During their playing days, professional athletes strive for one common goal; to win a championship. After their playing days are over, the especially talented ones have one more goal, and that is to get inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. This year, there are a plethora of former superstars to choose from. The first-time HoF nominees include Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups, Grant Hill, and Richard Hamilton. The question is, who gets in and who gets left out?
Who Gets In?
Although there are plenty of great players and coaches to choose from, the Hall of Fame is reserved for the most superb athletes in the sport. Obviously, a case could be made for every one of these nominees, otherwise they would never have been nominated; however, tough decisions need to be made, and some are going to ultimately miss out on their place in history. Here are the players that would receive my vote:
Jason Kidd is probably the most obvious inductee in this year’s HoF class. He is a 10-time All-star and was named the 1995 Rookie of the Year. He is a 6-time All-NBA and 9-time All-Defensive selection, as well as the 2nd All-Time leader in career assists behind John Stockton. Kidd also won an NBA championship as a member of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks.
Despite never winning a title, Steve Nash seems like another automatic shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in 2005 and 2006 as a member of the Phoenix Suns. In addition, he made 8 All-Star Games and was named to the All-NBA team seven times. Nash also finished in the top-10 of MVP voting four additional times. He finished his career number three on the all-time assists list.
Ray Allen is the all-time leader in three-point field goals, which should be enough to get him in. In addition, he was an integral part of one of the first “Big 3’s” in NBA history. That Boston Celtics team won the NBA title in 2008. He was also a member of the championship winning Miami Heat team in 2013. You may remember his series-saving three pointer against the Spurs in Game 6.
Ben Wallace was not a first ballot inductee, but it should be his turn this year. He was a member of the title-winning Detroit Pistons team in 2004. He currently holds the record for the most Defensive Player of the Year awards with four. Wallace is a four-time All-Star that was named to six All-Defensive and five All-NBA teams.