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View Full Version : All Time Greats - Earliest Moment they qualified for HOF



JordansBulls
05-05-2013, 09:36 AM
Using PSD's List of the top 50 Greatest Players Ever.

All time Greats. By what year in the NBA do you think they qualified for the Hall of Fame (if they suffered a career ending injury)?

NOTE: You can do the entire list if you want, just chose a few names. You can do as many players as you desire. Just curious on how people would view players at certain points for the Hall of Fame.



For instance,

Michael Jordan say in 1988 after winning league MVP and DPOY (4th season) he suffered a career ending injury in the playoffs, do you think he makes the hall of fame comfortably by then? Do you think he needed at least 1988 to make the hall of fame or could he had suffered the career ending injury in 1987 and still made it?

So when you think of each of the greats, think of it that way. What is the earliest point in the players career they would have qualified for the hall of fame?

Michael Jordan
Bill Russell
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Magic Johnson
Wilt Chamberlain
Larry Bird
Shaquille O'Neal
Tim Duncan
Hakeem Olajuwon
Kobe Bryant
Julius Erving
Karl Malone
Kevin Garnett
Oscar Robertson
Jerry West
Moses Malone
Dirk Nowitzki
LeBron James
Bob Pettit
Charles Barkley
David Robinson
Dwyane Wade
Isiah Thomas
Patrick Ewing
Clyde Drexler

KnicksorBust
05-05-2013, 10:20 AM
I'm not going to go back and time stamp all these players but in my opinion you need at least 3 elite seasons, 6-8 great seasons, or 10+ good seasons to warrant HoF discussion.

JasonJohnHorn
05-05-2013, 01:08 PM
I'd say Magic did it the earliest. He's already won the NCAA title, then as a rookie he played all 5 position on the floor for an injury depleted team and lead them to the championship, earning the finals MVP as a rookie? He could have died in his sleep that night and they would have put him in the HOF the next day!

Kareem and Russell both got enough cred early. Kareem was likely the best college player of all time. Russell won the title as a rookie.

I'd say most other guys took no less than 4 seasons to earn that kind cred and most earned it after 7 or 8 seasons.

SLY WILLIAMS
05-05-2013, 01:17 PM
Michael Jordan
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Magic Johnson
Larry Bird
Shaquille O'Neal
LeBron James

During my lifetime these 6 were the ones that people knew were HOF caliber the soonest.

BKdoubleStacker
05-05-2013, 01:22 PM
add tim duncan to that list

tredigs
05-05-2013, 04:18 PM
Michael Jordan
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Magic Johnson
Larry Bird
Shaquille O'Neal
LeBron James

During my lifetime these 6 were the ones that people knew were HOF caliber the soonest.

Duncan. Duncan was HOF caliber out of the gate.


add tim duncan to that list

Sorry missed that at first but yeah, I knew he was an eventual HOFer in his first post-season. Durant's close on this list.

jerellh528
05-05-2013, 04:39 PM
Michael Jordan
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Magic Johnson
Larry Bird
Shaquille O'Neal
LeBron James

During my lifetime these 6 were the ones that people knew were HOF caliber the soonest.

Swap Lebron for Duncan. Lebron didn't do anything early on to suggest he was more than a grant hill type.

SLY WILLIAMS
05-05-2013, 05:04 PM
Swap Lebron for Duncan. Lebron didn't do anything early on to suggest he was more than a grant hill type.

What I look at with those two is the difference in the age/experience when they both came in to the NBA. No player Lebron's age had come straight from HS to his level before. I could see a case made for both though.

tredigs
05-05-2013, 05:12 PM
What I look at with those two is the difference in the age/experience when they both came in to the NBA. No player Lebron's age had come straight from HS to his level before. I could see a case made for both though.

No doubt, but most legends including Shaq played 3+ years of college, it's the new breed that stopped going. I disagree with the guy above that would ''swap'' Bron for Duncan. They were both clear future HOF's by year 2-3.

Barring injury jerrel, Grant Hill would have easily been a Hall of Famer. He was incredible.

DallasTrilla23
05-05-2013, 06:26 PM
Magic no doubt. He won in college and then won both the NBA title and the Finals MVP his rookie year and don't forget he played a shorter career too.

JordansBulls
05-05-2013, 11:13 PM
I'd say Magic did it the earliest. He's already won the NCAA title, then as a rookie he played all 5 position on the floor for an injury depleted team and lead them to the championship, earning the finals MVP as a rookie? He could have died in his sleep that night and they would have put him in the HOF the next day!

Kareem and Russell both got enough cred early. Kareem was likely the best college player of all time. Russell won the title as a rookie.

I'd say most other guys took no less than 4 seasons to earn that kind cred and most earned it after 7 or 8 seasons.
I wouldn't use college here, I was mainly thinking of the NBA. Also wouldn't say a guy as a rookie makes the hall of fame unless he was the league mvp as well.

RaiderLakersA's
05-06-2013, 12:25 AM
Michael Jordan
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Magic Johnson
Larry Bird
Shaquille O'Neal
LeBron James

During my lifetime these 6 were the ones that people knew were HOF caliber the soonest.

LeBron makes it because of what he did this year and last.

Adding to that list, I thought Moses Malone, Dr. J., Wilt, The Mailman, Hakeem, Worthy, Rick Barry, John Stockton, Kevin McHale, Parrish, and The Admiral would walk out of the NBA and right into the HOF.

NYKalltheway
05-06-2013, 01:42 AM
What I look at with those two is the difference in the age/experience when they both came in to the NBA. No player Lebron's age had come straight from HS to his level before. I could see a case made for both though.

Garnett? Iverson? Tmac? Kobe?

sammyvine
05-06-2013, 05:10 AM
Garnett? Iverson? Tmac? Kobe?

Exactly what I was thinking. People are acting as if Lebron won a ring in his 1st season. You saw the potential and he looked amazing, but so did Garnett and Kobe.

jerellh528
05-06-2013, 05:57 AM
if lebron gets a career threatening injury tomorrow, does he make the hall of fame?

JordansBulls
05-06-2013, 09:18 AM
LeBron makes it because of what he did this year and last.

Adding to that list, I thought Moses Malone, Dr. J., Wilt, The Mailman, Hakeem, Worthy, Rick Barry, John Stockton, Kevin McHale, Parrish, and The Admiral would walk out of the NBA and right into the HOF.
Lebron would had made by the end of 2009 when he won his first mvp.

THE MTL
05-06-2013, 10:08 AM
I dont like how you guys worded the thread. If they had a career-ending injury what year would be enough for them to make the HOF?

Why cant you just say, at what point in their respective careers were they considered HOF. Its much nicer and better way to put it.

SLY WILLIAMS
05-06-2013, 02:59 PM
Garnett? Iverson? Tmac? Kobe?

Iverson went to Georgetown.

Tmac, KG and Kobe did not play at the same level that Lebron did as a rookie fresh out of high school.

SLY WILLIAMS
05-06-2013, 03:03 PM
LeBron makes it because of what he did this year and last.

Adding to that list, I thought Moses Malone, Dr. J., Wilt, The Mailman, Hakeem, Worthy, Rick Barry, John Stockton, Kevin McHale, Parrish, and The Admiral would walk out of the NBA and right into the HOF.

I read the question as asking which players were looked at as HOF caliber players earliest in their NBA careers not how soon after they retired.

tredigs
05-06-2013, 03:40 PM
if lebron gets a career threatening injury tomorrow, does he make the hall of fame?

Joke? No eligible player with at least 1 NBA MVP is not in the Hall of Fame, if that gives a little perspective here.

RaiderLakersA's
05-06-2013, 04:10 PM
Lebron would had made by the end of 2009 when he won his first mvp.

I don't believe so. If Lebron had a career ending injury the following year, there is absolutely no guaranty that he would have walked right into the NBA HOF on his first year of eligibility. Eventually, yes, but not first ballot.

Winning a title and multiple MVPs is what cements it.

tredigs
05-06-2013, 04:26 PM
I don't believe so. If Lebron had a career ending injury the following year, there is absolutely no guaranty that he would have walked right into the NBA HOF on his first year of eligibility. Eventually, yes, but not first ballot.

Winning a title and multiple MVPs is what cements it.

I disagree. He already had a very good case. By that time LBJ was Rookie of the Year, led a downtrodden organization deep into the playoffs 4 straight seasons, including the Finals, had a scoring title - career averages of 27/7/7. Would've been a top 5 career PER already. Already had 5 All NBA team selections including 1st team All Defense... multiple All Star game MVP's... etc.

If he went down with a career ending injury, was a Hall of Famer then with relative ease. 1st ballot.

It's a similar scenario to if Durant would retire today at 24. He's already 21st in career MVP award shares All Time despite not winning one yet (he's the 2nd highest person on the list to have not won it behind Jerry West at #20, who he will pass next year). KD having 3 straight scoring titles, already more playoff success then most veterans (all as a #1), Fiba Gold Medal as the best player/MVP. 4 All NBA 1st teams after this year.

He'd be right there. Basketball-reference "HOF probability" tracker has him 88th all time in his chances, ahead of many guys who are already in.

JordansBulls
05-06-2013, 05:23 PM
Joke? No eligible player with at least 1 NBA MVP is not in the Hall of Fame, if that gives a little perspective here.

Well if a guy like Rose don't play again I doubt he is in the hall. But maybe he will get in if he didn't ever play another game.

JerseyPalahniuk
05-06-2013, 05:33 PM
The day after his 2nd season in the NBA had concluded, Lew Alcindor changed his named to "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar." He was already a basketball Hall of Famer. By that day he had accomplished the following:

In high school, he led Power Memorial Academy to three straight New York City Catholic championships, a 71-game winning streak, and a 792 overall record.

He committed to play for the UCLA bruins but had to start off on the freshman team for the first year. The VARSITY 19651966 team happened to be preseason #1. But on November 27, 1965, the freshman team beat the varsity team 7560. He scored 31 points and had 21 rebounds in that game.

The dunk was banned in college basketball after the 1967 season, primarily because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot. It was not allowed again until 1976.

During his college career, Alcindor was twice named Player of the Year (1967, 1969); played on three NCAA basketball champion teams (1967, 1968, 1969); was honored as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament (1967, 1968, 1969)

Under coach Wooden, his team had a three-year record of 88 wins and only two losses: one to the University of Houston in which Alcindor had a not fully healed eye injury (see below), and the other to crosstown rival USC who played a "stall game".

He was drafted as the #1 pick in the draft by both the NBA (Bucks) and ABA (Nets - wahh).

In his first season he led the Bucks to second place in the East with a 5626 record (up from 2755); finished ranking second in the league in scoring (28.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (14.5 rpg). Was named Rookie of the Year.

In his second season, the Big O came to town. Milwaukee went on to record the best record in the league with 66 victories in the 197071 NBA season, including a then-record 20 straight wins. Alcindor was awarded his first of six NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, along with his first scoring title (31.7 ppg). In the playoffs, the Bucks went 122 (including a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Bullets in the NBA Finals), won the championship, and Alcindor was named Finals MVP.

If that still seems to early than how about the next few years as a Buck?

Abdul-Jabbar remained a dominant force for Milwaukee, repeating as scoring champion (34.8 ppg) and NBA Most Valuable Player the following year, and helping the Bucks to repeat as division leaders for four straight years. In 1974, Abdul-Jabbar won his third MVP Award in five years and was among the top five NBA players in scoring (27.0 ppg, third), rebounding (14.5 rpg, fourth), blocked shots (283, second), and field goal percentage (.539, second).

Kareem then was traded to the Lakers and the rest was history.