The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame just honored one of the top classes on Saturday by enshrining Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett into basketball immortality. The Hoops Hall is definitely loaded with some of the best stars the NBA has ever seen. Shockingly, however, some of the brightest stars that stepped foot in the NBA have not gotten the Hall of Fame nod from whoever votes on these things.
Here are three NBA stars who have bafflingly been snubbed from the Hall:
1. Chris Webber
This is getting fixed for the next class, but the point remains: Every Hall of Fame snub list should begin with Chris Webber.
There is no question that Webber, who retired from the NBA in 2008, should already be in the Hall by now. His NBA resume already speaks for itself: 5-time All-Star, 6-time All-NBA (with a 1st Team nod in 2001), 1994 Rookie of the Year. He finished with career averages of 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
Also, when you think about some of the best power forwards of his generation, Webber’s name pops up alongside the likes of Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, and Karl Malone, just to name a few. All those guys are either in the Hall of Fame or will eventually make it down the line (for Dirk’s case).
In addition, Webber was the engine that drove one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, the early 2000’s Sacramento Kings. Those Kings gave the dynastic Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money. They came close to knocking down the mighty Purple and Gold in the 2002 Western Conference Finals, taking them to the limit in a grueling 7-game bloodbath.
If Sacramento won that game, not only would they have prevented the Lakers dynasty, they would have very well likely won the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets. This would have given Webber an NBA championship, which would have made him a lock in the Hall of Fame.
Webber was also the face of the Michigan Fab Five that ran through the NCAA in the early 1990’s. However, perhaps his participation in the University of Michigan scandal, otherwise known as the Ed Martin scandal, is perhaps what is still hindering him from getting in the Hall of Fame. As a result of the scandal, where Webber admitted his involvement, the NCAA imposed a 10-year disassociation ban between Webber and Michigan from 2003 to 2013. The ban officially ended 8 years ago. Now it’s high time Webber’s non-Hall of Fame status comes to an end as well.
2. Tim Hardaway
Tim Hardaway was one of the most exciting point guards during his heyday. Though standing at a flat 6-feet, this didn’t prevent him from being dominating the game with his speed and athleticism. Hardaway possessed arguably one of the deadliest crossovers in the history of the league and he often utilized this killer move to get to the rim.
The resume is top-notch as well. Hardaway finished his career with 5 All-Star appearances and 6 All-NBA selections, including a 1st teamer in 1997 alongside Michael Jordan in the backcourt. That alone should indicate how elite he was during his absolute prime. Hardaway finished with career averages of 17.7 points and 8.2 assists.
In addition, Hardaway was also part of one of the most iconic trios in NBA history: Run TMC. As a member of the Golden State Warriors early in his career, Hardaway, along with Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin, ran amok around the league with their dynamic brand of basketball. Richmond and Mullin are both in the Hall. Hardaway should, too.
Perhaps what’s keeping the 1989 14th overall pick from making Springfield is his infamous anti-gay rant in the past. Hardaway himself believes that’s preventing his entry. Since then, however, Hardaway has expressed remorse for his hurtful words and has become an advocate for the LGBTQ community.
3. Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion was never the main guy on his team. The Matrix never became the go-to scorer and for the most part, he just did the dirty work for his squad. Nonetheless, he became an invaluable piece with every team he went to.
Most remember Marion during his stints with the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks. Marion made all of his four All-Star appearances with the Suns, as well as his two All-NBA selections. Looking at his resume, it’s definitely surprising to see that he never made any All-Defensive teams in his career. He was one of the most versatile Swiss Army knife defenders in the league during his time with his ability to guard multiple positions. His length and athleticism, as well as his elite IQ and anticipate made him such a nightmare on that end of the floor.
In his prime, Marion’s numbers would be every NBA Fantasy manager’s dream. From his sophomore season all the way to his final full season in Phoenix, Marion averaged 19.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.4 blocks, while shooting 48 percent from the field. Those numbers through that 7-year span are as elite as they come.
Arguably the highlight of Marion’s career resume is that he has an NBA championship to show for it. The Matrix won his lone NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks during their magical run in 2011. Though on the decline at that time, the 6-foot-7 forward’s proved to be an invaluable piece for Dallas, as he was the main defender on Miami Heat superstar LeBron James and was one of the reasons for slowing down King James throughout that series.
Marion may not make the Hall of Fame because he was never revered as a bonafide star in the NBA. However, his career accolades, what he brought to his team on a nightly basis, and the fact that he won an NBA title should make the Hall of Fame committee consider Marion’s case.
4. Rasheed Wallace
Like Marion’s, Rasheed Wallace’s career accolades don’t necessarily jump out the page. His career numbers don’t really stand out either. He was also perhaps a tier below the elite power forwards such as during his prime, which includes the likes of Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber, and Karl Malone. All in all, he managed to end with a career resume consisting of just 4 NBA All-Star appearances, with zero All-NBA nods. Nonetheless, with the elite crop of power forwards during his heyday, it was always going to be hard for Wallace to crack an All-NBA team.
He did, however, enjoy plenty of playoff success and has an NBA championship to boast for it. Arguably what made that championship run more special is that it came in one of the more surprising championship runs of the millennium. The 2004 Detroit Pistons didn’t have a true superstar, but had a group of overlooked stars, which included Sheed, Ben Wallace, who is already penciled in as a part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2021, Chauncey Billups, and Richard Hamilton. Despite being devoid of a superstar, they still managed to take down the juggernaut Los Angeles Lakers and they did so in dominant fashion.
In addition, he was also the best player on a Portland Trail Blazers team that almost ended the Lakers dynasty before it even started. The 1999-00 Blazers came close to knocking out the Lakers in the 2000 Western Conference Finals and had they completed the job, they would have likely won the title that season.
All in all, Wallace had three NBA Finals appearances to his name, as well as eight appearances in the conference finals throughout his career. And it’s not as if Wallace was just a free rider with all of his squads. He was always a key piece for their success.