With the latest Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class announced, the question remains: Who are the greatest players left outside of Springfield?
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has become significantly more star-studded. Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett highlighted the delayed Class of 2020, and the likes of Chris Bosh and Paul Pierce headline the Class of 2021.
Unfortunately, there are players left outside of the Hall of Fame who are often forgotten by history—until now, of course.
The number of snubs from the Hall of Fame is admittedly limited, if there are any at all. Just because a player isn’t a Hall of Famer, however, doesn’t mean that we should forget their immense contributions to the sport or the NBA in specific.
As such, it’s important to occasionally highlight the individuals who thrived in the NBA at a level that brought them near Hall of Fame consideration, even if they couldn’t clinch it altogether.
In some instances, the players on this list will be elite talents who simply couldn’t overcome the injuries they endured. In others, they’re individuals who found consistent success on individual and team levels, thus resulting in renown at a tier below Springfield territory.
Regardless of where you place these players on an all-time list, the reality is that they belong in the discussion.
In a positive twist of fate, the Class of 2021 actually knocked four names off of this list: Bob Dandridge, Toni Kukoc, Ben Wallace, and Chris Webber. All had been praised by teammates, fans, and peers as deserving of consideration, and all made that long-awaited leap.
The 50 who remain on the outside may never join them, but they represent the new class of players who sit right on the cusp of immortalization.
Note: To qualify for this list, players must be eligible for Hall of Fame induction.