This past week, Gary Payton headlined this year’s class of inductees into the Naismith Hall of Fame. It was a well-deserved honor for the one-time Laker who averaged 16.3 points and 6.7 assists throughout his career and was the 1996 Defensive Player of the Year.
Some are already looking forward to next year and former Laker, Robert Horry, is eligible for the Hall of Fame along with Chris Webber, Alonzo Mourning, Anfernee Hardaway, Sam Cassell, and Eddie Jones.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, here are the candidates and their chances to make the Hall of Fame next year:
1) Chris Webber – 0.7459
2) Alonzo Mourning – 0.5351
3) Sam Cassell – 0.2281
4) Robert Horry – 0.0548
5) Anfernee Hardaway – 0.0478
6) Eddie Jones – N/A
It’s an interesting mix of All-Stars that never won championships in their prime and, of course, a role player in Horry, who helped three teams win a combined seven championships. For the four-time All-Star Anfernee Hardaway to essentially have the same chances as Horry to make the Hall of Fame shows that statistics are more important in terms of being inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
In 2006, Horry was asked if he would rather be an All-Star who never won a championship or a winning role player — the answer showed that winning isn’t everything:
“Twenty, ten years down the line, nobody’s going to know me. But people are always going to remember Charles [Barkley], Patrick [Ewing], Dream [Hakeem Olajuwon] – well, Dream won a championship, but all these guy that didn’t win a championship, [like] Karl Malone. These guys are major players.”
The unfortunate truth is that while All-Stars may be criticized for never winning a championship during their career, they will likely be rewarded through the Hall of Fame. It’s a trend that will continue as recently retirees, Allen Iverson (0.9980) and Tracy McGrady (0.5822) will likely be in the Hall of Fame one day.
If it was up to his teammates and the franchises he played for throughout his career, Robert Horry would be a Hall of Famer. Some fail to remember that those shots he made weren’t only clutch, but propelled those teams to championships and added to the legacies of Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan.
While Horry didn’t put up All-Star numbers, he is considered one of the greatest clutch performers in the game and deserves Hall of Fame recognition as a winner. Horry has the fourth most championships in NBA History with seven and is only one of two players to win with three different teams.
In seven seasons with the Lakers, Horry averaged 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds and was instrumental in helping the team win three consecutive championships.
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