The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a little different than other Hall of Fames, as it covers all of basketball and not just the pros. Even so, there are players who should be in the Hall of Fame, but were left out. Here are five players who should be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Jackson had a long career, which saw him be named to only one All-Star team, but he still deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He spent 17 seasons in the league with the Knicks, Clippers, Pacers, Nuggets, Raptors, Jazz and Rockets.
He wasn’t a great scorer, as he averaged just 9.6 points per game in his career. Jackson was a great passer who ranks fourth on the all-time assists list with 10,334. While he averaged 8.0 per game in his career, he also had three seasons where he averaged over 10 assists per game.
While he only boasts one great stat and no championships, after so many years of pro basketball, if a player ranks in the top five in a major statistical category, they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. The 1987-1988 Rookie of the Year fits that bill.
Don Nelson brought a fast-paced style to the Golden State Warriors and Hardaway was the leader of the offense as the point guard. He also played for the Heat, Mavericks, Nuggets and Pacers in his 14-year career in the NBA.
Over his career, Hardaway had averages of 17.7 points and 8.2 assists per game. Hardaway was a five-time All-Star and a five-time All-NBA player, having great seasons with both the Warriors and Heat. He ranks 16th on the all-time assists list and was truly an electric player for his era.
A couple of different injuries limited the number of games played in his career, including a knee injury that cost him the entire 1993-1994 season. When he was on the court, he was a star. Although he could never push his teams to a championship, Hardaway deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Hudson played in an offensive era of basketball in the 1960s and 1970s for the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 13 years in the NBA and helped the Hawks transition from St. Louis to Atlanta after the second season of his career.
He averaged 20.2 points per game in his career and ranks 78th on the all-time scoring list. Hudson was a six-time All-Star and helped the Hawks reach the playoffs in the seasons immediately after moving to Atlanta. His career wound down with two subpar, by his standards, years with the Lakers.
While he never won a championship in his career, Hudson is better than several players in the Hall of Fame already. “Sweet Lou” should be remembered over players like Dave Bing, who had similar stats, but less playoff success.
While he may be remembered for his dunks, Kemp was much more than that and helped make Seattle a good team with the help of Gary Payton. He also played for the Cavaliers, Trail Blazers and Magic in his 14-year career.
His first season and last few seasons really brought his scoring average down, as he averaged just 14.6 points per game for his career. At his peak though, which lasted for eight years, he averaged anywhere from 17 to 20.5 points per game. He also averaged 8.4 rebounds per game for his career. While they never won the NBA Finals, Kemp was a key in many playoff runs for the Sonics.
His dunks should be remembered, but so too should Kemp’s career. His eight-year peak can be put up against a lot of Hall of Famers and hold its own. The six-time All-Star is still waiting to get the call that he’s in the Hall of Fame.
Webber was one of the best players in the 1990s and early 2000s, but still hasn’t gotten in the Hall of Fame. He played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Warriors, Bullets/Wizards, Kings, 76ers and Pistons in a career that had many memorable games and moments.
The five-time All-Star specifically had great seasons in Sacramento, but the Kings were unable to get to the NBA Finals in his time there. He averaged 20.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game over his career. Those stats, along with the fact that he was on one of the best teams in the Western Conference for six and a half seasons, should get him in the Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame includes college players as well as pro players. Webber was one of the most notable college players of his generation as well as a member of Michigan’s Fab Five. For such a good college and pro career, Webber should be in the Hall of Fame.