Basketball

Of the four Halls of Fame comprising the “Big Four” of the North American sports, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is the one that is the hardest for many casual fans to figure out.

Established in 1959, though there was no physical building for a decade, the Basketball Hall of Fame would take root in Springfield, Massachusetts.  While the popularity of Basketball has skyrocketed over the past 20 years, the Hall of Fame has not grown nearly at the same pace.


Why is that?

It is because the very thing that was designed to make it special is what makes it convoluted.

The Baseball Hall of Fame, with the primary exception of the Negro Leagues, focuses only on those who participated in Major League Baseball.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame only looks at the National Football League.

The Hockey Hall of Fame doe look at International contributions but with the exception of two players who played their career in the Soviet Red Army, all players had at one time plied their trade in the National Hockey League.  

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame looks at everything.  This includes College, International, Women and in some cases High School.  

Every year, there are finalists where even the most devote basketball fans are trying to figure out who those people are, and when that happens, the cache value of the Hall naturally shrinks.  

For our purposes, we will only look at those who were in the National Basketball Association as let’s face it…that is what most of us care about the most!

Until then, go for the three!

Sincerely,

The Notinhalloffame.com Committee
Tim Duncan was a superstar on the court, but so quiet off of it that as great as he was and as sure he will enter the Basketball Hall on his first ballot, he might be the most underrated player of all time.  We won't do that here as we will actually rank him AHEAD of the more popular Kobe Bryant, who is also a lock for the Hall on his first attempt.
While there have been some valid criticisms of Kobe Bryant one thing can never be argued is his intense desire to win.
Kevin Garnett was the first player drafted in twenty years to come from prep to pro.  There were many who were concerned that this was too far a leap for anyone to make.  They needn’t have worried.
No matter what Chris Webber achieved in the world of Basketball, he will always be remembered for that time out he called (that they didn’t have) that sealed the fate of the Michigan Wolverines in the 1993 National Championship Game.  As much as that stuck with him, we will remember how he led the “Fab Five” to the most popular (and influential) collegiate basketball program of all time.
Honesty, this one is a little tough for us. It is not that we don’t think that Chris Bosh should be ranked at this spot.  We do.  It just is we aren’t positive that he is exactly eligible…or that he even wants to be right now.
From prep to Rookie of the Year, Amar’e Stoudemire suffered the way many big men have in the past: countless knee problems.  While that was true, Amar’e was a dominating scoring presence in the paint, earning six All Star appearances and averaging over 20 Points per Game seven seasons.  Along with Steve Nash, Stoudemire made the Phoenix Suns Championship contenders and hoped to do the same with the New York Knicks and though he got…
Shawn Kemp was one of the most popular and productive players of the 90’s.  He came straight out of high school with the body of a Greek God, and was considered one of the best pure athletes in the NBA.  At first, he was a highlight film dunker but he soon became a key part of some very good Seattle teams, with a complete all around game. 15,000 points, 9,000 rebounds and six All-Star trips…
When Max Zaslofsky retired he was the third leading scorer in league history behind only legends George Mikan and Joe Fulks.  Zaslofsky was also the youngest person to be named First Team All-League for over 60 years when he was selected at the age of 21 in the 46-47 Season.  This record stood for decades until it was broken recently by future Hall of Fame lock, LeBron James.  Zaslofsky was a 4 time First Team…
Mark Aguirre was a star at the University of DePaul where he led the Demons to a final four and was a 2 time All-American.  Drafted number one overall by the Dallas Mavericks, Aguirre quickly became the face of the Mavs.  Aguirre proved to be a great scorer and the Mavericks became title contenders throughout the next several years though they could not get past the mighty Lakers. Traded midway through the 88-89 season to…
Tim Hardaway was the catalyst of the famed Run TMC (with Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond) for the Golden State Warriors that took the NBA by storm in the early 90s.  Hardaway was a point guard who set the running style of the Warriors in motion.  When traded to Miami in 96, Hardaway teamed with Alonzo Mourning to make the Heat title contenders.  Hardaway was also a great perimeter shooter who opponents could not leave…
One of the great power forwards of all-time, Buck Williams was a blue collar player who excelled under the boards.  A solid low post scorer, Williams is best remembered for his ability to rebound and defend.  Although not as flashy as some of his generation, his long career is a testament to hard work.  Tenth all time in games played and one of only seven players to score 16,000 points and grab 13,000 rebounds, Williams…
Bob Dandridge is one of the great unsung players in league history.  On two different occasions he was an important member of championship teams.  Coming from small Norfolk State did not help put Dandridge on the basketball map as he was only drafted in the fourth round of the 1969 draft but quickly showed he belonged.  In 1971 he teamed with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson to lead the upstart Milwaukee Bucks to a championship…
While Chauncey Billups may not have been considered an All Star by the NBA masses, there are many insiders who would disagree.
One of the great point guards of the 90's, Kevin Johnson could both score and distribute the ball.  A very good player at the University of California, Johnson was drafted 7th by the Cavs in the 1987 draft.  Stuck behind Mark Price, the Cavs unloaded Johnson to the Suns in a huge trade that also involved Larry Nance coming back to Cleveland.  It is with Phoenix where Johnson made his impact.  Johnson was one of…
“Sweet” Lou Hudson was aptly nicknamed as he was one of the sweetest shooters in the history of the league.  He predated the 3 point line but still was an incredible scorer.  17,000 career points at a 20.2 average attest to his ability to put the ball in the hoop.  The prototypical swing man, Hudson made 6 All-Star game trips and is a legend in both Atlanta with the Hawks and Minnesota with the Gophers…
Maurice Lucas played college basketball for Al McGuire at the University of Marquette leading the team to the finals of the 1974 NCAA tournament.  Lucas led the Warriors with 21 points and 13 boards in a loss to North Carolina State and future ABA-NBA superstar David Thompson.  Chosen high by both the NBA and ABA in their drafts, Lucas decided to go play in the newer ABA.  He had two solid years in the ABA…
Shawn Marion’s nickname of “The Matrix” might just be one of the best (and appropriate) in not just basketball but all of sports.   Marion could do it all. He was a scorer, a rebounder and a solid defender and could whatever void you needed.
Gus Williams had a very solid career in the NBA highlighted by being a member of back to back NBA finalists in Seattle. “The Wizard” as he was known, teamed with Hall of famer Dennis Johnson in the Sonic backcourt.  Williams was not just a key member of the team that won a title in ‘79, he was the catalyst.  He averaged 28.6 points a game in the final to lead Seattle to an upset…
Larry Foust was one of the dominant big men in the early days of the league.  A 6 foot 9 center from LaSalle, Foust quickly became a low post force in the NBA, getting named to eight All-Star games and getting a First Team All NBA honor in 1955.  Almost forgotten, this all time great scored over 11,000 career points and averaged ten boards a game in a 12 year career.
Terry Cummings was an All-American at DePaul in the heyday of Demon basketball during the early 80's.  He teamed with the likes of Mark Aguirre and Tyrone Corbin to lead dominant teams that never got over the hump during the NCAA tournament although they always seemed to be seeded number one.  Drafted second in 1982 by the San Diego Clippers, Cummings had a brilliant rookie season averaging 23.7 points and 10.4 rebounds a game and…