Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Maurice Cheeks all have one thing in common - they were inducted to the Hall of Fame today. Cheeks was one of those inductees who didn't have much fanfare around him during his career, but his legacy has stood the test of time well enough for the Hall of Fame committee to recognize his impact on the game with the greatest basketball accolade there is.
With the Hall of Fame class of 2018 well and truly enshrined for times immemorial at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame venue at Springfield today, we decided to take a look at what caliber of player defines the boundary for induction.
Accordingly, the following 10 players are examples of players who aren't yet in the Hall of Fame, but have factions of basketball fans who would argue to death for why they belong in the famed chamber:
#1 Ben Wallace
To most people who watched the NBA in the early-00s, one of the biggest head-scratching decisions made by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame committee is their failure to approve of the induction of a certain 6'9" center who won Defensive Player of the Year honours 4 times during a time when defensive powerhouses like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Jermaine O'Neal were anchoring elite defenses of their own.
Wallace is the greatest undrafted player to play in the league in the last 20 years or so. An undersized center with little to no offensive skill, Wallace entered the league and carved a space for himself like few others at his combination of size and position have done.
He is the only player to record 7 straight seasons averaging at least 1.3 steals and 2.0 blocks per game, and he was the fulcrum of a defensive lineup that is regarded as one of, if not the best in NBA history. His impact allowed teams to experiment with smaller centers in the future, and paved the way for the likes of Draymond Green to thrive in the league based off their defense.
The fact that he was a severely limited offensive player is the major argument against his induction, but the committee has already set a precedent of sorts by honouring Dennis Rodman with an induction, and given Wallace's overall career accolades, he surely deserves recognition in the same manner.