The Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor. Only the best and most iconic players in basketball history are allowed to enter this exclusive list. Each year a select group of players, coaches and other notable basketball figures are allowed to enter the hall and are forever immortalized in the history books.
Today we saw a few legends from the 2000s enter the Hall of Fame. Paul Pierce, Chris Webber and Ben Wallace were headlining this year’s Hall of Fame class, with other names including Bill Russell (who coached this year), Toni Kukoc and the legendary coach. scholar Jay Wright. With these guys finally arriving in the Hall, let’s try to predict who will be the next former NBA superstars to be inducted in 2022.
Career Statistics: 13.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.8 APG
This one is obvious.
2022 marks the third year since Manu Ginobili’s retirement, which also means the Argentinian superhero is now eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Magic Manu is definitely set to enter the Hall, not only for his NBA achievements, but also for his international impact.
Manu Ginobili was part of the iconic San Antonio Spurs Big 3 for most of the 2000s and 2010. Alongside Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, Ginobili won four titles with the Spurs. He is probably best known for being the best sixth man in the entire league. Ginobili had the talent to be a starting caliber shooter. In fact, he started out as a shooting guard for Gregg Popovich. But after agreeing with Pop that their bench needed a punch, Manu stepped off the bench to be the sixth man. That humility and willingness to do everything to achieve victory is what attracted many Spurs fans to Ginobili.
Ginobili was also a legend of international football. He was part of the Argentine Golden Generation alongside Luis Scola. Perhaps his greatest achievement, and the reason he should be a Hall of Fame lock, was when he helped his home country defeat the United States at the 2004 Olympics, shocking the world. Ginobili is a legend in his home country, and is also an NBA legend. There’s no reason he won’t be in the Hall of Fame in the first round next year.
Career stats: 12.9 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.0 APG
When you think of the Bad Boy Pistons of the ’90s, you think of down-to-earth players who were willing to take a technique or two to set the tone of the game. No one has embodied this Bad Boys mantra more than their resident executor, Bill. Laimbeer.
Laimbeer was a 6’11, 245-pound giant of a man who could deter anyone who wanted to go to the brink from ever stepping back into the paint. He was a good shot blocker and was good at grabbing rebounds, but Laimbeer’s strength was his ruthless and ruthless game. Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars may have been the heart that made the Pistons work, but Laimbeer was the soul of the whole operation.
Laimbeer was ready to do the dirty work, and I mean really the dirty work for the team. If they needed to shove a star player from the other team (hey, Michael Jordan) or someone defending what they think was a dirty trick, the Pistons could count on Laimbeer. It won’t score or block shots, but it will hammer your face into oblivion without the referees noticing.
You might think that Laimbeer making the Hall would set a bad example because of his dirty games. But in the end, it was a former NBA champion who was at the heart of the Pistons’ championship race. It deserves at least Hall selection or consideration.
Career stats: 15.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.9 APG
Shawn Marion is an interesting case for the Hall of Fame.
Marion has been eligible for three years, but was unable to make the official inductee list. Casual NBA fans may know him for appearing on every single shot form compilation on YouTube, but diehard NBA fans know the Matrix was a problem for other teams in its heyday.
Despite her odd shooting form, Marion was a capable shooter of three, if not a bit inconsistent. His big build, relative agility and dexterity made him a LeBron-lite: a big all-round striker who can take the ball onto the pitch and play or score. He won four All-Star nominations during his career, as well as two All-NBA appearances and, most importantly, a title with the Dallas Mavericks.
Marion has the stats and the CV to be a Hall of Famer. Let’s make 2022 the year the Matrix invades Naismith Hall.