But what about the guys who are just on the fringe? After all, as I wrote earlier this year, Reggie Miller was a no-brainer at this year's induction, but the inclusion of Jamaal Wilkes and Ralph Sampson were head-scratchers.
We will try to answer that question today in our first edition of "Hall Monitor." It's based on the Keltner List, a tried-and-true staple of sabermetric-type analysis ever since Bill James introduced it way back in the 1985 Baseball Abstract.
The format is simple: It's an inventory of yes-or-no questions designed to assess whether a player deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. It's not numerical, nor is it strictly objective, but after going through the list, you typically get a pretty good feel for the player's Hall of Fame worthiness.
Marion, Steve Nash's longtime running mate, reinvented himself as an important, versatile cog with the 2010-11 champion Dallas Mavericks. With Marion's Mavs taking on the Celtics tonight, now is a good time to evaluate his Hall worthiness … Does he deserve the nod from Springfield?
1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in basketball?
Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in basketball? No; Marion never graded higher than third-team All-NBA at any point in his career. In fact, it wasn't even widely suggested that Marion was the league's top defensive player during his prime -- he never finished higher than fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting, garnering only seven of 130 first-place votes in 2006-07, his best season.