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
One of the great unsung big men of the 70s, Sam Lacey led tiny New Mexico State to a Final Four in 1970 and still got no respect.  Perhaps this was because fellow big men Bob Lanier and Artis Gilmore were at this same Final Four!  He was one of the most consistent rebounders and defenders of the 1970s for the Kings and may be their most popular player ever.  Of course, we are referring…
Richard “Rip” Hamilton brings a rare resume where he won both the NCAA Championship (UConn) and in the NBA (Detroit) and was a vital member to both titles. Hamilton earned the NCAA Final Four MVP in the Connecticut title and in the 2004 Pistons Championship averaged over 20 Points per Game. “Rip” was a three time All Star, a slick shooter, and had he had a better defensive game Hamilton might be a considered a…
Like Laettner, Danny Manning is one of the great college players ever, almost singlehandedly carrying Kansas to a national title in 1988.  His pro career was marked with frequent injuries and playing on some bad teams.  He was a two time All-Star and if anyone could get in for one remarkable month of basketball it would be Manning.  Manning was also elected to the college hall in 2008 thus greatly reducing his chances of getting…
Probably better known for his antics off the court (choking a coach and his complete inability to manage his finances), Latrell Sprewell was a very good basketball player in his prime. A very good two way player, the Shooting Guard constantly improved during his tenure in Golden State, which was until the famed incident with P.J. Carlesimo. He did rebound in New York and made his fourth All Star game, but degenerated upon arriving to…
Playing all but one season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Michael Redd came out of Ohio State with a sweet shot and huge potential. Despite being a late pick in the NBA Draft, Redd would be a prolific scorer for Milwaukee until a severe ACL injury rendered him into a shell of his former self. Redd retired with a Points per Game Average of 19.0 with a PER of 19.7 which while decent, may not be…
Danny Ainge is one of those guys who depending on whom you talk to is either one of the most overrated players of all time or one of the least appreciated.  He definitely was not the most popular, but boy could he play.  He became a household name when he led BYU to an upset of Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament on a memorable full court drive in 1981; the same year he won…
“Stormin” Norman was one of the most popular Bulls players ever.  Van Lier teamed with Jerry Sloan to form one of the most ferocious backcourts in league history.  The two super tough and defensive mined players were perfect compliments of each other.  He was a great assist man and tenacious defender who probably does not have the career statistics to get in but is a legend in Chicago.
Michael Ray Richardson could very well be the Dave Parker of basketball.  Michael Ray had all the talent in the world and was well on his way to a Hall of Fame career but cocaine got in the way.  When drafted out of tiny Montana with the fourth pick of the 1978 draft he was hailed as the next Walt Frazier as he had those kinds of offensive and defensive skills; and he did not…
A 25th Overall Draft Pick in 2001, Gerald Wallace did not see much playing time in his first few seasons as a Sacramento King, but he would be chosen by the Charlotte Bobcats in the Expansion Draft where he won a starting job and proved to be one of the more intense players in the NBA.  Wallace was a ferocious defender who was unafraid to go after every ball that ventured near him and from…
“Downtown” Fred Brown really was the epitome of instant offense off the bench.  A true legend in Seattle, Brown played his entire career scoring almost 15,000 points mostly with long range bombs hence the aforementioned nickname.  Captain of the 79 team that won the title, Brown led the league in three point shooting percentage in 1980, the first year of the new rule.  Unfortunately, this rule was way into his career because Freddy used to…
Charles Oakley was a key member of both the Bulls and Knicks in the 80’s and 90’s and built a solid reputation as a bruiser underneath.  He seemingly played forever and is high on some career accumulative stats such as games played and total rebounds but did not average double digits in either points or rebounds.  Sadly his legacy will be that of the guy who was traded right before the Bulls made their run…
Derek Harper was the partner in crime and backcourt mate of Rolando Blackman for almost a decade in Dallas.  Ironically the closest they ever came to a title is when they were both traded to the Knicks and they came within one game of winning the championship in 1994.  Harper was one of the best all around point guards of his era as he was a great defender who had size and quickness and could…
John Drew had 20.7 points and almost 7 boards per game making him one of great small forwards of his generation.  Of course, a Hall of Fame induction would mean little to Jazz fans as they saw him in the tail end of his career where they shipped Dominique Wilkins to the Hawks.  Career wise, Drew has solid statistics with 15,000 points and 5,000 rebounds.  However, he is likely best known not for his solid…
Dick Barnett led tiny Tennessee State to three straight NAIA titles in the 50’s before becoming a star with the Lakers and the Knicks.  He was on both of the Knicks championship teams.  Barnett had 15,000 career points for “Fall Back Baby” as Chick Hearn dubbed him as he was as infamous for the way he shot his great jump shot (he actually kicked both of his legs out when shooting his jump shot). He…
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.
With his year of eligibility pushed back from his attempts to get back in the big time through the D-League, Antoine Walker is sadly best known for his financial woes more than anything he did on the court. In his playing career, his best seasons were with Boston, where along with Paul Pierce his three pointers excited crowds (though he probably took too many) and he was a member of three All Star squads. In…
Dale Ellis was a great shooter, although we don’t think the Basketball Hall of Fame likes shooters.  His 19,000 career points and sixth position all time in three pointers easily gets him on this list.  Quite simply, he was a great shooter at Tennessee, he was a great shooter in Milwaukee and he was a great shooter in Seattle.  Oh and did we mention that he played forever?
The grunge movement would not have been the same if Pearl Jam would have been able to call themselves what they wanted to; it would have been better.  Mookie Blaylock has such a nice ring to it for a Rock band don’t you think?  In regards to the man, Blaylock was quite the player.  One of the great shooting point guards ever, Mookie is top 50 in several NBA all time statistics.  He never really…
Wayman Tisdale is one of the best college players ever and a very solid power forward who had a great low post game in the pros.  His career stats are not huge with just over fifteen points and six rebounds a game and his chances of getting in were hurt when they added the College Basketball Hall of Fame as a bailout to players who will not get in to the regular Hall.  He was…
The image most of us have of Big Bill is getting an entry pass from the wing and throwing his turnaround jumper over some defender and watching it bounce around four or five times and go in; or of course elbowing someone in the face (inadvertently of course) while going for the rebound.  Bill Cartwright was the very definition of old school 70’s and 80’s basketball which carried over to the next decade.  It was…