Yesterday, the candidates for this year’s four coveted NBA Hall of Fame spots were announced.
Leading the first year finalists for this year are Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Chris Bosh. Others nominated for the first time are Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Mark Eaton and Buck Williams.
Candidates that have been nominated before were announced and include Chauncey Billups, Mark Jackson, Tim Hardaway, Richard Hamilton, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace and Marcus Camby.
1. Kobe Bryant (1997-2016)
To me, this is a no-brainer. Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play the game. In his career, he averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists over a period of 20 seasons — including an average of 35.4 points a game in his 2005-2006 season. He made 18 NBA All-Star appearances (four of which he was voted MVP), won five NBA Finals (two of which he was voted MVP), and was voted on the All-Defensive team 12 times. He also was on the All-NBA team 15 times and won the 2007-2008 NBA Most Valuable Player award. I don’t see how anyone could look at Kobe’s stats and still deny him their HOF vote, unless they were on something.
2. Tim Duncan (1998-2016)
Tim Duncan’s 19-year career would be best described as superb. Averaging 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists a game, the two-time NBA MVP managed to win five NBA titles, three of which he was Finals MVP. His consistency showed through his whole career — he was a NBA All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive player in 15 different seasons! Duncan was the face of the Spurs dynasty in the 2000s.
3. Kevin Garnett (1996-2016)
Kevin Garnett was the type of player that Celtics fans loved and fans of the other 29 NBA teams hated — and the worst part for the fans that didn’t like him was that he played for 21 seasons! Throughout his career, Garnett averaged 17.8 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.7 assists a game. He was voted the NBA All-Star MVP in 2003 and the NBA League MVP in 2004, and won the 2007-2008 NBA Finals in the same season that he was voted Defensive Player of the Year. He was also selected to be on the All-NBA team nine times and was on the all-defensive team twelve times.
4. Chris Bosh (2003-2016)
Chris Bosh was one of the most pivotal pieces in the Miami Heat superteam that won the NBA finals two times. Throughout his career, Bosh average 19.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2 assists a game. He also was selected to be on the NBA All-Star team eleven times and to the All-NBA team in 2007. Unfortunately due to the development of a blood-clot disease in his body, the Boshasaurus had to cut his career short after just thirteen seasons. If he hadn’t had this health condition, I bet that he would still be in the NBA today.
Most people are predicting Bryant, Garnett, Duncan, and Bosh to win it, and I think that they are right. These candidates have truly stood out from the rest, not only because this is their first year being eligible to be inducted, but because their stats and achievements have elevated themselves above the other candidates.
The final results will be announced at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago this upcoming February. Then we will know what four players will be inducted into James Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA – Kobe Bryant, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45394014
By Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA – Tim Duncan, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14930160
By Keith Allison – https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/2310449697/sizes/o/in/photostream/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16710457
By Flickr user Keith Allison – https://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/5575832407/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18304841