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 does 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
The Cal Ripken of basketball with 1192 consecutive games played, A.C. Green’s hopes of enshrinement rely on amazing consistency and ability to do whatever it takes for the good of the team.  A star out of college winning PAC-10 player of the year at Oregon State, Green came to the Lakers and immediately developed a role as the power forward who would bang down low, grab boards, and show up for work every day.  12,000…
Glenn Robinson is a player whose college career seemingly eclipsed his professional career; but if it did, it isn’t by much.  Robinson was the Player of the Year for Purdue in 1994 after leading the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding and taking the Boilermakers to an Elite 8. Professionally, Robinson had to go to San Antonio late in his career to get that coveted championship as a role player, but lest we forget Robinson…
Larry Nance was a very solid forward in the NBA who is most known for winning the first All-Star game slam dunk competition in a huge upset.  At 6 foot 11, Nance was a player that could flat get up in the air, but he was much more than just a dunker. 
A popular player and a stealing machine, Eddie Jones was a very good Shooting Guard who strung together solid seasons in the late 90’s for the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets. Jones was just adept at steals, but was also a dangerous threat from behind the arc. He would three times be named to the Second Team Defensive squad along with three All Star Games. We are sure many who were fans of Eddie…
Larry Kenon is one of the least appreciated players ever.  A great big man who led Memphis to the title game in his only year there, Kenon won an ABA title with Dr. J and the Nets in his first year in the ABA.  He was a three time All-Star in the ABA but his legacy is as one of the greatest players who made the transition to the NBA.  Kenon continued his solid play…
Johnny “Red” Kerr was the original big red head will always have a place in basketball history. Kerr had a very solid career as a player, a coach and finally as a legendary announcer kept him in the NBA spotlight for over 55 years.  However, it is his playing career that will determine if he belongs in the Hall of Fame or not.  Kerr was a vital part of the Syracuse Nationals which became the…
Rudy Larusso came from Dartmouth and would become a standout in the NBA averaging seventeen points and ten rebounds a game in ten stellar seasons. A five time All-Star, Larusso was one of the best defensive power forwards of his generation.  Like many on this list, he is another forgotten great of the 1960’s.
The unfortunate mid career trade for Byron Scott that took Norm Nixon from the Lakers to the Clippers may have extremely hurt his chances of getting in the Hall.  The Lakers did not need another point guard with Magic Johnson around though they did peacefully coexist through two titles together.  Nixon is number ten all time in assists per game even though he shared the ball with Magic for a few years. He was also…
A member of Duke’s 2001 NCAA Championship team, Carlos Boozer was a late draft pick in 2002 (35th overall) and played for the Cleveland Cavaliers for two years before a free agent controversy saw him bolt for the Utah Jazz (allegedly the Cavs released him making him a conditional free agent so that they could sign him back to a larger deal, which allowed him to sign with Utah for more money; Boozer said he…
For years when you thought of Soviet born basketball players they were faceless drones, but that would change with the likable (and Ivan Drago lookalike), Andrei Kirilenko who would become a star with the Utah Jazz.
“Butterbean” Bob Love has one of the coolest names ever and for sure one of the coolest nicknames.  Oh and did we mention that he was a pretty good forward too?  Teaming with Chet Walker for the Bulls in the 70s, this forward combo may have been one of the best ever.  Love was a great scorer who could really get to the hoop; and if you played under Dick Motta as he did, then…
A former number one overall draft pick after being the NCAA player of the year, Elton Brand would go to two All Star Games and enjoy a long career in the National Basketball Association.  Brand would share Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis and would be known for his attention to the glass by leading the NBA in offensive rebounds twice.  Brand was also a good scorer, as he would six times exceed…
One of the best shooters ever, Otis Birdsong could flat out score. A great scorer at the University of Houston, Birdsong became one of the great shooting guards in the NBA in the early 1980’s with both the Kings and the Nets averaging 18 points a game for his career.  Being a four time All-Star helps his case but low career totals (just over 12,000 points) hurts.
Bridges was an undersized power forward who had a long lasting career in the NBA due to his abilities to play defense and especially to rebound. Currently in the top 30 in all time rebounds in league history, Bridges made 3 all-star teams and averaged 11.9 points and rebounds throughout a very consistent career. He won his only title in 1975 with the Warriors and then did something that not many have had a chance…
Willie Naulls had decent career numbers finishing a very respectable fifteen point and nine rebound average.  He was a four time All-Star and three time NBA champion and he was one of the best ever to come from college basketball giant UCLA. Amazingly his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame are practically zero as he is basically a forgotten player on those dynasties.  That won’t change anytime soon.
Brad Daugherty was an All-American at North Carolina and the number one overall pick of the 1986 draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers just ahead of Len Bias.  Along with fellow rookies John Hot Rod Williams, Mark Price and Ron Harper, Daugherty ushered in the highest competitive run in Cavalier history.  The Cavs were title contenders in the Eastern Conference for the next decade and if it wasn’t for the great Bulls teams, they may have…
Ron Harper was a great basketball player who knew what it took to win.  The greatest player ever to come from the Miami of Ohio, Harper was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and was the perfect complimentary player on some sensational professional teams.  Unlike most complimentary players, Harper was once a superstar.  He averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds in his collegiate career and was second in Rookie of the Year voting.  Injuries cut back…
A very solid player throughout his career, Michael Finley was capable of brilliant flashes of offense in the open court, and a stronger commitment to defense in his later campaigns. In his prime, Finley was a two time All Star and an electric player to watch. He was a workhorse on good Dallas Maverick teams (three times he led the NBA in minutes played) and was part of the ‘Run and Gun’ that they executed…
Jeff Hornacek was a late second round pick out of Iowa State where he had played point guard.  His ability to pass was often overlooked later in his career as he is currently in the top fifty in career assists.  One of the great shooters in the history of the league, Hornacek was a great third scoring option on two different title contenders.  Best known for his play with the Jazz when they challenged the…
How many other players can say they are one of the top 50 all time scorers as well as top 25 all time in assists. And how many of these are shooting guards?  Well the answer would be two.  Jerry West is one of them.  Yes, that Jerry West, the image behind the NBA emblem for the last 30 years. And the other guy?  Well that would be none other than one Reggie Theus.  I…