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Basketball hall names 2018 class

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The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the inductees for its 2018 class.

This year sees a trio of point guards making the cut – Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Maurice Cheeks – along with Ray Allen, Grant Hill, WNBA great Tina Thompson and a handful of others. The class will be officially inducted into the Hall this September.

Let’s take a closer look at the more prominent members of the class of 2018.

Jason Kidd is one of the most prolific point guards in NBA history. He is second on the all-time NBA list for assists with 12,091 and for steals with 2,684; he’s behind only John Stockton in both categories. Kidd led the league in assists per game five times. He was the 1994-95 Rookie of the Year and a 10-time All-Star, making five All-NBA teams and four All-Defensive teams along the way. He won an NBA title in 2011 with Dallas and won a pair of Olympic gold medals as part of Team USA – one in 2000 and the other in 2008. Kidd also put up career averages of 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game to go with his remarkable assists and steals totals.

Steve Nash had an impressive career of his own. Over his 18 years in the NBA, he wound up with over 10,000 assists – his total of 10,335 is behind only Stockton and Kidd on the all-time list. He is also a two-time MVP winner, taking that trophy in back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006. He led the league in assists per game five times. Nash was named to the All-NBA team three times and is one of the greatest NBA players to ever come out of Canada. He struggled with some back issues in his later years, but there was a stretch when he was easily the best point guard in the league. For his career, he averaged 14.3 points and three rebounds per game.

Ray Allen is best remembered for his remarkable shooting acumen; he’s considered by many to be the greatest shooter in NBA history. His remarkable career includes spots on the all-time league leaderboard in three pointers made (2,973; first) and free throw percentage (.894; sixth). Yes, it’s only a matter of time before his three-point records fall – the game has drastically evolved – Allen’s ability deserves recognition. His overall numbers are plenty impressive as well – he has career per game averages of 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists. That, plus a couple of championships and one of the most memorable shots in NBA postseason history, earns him his spot in history.

Grant Hill is one of the great “what if” players of his generation. He was a hugely celebrated collegiate player, winning both All-American status and a national championship twice during his time at Duke. But injuries hit him hard in his time in the NBA; in 19 years in the league, he managed just over a thousand games, averaging just 54 a season over his career. He flashed brilliantly early on – he was named an All-Star in six of his first seven seasons – but ultimately struggled to stay on the court. Still, he made a handful of All-NBA second teams and one first team. His per game averages of 16.7 points, six boards and 4.1 assists are impressive, but we’re left to wonder what might have been.

Maurice “Mo” Cheeks is a name that is likely less familiar to current fans – at least as a player - but he was a force on the court throughout the 1980s. He played 15 years all told, mostly for the 76ers, with career averages of 11.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists. He’s 13th all-time in assists and fifth in steals. He was a phenomenal defender, making the NBA All-Defensive first team four straight years and second team the year after that. He also coached for parts of nine seasons, putting up a career record of 305-315 in stints with the Trail Blazers, the 76ers and the Thunder.

Other members of the class include WNBA players Tina Thompson and Katie Smith, longtime coach Lefty Drissell, executives Rod Thorn and Rick Welts, players Charlie Scott and Dino Radja and pioneer Oda Mae Washington.

But while this is undeniably an exceptional class, there’s at least one pretty big snub.

Chris Webber averaged over 20 points per game for his career – 20.7 to be exact. He pulled down 9.8 boards per game over his career and averaged double digits in six seasons, including five straight. He was a great passing big man, with 4.2 assists per game, and had the same career per-game average in both blocks and steals (1.4 each). Yet with Webber, it was all about what he didn’t do; it was never enough.

Still, that’s a hell of a class. With Kidd and Nash leading the way, it looks like 2018 is the Year of the Point Guard as far as the Hall voters are concerned.


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