Top 10 active NBA players who are already Hall of Fame worthy
The 13-member class to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this week is stellar beyond question, with a fabulous collection of fantastic players, impressive executives and contributors.
The players, however, attract the most powerful spotlight. Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash were ambassadors of the game, talents of global renown.
And the stars keep coming. Here’s a look at 10 active players we believe already have credentials for the Hall and are most certain to be enshrined once eligible.
He’s a ball stopper who doesn’t play defense and has yet to win a ring in the NBA. He’s also 22nd on the all-time NBA scoring list -- every eligible player in the top 45 has been enshrined. He’s averaging 24.1 points per game -- every eligible player over 22 ppg is in. Anthony also has been terrific on the international stage, and in 2003, he led Syracuse to a national championship in his only college season.
He never has won an NBA championship, and he's never made much of an effort to put himself in solid position. But he’s 27th on the all-time scoring list and spent the prime of his career as one of the most exciting players in the league. Dominque Wilkins cruised into the Hall, and Carter was the 'Nique of his era.
Two MVP awards, in back-to-back seasons, with the second notable for making him the only unanimous MVP in NBA history. Three championship rings, No. 7 on the all-time list for 3-pointers made and the only man to make 400 triples in a season. Any questions?
Most indefensible scorer of his era. Nine All-Star Game selections, four scoring titles, two NBA Finals MVP awards, one league MVP award, one Rookie of the Year award. Top 10 in career Offensive Box Plus/Minus and PER. Enough said.
Two-time NBA champion, six-time All-Star, 44th on the all-time scoring list, NBA Rookie of the Year in 2002. Two-time Spanish League champ, two-time FIBA Europe Player of the Year. Remember, the Hall is not based solely on NBA achievements.
Numbers are not necessary here. It’s a simple pitch: Ladies and gentlemen, we nominate LeBron James for Hall of Fame consideration. Thank you.
No. 6 on the all-time scoring list, No. 11 on the all-time list of 3-point makes, 13 All-Star Game selections, one NBA MVP award and one NBA Finals MVP award that came with a ring. And, for the heck of it, he’s eighth all-time in win shares. No European player has enjoyed a more decorated NBA career.
Six All-Star Games, four NBA championships, one NBA Finals MVP. Behind the numbers, though, his ability to break down defenses was as important to the Spurs' success as anything Tim Duncan did. Parker, now with the Hornets, might retire with the second-best NBA career by a European-born player.
Rookie of the Year (2006), nine All-Star Games, eight All-NBA selections and seven top-10 finishes in MVP voting. He ranks in the top 10 in steals per game and in the top five in assists per game. Knock him for failing to win a ring (so far), but CP3 is a lock.
With 12 All-Star Game selections, seven top-10 finishes in the MVP voting, three championship rings, one Finals MVP and a scoring title in 2009, he’s in. That he’s 36th on the all-time scoring list means he can go to Springfield any time to be fitted for his jacket.