50 greatest players who aren’t in the Basketball Hall of Fame: 50. Red Kerr
Red “Johnny” Kerr played 11 NBA seasons between 1954-55 and 1965-66. During his time with the Syracuse Nationals, Philadelphia 76ers, and Baltimore Bullets, he became one of the sports original walking double-doubles, alongside Hall of Famers such as Dolph Schayes and Hal Greer.
Kerr would later find success and notoriety as a head coach and commentator, but it was his time as a player that has him quite close to Hall of Fame status. Between 1956-57 and 1963-64, Kerr averaged 15.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. He also appeared in 76 playoff games, helping the Nationals win the championship in 1954-55.
Kerr helped Syracuse reach the 1956 Eastern Division Finals, as well, and added two more appearances in 1959 and 1961.
While he may not have been the go-to offensive player on those teams, his contributions as a scorer and rebounder provided stability down low for a long list of teammates and coaches. It also added up in an impressive manner.
Statistically, Kerr finished his career with 12,480 points and 10,092 rebounds. For perspective, only five players who debuted during the 1950s accumulated at least 10,000 points and 10,000 rebounds: Elgin Baylor, Bob Pettit, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, and Kerr.
The other four players are all-time greats who are comfortably in the Hall of Fame. Kerr is the only individual in that group who remains on the outside looking in. Whether or not that should be the case, Kerr deserves more respect for his contributions to the growth of the sport.