The Basketball Hall of Fame is supposed to be sacred territory, where the game’s greatest players are honored for all eternity. Unfortunately, human bias and error are impossible to fully eliminate from the selection process. As a result, we’ve seen a few names sneak in undeservedly—and even worse, a few all-time greats excluded!
Here’s our shortlist of five guys who don’t belong—and five who’ve been wrongly left out!
Doesn’t Belong: Earl Monroe
Earl Monroe was an extremely exciting basketball player to watch, there is no denying that. And he deserves all the credit in the world for doing the impossible—leading the Knicks to an NBA title. And 18.8 PPG for his career is nothing to scoff at… But that said—one title and a lone All-Star game appearance should not be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame.
Should Be In: Bill Laimbeer
Not having Bill Laimbeer in the Hall of Fame is a travesty. He was the leader of the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons, one of the greatest teams in NBA history, and one of the best rebounders and defenders that the game has ever seen.
His stats are not that of a “lock” Hall of Famer, but you can’t tell the story of the NBA without him—and there’s no denying that he was an elite player during his heyday.
Doesn’t Belong: Calvin Murphy
Listen, we can give Calvin Murphy all the shine in the world for accomplishing what he did as a 5’ 9” point guard. That stature is truly diminutive for NBA standards, even in the bygone era that he played in.
But I’m sorry, a 17.9 point per game scorer, who averaged just 4.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds—and was named to ZERO All-Star games, let alone All-Pro teams simply cannot be in the Hall of Fame. Especially when you consider he never had the team success of winning an NBA title that inflates some other guys’ career resumes.
Should Be In: Horace Grant
Though his career totals are somewhat modest at 11.2 PPG and 8.1 RPG, there were few big men more reliable than this four-time NBA Champion.
Yes, Grant made just one All-Star appearance, but that is counter-balanced by four All-Defense selections and his unique ability to make winning basketball plays.
Doesn’t Belong: Grant Hill
I suppose Grant Hill is a bit of a “what could’ve been” selection—as he was very much on a Hall of Fame trajectory before the devastating ankle injury he suffered that upended his career.
Kudos to Hill for reinventing himself as a valuable role player—and extending his career to an unthinkable 19 seasons after that injury, but with no titles—and career averages of 16.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 4.1 APG he’s simply not Hall of Fame material.
Should Be In: Shawn Kemp
During his prime, Shawn Kemp was one of the most exciting players in the game—not to mention a walking double-double. In fact, he averaged one for six straight seasons—during which he was named to six consecutive All-Star games and made three All-NBA teams.
Doesn’t Belong: Gail Goodrich
Gail Goodrich is one of those guys who seems to have only made the Hall of Fame because of the team he played the bulk of his career for. Win a championship with the Lakers—and you’ve fast-tracked yourself for a ticket to Springfield.
It is like the voters just pretended Goodrich wasn’t only relevant because he played alongside legends like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jerry West.
Should Be In: Amar’e Stoudemire
Although Amar’e never achieved the team success he wanted—there is no denying that he should be enshrined. He averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game across 15 seasons—and at his peak, there were few players more dominant. In many ways, the athleticism and scoring capabilities he brought to the as a power forward reinvented the position.
Doesn’t Belong: Bill Bradley
I suppose it shouldn’t be shocking that Bradley was able to lobby his way into the Hall of Fame, given his extensive political career… But a 12.4 PPG and 3.2 RPG player being enshrined in nonsensical. Even if he was able to wing two rings with the Knicks!
Should Be In: Rasheed Wallace
It is a joke that a player like Rasheed Wallace, who embodied what it meant to be a two-way power forward, hasn’t been elected to the Hall of Fame yet.
He was the missing piece for a Detroit Pistons team that would go on to win a title under Wallace’s leadership and a four-time All-Star—not to mention having a slew of pre-NBA accolades, which are supposed to be considered to admission.
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