Caron Butler made a statement a while back about playing with a future Hall of Famer in Dirk Nowitzki. Since I had never considered Dirk in that category, it got me thinking about what players have a legitimate shot at being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Some are obvious (Kobe, Duncan), others seem inevitable (LeBron), and some are way too early to tell (Durant). So what other players are Hall of Fame caliber?
Even as harsh and picky as the Hall of Fame is there is no way they can deny Dirk a spot. This is a player who currently has over 21,000 points and may very well score 30,000 before he retires (or get damn close). He's also former league MVP and has been named to all-star teams and all-nba squads multiple times. Denying Dirk would be ridiculous.
Other active players that will make it:
I don't know if the HOF will select Manu Ginobili as well, but they should since he has won at every professional level possible: NBA, Euroleague, World Championships, Olympics. And the Hall needs to select Chris Mullin, Jo Jo White, and Artis Gilmore.
To throw another name in there ... could be a stretch because of his lack of offense, but it would be great to see Ben Wallace go to the HOF. He could have 21000 rebounds, over 2100 blocks, and over 1300 steals. While not in consideration the fact that he is an undrafted undersized center on a chapionship team, who won defensive player of the year multiple times, and worked cleaning cars at Charles Oakley's car wash makes a case for the "you made it buddy" admission.
Only problem is that his bust would take up three spots ... Fear the fro!
Kevin Garnett will of course make the Hall of Fame too.
I didn't say Dirk wouldn't get in. I just said that I had never considered him on that level before, but you make a very good case for him to get in.