• Shederrian Jones

NBA 2019 Hall of Fame candidates

Last Friday, September 7, 2018, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducted 13 members into its 2018 class, ESPN reports. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must be three years removed from retirement.

There have been lots of great players who have come through the NBA, but few have made an impact like the candidates we are about to discuss.

Shawn Marion is in his first year of eligibility and should be strongly considered. Marion was a versatile player who made an impact on each team he played on. While on the Phoenix Suns, Marion was at his best.

In 2004, the Suns were one of the best teams in the league. Phoenix had notable stars in Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash. But without Marion, the team would have not made it far. Before he was traded from Phoenix, the team only allowed 106 points per 100 possessions, but after he left, the team struggled. The Suns allowed 111.5 points per 100 possesions without Marion.

Later on in his career, Marion joined the Dallas Mavericks. During his time in Dallas, he helped the team win its first championship, in 2011. Marion is the first player in NBA history with 15,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 1,000 blocks and 500 three pointers, according to basketball-reference.com.

Chris Webber is another Hall of Fame-worthy player. It is quite puzzling why he hasn’t been inducted yet. When he came into the league in 1994, Webber won Rookie of the Year as a member of the Golden State Warriors. Webber was traded in his second season to the Washington Bullets.

The reason for the trade was because he and his coach in Golden State were having issues. In 1997, Webber was named to his first All-Star Game as member of the Washington Bullets. That season, he also led Washington to the playoffs for the first time in nine years.

By 1998, Webber was a member of the Sacramento Kings. During his time in Sacramento, Webber had his best years. He was named an All-Star four times and led the league in rebounding once. While in Sacramento, he led the Kings to the playoffs a few times. Webber was a game changer. In Golden State, Washington, and Sacramento, Webber was the key reason those teams made it back to the playoffs.

Out of the two candidates I already named, Kobe Bryant is the most successful Hall of Fame candidate. Bryant is one of the league's greatest players ever. Bryant was drafted out of High School by the Charlotte Hornets and was later traded to the LA Lakers. This worked out well for Bryant in the long run. In his first two seasons, Bryant progressed steadily, and he took off in his third year. In 1998, he was named to his first of many All-Star games.

During his first three years, the Lakers were average in the playoffs, but their luck changed when the revered Phil Jackson took over as head coach. Under Jackson, Bryant become one of the premier players in the NBA. For three years straight, the Lakers won three NBA championships thanks to Jackson, Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal. Unfortunately, in the years following, Bryant struggled as Phil Jackson left the team as coach.

This didn’t stop his greatness, as during these years Bryant broke numerous scoring records. The most famous one was his 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors.

When his career was finished, Bryant had one MVP award; a total of 33,643 points, which is third all time; and five Championships. His resume speaks for itself and is Hall of Fame worthy.