-09             

Eligible Since 2019.  Unranked on Notinhalloffame.com.

Metta World Peace, Los Angeles Lakers 2009-10            

Eligible Since 2021.  Ranked #83 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Let’s update our tally, shall we?        

Award in Question

Percentage of recipients who have entered the HOF

Percentage of recipients by year who have entered the HOF.

NBA MVP

100%

100%

NHL Art Ross

100%

100%

NBA Finals MVP

91.3%

94.9%

NHL Norris

90.5%

96.4%

NBA All-Star Game MVP

89.5%

91.7%

NHL Conn Smythe

74.2%

85.4%

NFL Bert Bell Award

73.7%

71.4%

NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year

73.1%

79.4%

NFL AP MVP

68.3%

74.0%

NHL Lady Byng

63.8%

76.0%

NFL Defensive Player of the Year

60.8%

71.1%

NFL Super Bowl MVP

60.6%

64.9%

NBA Defensive Player of the Year

58.3%

56.5%

NHL Vezina

57.1%

66.3%

NBA Rookie of the Year

56.5%

56.5%

MLB MVP

55.0%

60.2%

NFL Pro Bowl MVP

52.3%

54.8%

MLB Lou Gehrig Award

51.9%

51.9%

MLB Roberto Clemente Award

47.4%

47.4%

NBA J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

46.0%

46.0%

MLB/NL/AL Cy Young Award

44.4%

55.4%

MLB Babe Ruth Award

37.0%

39.3%

NHL Frank J. Selke Trophy

33.3%

36.7%

MLB World Series MVP

33.3%

36.8%

MLB Hutch Award

33.1%

33.1%

NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

28.6%

28.6%

NHL Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

27.9%

27.9%

MLB Edgar Martinez Award

26.7%

17.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Designated Hitter)

25.0%

30.8%

MLB Comeback Player of the Year

25.0%

25.0%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Shortstop)

23.5%

52.6%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove

21.7%

36.8%

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

20.6%

20.6%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Catcher)

20.0%

22.5%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Second Base)

18.8%

39.8%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Shortstop)

18.2%

35.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Pitcher)

18.2%

20.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Second Base)

16.7%

32.7%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Outfield)

16.7%

30.1%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Outfield)

15.7%

25.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Third Base)

14.3%

14.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (Third Base)

13.6%

14.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Silver Slugger (First Base)

13.6%

13.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Rookie of the Year

13.3%

13.3%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (Catcher)

10.3%

15.2%

NBA Most Improved Player of the Year

5.3%

3.2%

MLB (NL/AL) Gold Glove (First Base)

3.8%

3.2%

NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year

0.0%

0.0%

So, who is up next?

The following are the players who have won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in the NBA who have retired but have not met the mandatory years out of the game to qualify for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame:

Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls & Cleveland Cavaliers 2013-14

Eligible in 2023.

The following are the players who have won the NBA J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award who are still active.

Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers 2011-12

36 Years Old,Free Agent.

Kenneth Faried, Portland Trail Blazers 2012-13

29 Years Old,Playing in China.

Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls 2014-15

34 Years Old,Playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Wayne Ellington, Brooklyn Nets 2015-16

32 Years Old,Playing for the New York Knicks.

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers 2016-17

34 Years Old,Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

J.J. Barea, Dallas Mavericks 2017-18

35 Years Old,Playing for the Dallas Mavericks.

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers 2018-19

29 Years Old,Playing for the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is an award based more on character, and will likely continue to yield winners all over the ability spectrum.

So, what is up next?

We return to the NFL with a similar award to this one, and the last one we will look at in that league: The Walter Payton Man of the Year.

As always, we thank you for your support, and look for that soon.

Thursday, 28 May 2020 15:57