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Four-time NBA champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, EuroLeague MVP. Manu Ginobili has to be a slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall-of-Fame selection, right?
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David Aldridge: Is someone actually suggesting there’s a debate about that? Of course he’s first-ballot.
Steve Aschburner: First ballot, no debate. Ginobili’s credentials just from his NBA career are deserving of that respect, but his work internationally makes the case indisputable. Especially since the Naismith Hall honors basketball across the board, from pro to amateur, from men to women, from domestic to overseas.
Shaun Powell: From a purely statistical standpoint his numbers don’t leap off the page. Yet understand that it’s the “Basketball Hall of Fame” and therefore the criteria isn’t the same (nor as difficult) as with some other Halls. Manu covers a lot of bases, checks a lot of boxes. He’s a slam dunk because of his longevity, his international play, his gold medal, his NBA championships. Few if any can match that.
John Schuhmann: Yes. Even if you just took his NBA career into account, he would clearly be deserving of induction. He doesn’t rank in the top 100 all-time in points, rebounds or assists, but mostly because he was willing to accept a bench role so early in his career. Over 16 seasons, he was one of the best players on a team that won 71 percent of its games (like averaging 58 wins). He won four championships and has the fourth highest plus-minus over the 22 seasons (including playoffs) for which we have play-by-play data, despite playing only 60 percent of the minutes that the top three guys – Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki – (have) played over that time.
Sekou Smith: Slam-dunk, first-team Hall of Famer if there ever was one. He’s got it all, from the titles at every stop to the individual accolades to the longevity and the overall impact you want a Hall of Fame player to have possessed. It’s not even up for debate, as far as I’m concerned. He’s a no-brainer pick for Springfield.
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