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RIP: Moses Malone

On the heels of the Basketball Hall of Fame induction, one of the standouts of the Springfield based institution has been taken as Moses Malone was found dead in his hotel room in Norfolk, VA.  He was 60 years old.

Malone began his pro career right out of high school with the ABA’s Utah Stars and was immediately an All Star.  He would join the Buffalo Braves following the ABA/NBA merger and would become a perennial All Star, namely with the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers, the latter he took to a Championship in 1983.

The well decorated Center would earn the MVP Award three times, was a four time First Team All NBA Selection and won the rebounding title six times.  Malone retired with a double-double average of 20.3 Points and 12.3 Rebounds.  He was also named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com offer our condolences to the friends and family of Moses Malone.

22. Rudy Tomjanavich

Rudy Tomjanovich has a very unique case for Hall of Fame selection.  His accumulative stats suggest that he is not worthy, as he scored just over 13,000 points and grabbed just over 6,000 rebounds in a 12 year career.  However, there are extenuating circumstances with Rudy T.  First Tomjanovich was a great college player at Michigan who still holds the career record there for rebounds and that turned him into 2nd overall pick by the San Diego Rockets.  He became a standout with them and was hugely popular with the fans when they moved to Houston.  He was not just popular, but very good; making 5 All-Star teams. 

38. Robert Horry

If you look at the career statistics or even the season stats of Robert Horry, you would not think that he belongs on this list at all. However, the man known as “Big Shot Rob” won seven NBA Championships with three different teams, and was known for always performing in the clutch. It was not a misnomer, as constantly when the need was at its greatest, Horry was at his best.  Those seven championships were no accident and though his stats do not reflect it, this was a player, everybody wanted to have on their team.

39. Sam Cassell

Sam Cassell may never have been the best player on any team he was on, but didn’t it always seem that as soon as he got to a team, they got better? Cassell was a great locker room guy, a good leader, an efficient passer and a feisty defender. He is the only player in NBA history to play over ten years and win a championship in his first and last campaign. Yet, when you play for eight different squads and only appear on one All Star Team (and again was never the go to player), is he really a Hall of Famer? Probably not, but didn’t you want him on your team?

42. Otis Thorpe

One of the longest lasting and most consistent power forwards of the 80's and 90's, Thorpe was a power player all the way.  He ran the court well and finished with emphasis with huge left handed monster jams, but he made his living banging in the paint.  A solid scorer, a terrific rebounder and one of the best low post defenders in the game, Thorpe almost defined the power forward position in his day.  More importantly, he also won.  Teaming with Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston, Thorpe would go on to win an NBA title.  Traded for Clyde Drexler after the season he wasn't there for the repeat but he did finish off a very solid and productive NBA career finishing with over 17,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.

81. Steve Francis

Despite having the nickname of “Stevie Franchise”, Steve Francis never led his team in College or the Pros to a Championship. It was not that he wasn’t good, as the Point Guard was a three time All-Star who put up decent statistics through his tenure, but he was more known for showcasing his athletics dunks and speed, than his overall game. He was a good scorer, but a little too turnover prone and for a Point Guard, did not always have high assists numbers. Still, he deserves better than to be known as a bad contact in New York, as this man was a former NBA Rookie of the Year.

#4. James Harden: Houston Rockets

Just ranked over his new teammate, Russell Westbrook, James Harden is now chasing their first NBA Championship together as a Houston Rocket.  Harden's last two years have seen him win two Scoring Titles and an MVP.   Throw in his International and College achievements, and he is undoubtedly a Hall of Famer right now.  The only question now is can he go into Springfield as an NBA Champion.

#6. Russell Westbrook: Houston Rockets

Russell Westbrook is entering his first season in Houston, and the former MVP has a lot to prove.  In his last year with Oklahoma City, Westbrook wasn't the team's best player.  That would be Paul George was.  Now he is set to team with his former OKC cohort, James Harden, and he isn't likely to be the best player this year.  While he does have some accomplishments (namely a Championship) that he is still chasing, the former MVP and above stats show him as a Hall of Famer already.

#31. Tyson Chandler, Houston Rockets

It is worth noting that he is one (as of this writing) of 88 Players who have over 100 Win Shares and is higher than Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala.  Throw in the three Gold Medals, Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Championship, could a second NBA Championship in a limited role with Houston this year mean that he is a dark horse contender for Springfield?
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