24th February 2011
I've been thinking about this concept for a while, but I want to throw it out there for the readers and see what they think...
Everyone knows we already have a Basketball Hall of Fame. But from an NBA perspective, a lot of people think it's broken -- as the argument goes, too many non-NBA people get inducted while great NBA players are left out in the cold. So there's a growing push to create an NBA-only Hall of Fame. How do you stock such a Hall, though? It seems like the other major sports have a pretty clear focus in their induction processes: baseball's hall is largely about longevity and statistical milestones, while football's hall is heavily focused on guys who won championships and/or changed the game.
So what should the NBA's angle be? I want to propose that this hypothetical Hall be about "relevance". As in, who were the relevant players in a given season or span of seasons? Who were the essential names? When you tell the Story Of The NBA, which players would it be inexcusable not to mention? If the Hall of Fame is about celebrating the history of the league, then including the guys that fundamentally shaped the narrative is a pretty good mandate. And if we can tell the NBA's story without mentioning a certain player, it's hard to argue that he belongs in the Hall.
The good news is that you can generate the majority of this list by setting up a basic checklist of requirements. But I want to know what you think those requirements are.
Off the top of my head, here's a basic list of requirements that capture the "relevant" players each season:
- Top 3 in each season's MVP voting
- Every Sporting News MVP
- Every season's 1st-team All-NBAers
- Every Finals MVP
- Top 3 players on each NBA champion
- Best player on Finals runner-up
- Best player on team with NBA's best record
- PER leader for seasons 2000-present
- Win Shares leader for seasons 2004-present
This is the list of players generated by those criteria: