There were three categories to look at:
Shaquille O'Neal (in the Locks section)
Rasheed Wallace (my own addition, omitted from the voting slip - included in the 'questions section')
Questions still exist
Let's get into this.
For the Hall of Fame, we need some way to compare/contrast. So I'll be using the Australian basketball fan's universal measure of greatness, the Sean Marks quotient (1-5).
Kevin Garnett - Despite my misgivings about who he is as a human being, KG is one of the best players of our generation. An amazing competitor, and whilst he spent his best years as a T-Wolf, my memories of him will be wearing green. Which is only right, as I despise him anyway. Sure-fire HoFer.
Shaquille O'Neal - There are players that as a fan you have to feel blessed to have lived in the same era, to be able to watch him play. Shaq is such a player. Entertainment, humor and heart, all wrapped up in a cretaceously big package. Kinda hurts to think of him as "Eastern Conference" when discussing the Hall. He'll go in as a Laker tho'.
Ray Allen - Holder of the NBA's all-time leader in regular season three-point field goals made stat, and NBA champion. Should have won the MVP for the '08 Finals too.
Paul Pierce - The one-time self-proclaimed "Best Player In The World". I think history will remember him as a better player than he was. For my money, he's questionable as a "lock" for the Hall.
The "non-locks" of our era.
Dwyane Wade - I think when the dust settles on Dwyane Wade's career, he'll be in the Hall of Fame. For my money, he deserves to be in the Hall more than Paul Pierce does. Would a ring or two more help his case? For sure, but probably only the difference between being a first or second ballot.
So that's a "yes".
LeBron James - In my mind, LeBron James is the best player in basketball player in the world today. But that doesn't mean history will remember him that way. Because if he doesn't win a few rings, then he'll still get in, but it becomes "probably" rather than a certainty. Because of all the "Kobe or LeBron" arguments, until LeBron does a little bit more at the very end of the season then there's really no discussion at all.
Even so, that's a "yes vote".
Amaré Stoudemire - Simply put, no. Amaré Stoudemire's been a great player thus far, and he has the potential to be at the forefront of a New York revival that will be at the very least, most entertaining - if not amazing. That's going to take some mighty big changes tho' - both from the perspective of what the Knicks can put on the hardwood, and what happens in the front office. But for now, that's just a pipe-dream. Just as Amaré in the Hall is.
Carmelo Anthony - Read Amaré Stoudemire.
Chauncey Billups - It's hard to watch Chauncey now, and think "that's a Hall of Famer", especially looking through the lens of how many teams he's played for. But despite his early nomadic years, in the days of his ascendancy, Mr Bigshot was one of the most feared players in the NBA. The guy was the head/brains/ of the Detroit Pistons team that took the 2004 title off the mighty Lakers.
Billups may not get into the Hall in his first try, but he will get in.
Tracy McGrady - There were years where T-Mac's game was held in such high esteem that he was only just below Kobe Bryant. Hard to believe now. After injuries, the "first round hoodoo" and lack of effort decimated his game, Tracy McGrady's clearly not a Hall of Fame candidate.
Ben Wallace - One of the best defensive players to play in our generation, Ben Wallace's story is a testament to hard work and perseverance - he played with a toughness and will that belied his size. Part of the Billups-lead Pistons, and if Billups was the brains of the operation, then Big Ben was it's spine. Call him "the anti-TMac".
Chris Bosh - I have no idea why Chris Bosh is even on this list. I mean... really? Chris Bosh?
Dwight Howard - Perhaps the toughest call on this end of the list. At this point in time, no. Dwight's going to have to do more than just be a great player on a bridesmaid team. Not yet.
Joe Johnson - Again, I find myself uncomfortable at a name even appearing here. A guy who's not even counted in the best ten players in the league today? Nuh-uh.
Rasheed Wallace - I'm surprised that Sheed's not included, but I'm gonna put him up. If Billups/Big Ben are voted on, why the hell not Sheed? I cannot fathom why we'd have the brains and the spine of the Detroit Pistons, but leave out the heart and soul. But that's just me. Yes.
What did the rest of the Bloguin Discussion crew think? Head over to Hoops Manifesto to read up on it.
Billups is a HOFer, his stats are underrated because people have misguided notions of efficiency, and what good stats should look like. Chauncey has incredible #'s, he was the 2nd most efficient PG of his generation (behind Nash) he could defend at a high level in his youth. That he won a Finals MVP all but solidifies his argument, but if I had my way we would rank as a HOFer on his individual merits alone
Im guessing your going by your own standard and not by historical precedence, the HOF is filled with much shittier players than those you listed but that was when basketball was in its infancy and they had to put someone in the Hall.
Also your synopsis for each player is pretty shady, Tmac lost his legs, his back, his decline was not from a lack of effort, you dont develop his skillset without effort, you dont win Most Improved Player without effort and you most definitely dont get to be as good as he was without effort. He was better than Kobe at one point.
Bron and Wade are locks, they dont even need titles they just need to tack on a few years, if that.
@masterdebater33 "Shady"... oh geez. T-Mac HIMSELF stated that he didn't try as hard as he could have. At no stage in his career was Tracy McGrady "better than Kobe". I'll grant you, he was of a similar level...I think you're remembering his halcyon days as a little better than they were.
I agree that LeBron/Wade could well be counted in the Locks column, but hey: you work with what you're given.
"...but that was when basketball was in its infancy and they had to put someone in the Hall." So - you can't work out whether you're agreeing or not?
Im pretty sure your taking those words out of context, regardless thats not why he declined, not trying as hard as you or anyone else thinks you could have, doesnt equate to lack of effort, certainly not to the point where you fault his decline on this lack of effort. Tmac was blessed with his athletic ability but cursed with a bad spine.
Ive seen first hand how hes changed his game over the years to accommodate for losses elsewhere. Tmac used to attack in a low dribble stance, his supreme ball handling ability was what made him special, his turnover rate was microscopic for someone who creates as much as he used to (cant say the same for tiny hands Kobe), as his back waned he had to rely on other aspects, he extended his career by mastering the PnR and operating from the post. Over the years the various injuries mounted and the rest is history but through it all he still had an impressive prime run, 7 All-NBA Seasons, a top 10 MVP contender 8 years apart, had one of the greatest Peak Runs at an age where most players are barely developing. He was on pace for a pantheon career and no Im not exaggerating. Injuries are what did him in, not lack of effort. Thats like me pointing at Brandon Roy and blaming his much more rapid decline on a lack of effort, despite him being one of the most skilled players in the league.
Curiously have you seen Kobe play with back spasms? He sucks doesnt he. Tmac in 02-03 was clearly the best wing in the game, I really dont see the argument against him.
As for the HOF thing, I can understand the argument but it doesnt make it right IMO, that far superior players are left unnoticed because they werent first.
If I had my way the HOF would be rebooted or at the very least start an NBA HOF, still that wasnt the point of my post, it was basically to see what kind of parameters you were operating under. Whats your basis for comparison?
Chuck, with only 92 players in the HoF, the parameters are still being written. I'd argue that beyond the MVP, there are no "gimmes" as far as accolades go.
And Chuck? With regards to your comment about "good articles/bad articles"... I never said that. I did say that absolutely ANYONE can write for BR, and that it has produced some good pieces... but it's also produced some absolute and incorrect crap on a regular basis. It doesn't have a particularly good name.
The notion that LA should sign Allen Iverson is completely and utterly ridiculous. Jesus man, what a nightmare.
@masterdebater33@WithMalice : Whether or not T-Mac praticted hard or not is irrelevant. What IS relevant is the number of players who have won two scoring titles and have made the All-NBA Team as much as he has who aren't in the Hall of Fame. That would be ZERO. Gotta disagree with you on Billups...just because he was the second most efficient doesn't make him the second best...remember, besides Nash, he also played against Kidd, Payton, Paul, and D-Wil. You guys are overselling the Pistons. Oh, and, Malice, with regard to your dumb crack that good articles generate comments and bad ones don't, that's ridiculous. I wrote an article saying the Lakers need to sign Allen Iverson...took me fifteen minutes, and it has more comments than the articles that took me four days to write.
They were critical but they never said it was what derailed his career, thats the point Im making. Injuries are far more debilitating, but I wonder what those detractors would say if they compared Tmac to a guy like JR Smith, or Qyntell Woods, Eddie Robinson, Gerald Green, hyper athletes with decent skill sets but lacking all-around play not to mention the intangibles department.
If you compare Tmac to Kobe then yea he falls short in terms of work ethic, but Tmacs work ethic is no worse than Charles Barkley, Shaq, and Im sure a slew of other great players. Hell even Bill Russell hated to practice, Larry Legend never worked on his body (unless you call wreaklessly tossing around timber a work out), Tmac did his part to stay in the league, including strengthening that core and he developed and honed his skills to stay relevant. He put in the work.
Both JVG and Daryl Morey were critical of McGrady's work ethic.
Look, we get it. You're a big fan of T-Mac. But your opinion is merely that, and not shared by the vast majority. Yes, injuries cut him down... but not being as focused as he could have been in practice had a part to play in him not achieving as much as he could have as well.
@masterdebater33 Thank you for agreeing w/me that these ppl shoot from the hip instead of looking at stats! I totally agree with you that the three players you mentioned are HOFers, btw.
Why the heck should Ben and Rasheed Wallace be voted in above Dwight Howard? This list puts far too much stock in winning rings. If LeBron plays five more seasons of his caliber, he'll be in the Hall regardless of whether or not he wins a ring. Every MVP is in the Hall, and LeBron has two MVPs. Likewise, if Dwight Howard continues to be a dominant center, rings won't matter. Amare has a considerably more chance than "simply put...no". Likewise, Sheed has probably a one-in-four chance. This article is woefully deficient in stats other than how many rings a person has.
@CharlesBennett Hi again Chuck.
As evidenced from the post you made on Hoops Manifesto, you're struggling to come to grips with the concept presented. That's ok. You need something concrete to hold onto, an anchor to see "this is why". Thing is Chuck, and don't freak out when I say this: there are no anchors. No line drawn that once crossed guarantees entrance to the Hall of Fame.
Most enjoyable: "If LeBron plays five more seasons of this caliber...", and if he grows tits he can play WNBA! My point is there's absolutely no point in assessing "what might be". You assess the players as they are NOW, as if their career's were finished. Yes, speculatively LeBron'll get in.
Hope that's not too great a leap.
@WithMalice That's not true. There are certain numbers that everyone, or almost everyone, who has them is in the Hall. Every 1st or 2nd Team All-NBA Center who is eligible is in the Hall (coughAmarecough). Every MVP is in the Hall. Every person with five or more First Team All-NBA appearances is in the Hall. Every scoring champ except Zaslofsky and Bernard King is in the Hall (LeBron for the last three, T-Mac for the last one).
@WithMalice : Billups? If you look at the "key guys in championships" stat, most of those guys have a) more rings than Chauncey, and/or b) more 2nd Team All-NBAs than Chauncey
@CharlesBennett Ummm... Chuck? They're awards, not statistics/numbers. And on that - you might want to check out the number of 'key-guy-in-championship' types who have made the Hall, before you so blithely dismiss Billups/Sheed.
And yet again: this is speculation Chuck. It's very difficult to say "... player X achieved this, so it's definite." T-Mac is a perfect example. Yes, he was a scoring champion... but he has also has a history of not trying 100% - that may impact as to whether the selection committee puts him through.
Just a thought, as the people making these decisions are... well... "people", and not some computer-based program that merely looks at numbers.