Every week, the International Blogtable brings together some of the best basketball minds from around the world, posing a burning question to writers and editors from the NBA's fleet of international web destinations. It's a BIG world, after all.
Iverson and McGrady: Discuss their respective Hall of Fame worthiness.
To me, Allen Iverson has locked up a seat in the Hall of Fame. His contribution came not only his superb scoring ability -- 24368 points in 14 seasons, 4 times at the top of the league's scoring list -- but in how he did it. He willed his undersized body to amazing heights, through so much energy and strength. So much spirit and fear for nothing. Two-time scoring champ Tracy McGrady never got any Playoff success, but his unique physical talents made him one of the best players all over the league. He left a lot of great numbers behind him, especially the amazing performance of 13 points in 35 seconds, but his Hall of Fame seat is far from assured.
'Hall of Fame' is a major statement. I'm a big fan of both players and they deserve consideration. Eventually they'll make it, but in due time. When he was at his prime before injuries (to himself and to teammates like Hill or Yao) blew his career, I said many times that I preferred T-Mac over Kobe. Even now, I'm a McGrady die-hard. He made everything look easy despite looking asleep with his smooth movements and smile, so I would pick him for the HoF. In terms of stats in hand and Playoffs history -- and leaving heart aside -- Iverson had a bigger impact, and should be a member, too. And looking forward to hear him say "I'm here...and we're talking about practice?"
Both are undisputedly two of the greatest scorers ever, both reigned the stat sheets at their prime, and both didn't age in the fashion they should. T-Mac was an unstoppable force for 5-6 years, but after that he faced a lot of problems and ended up as a superhero in China. My personal belief is that if he hadn't done the unbelievable 13-point performance in 33 seconds, he would be in the same sentence with A.I. Iverson was a 4-time NBA scoring champion, an 11-time All-Star, a guard that put up the numbers for a larger period of time than McGrady. As a matter of fact he could be a great asset for every team in the league, if you could adjust in a non one-man-show role. If you could lower his pride level a notch and become more of a team player. Because there is no doubt that he can put his hands on the ball, or help his teammates score some easy buckets. For me, Iverson, is a solid Hall of Fame candidate. As a matter of fact, I cannot recall many players that played harder than this 6-foot-0 guy.
Despite the eight inches or so in height that separate them, a lot more ties Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady together. Both will be remembered amongst the greatest scorers in the game’s history; both entered the league in the late 90s; and while one was a top pick and a star from Day 1 and the other took a year to grow into his full stride, both of them were regular All Stars once the new millennium clocked in. Both were flawed, incomplete talents, and played their best years in imperfect teams. Neither ever won an NBA championship, but both left a real cultural impact on basketball globally. Both could be on the Hall of Fame trail, but Iverson’s efforts – as an MVP who enjoyed far more post-season success – should see him be a more surefire entrant amongst the hallows of the game’s greatest. Worse players than McGrady have made the Hall of Fame – and better players have been snubbed – so years from now, neither result would surprise me.
They’re both first-ballot, no doubt about it. They both have a long line of fans waiting for that to happen. And they deserve it. The Answer looked lik an average Joe among giants from a physical point of view, but he had talent like few others in the league. What he did in 2000-01, in taking the Sixers to the Finals, was unbelievable. Like Iverson, T-Mac was able to stay in the same sentence as Kobe Bryant in his prime. He had an enormous talent and without his back we would be probably talking about one of the best players of the past 15 years.
Allen Iverson was the bridge between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant minus Shaquille's shadow. The Answer entered the league as the No. 1 draft pick in the heralded 1996 class and brought with him a new era of brashness, teeming with 'swagger' -- from the tattoos, cornrows and a hip-hop persona that is prevalent in today's stars. His cultural impact alone is Hall of Fame worthy, and to think that he was the smallest player to win the MVP award and lead the league in scoring (four times), he is a first ballot Hall of Famer in my book.
Tracy McGrady should be in the Hall of Fame one day, but he does not have the credentials that Iverson brings to the table. Although T-Mac is unquestionably one of the best scorers that played in the NBA, winning two scoring titles, resulting into multiple All-star appearances and All-NBA team awards. McGrady also had one of the most improbable performances of the NBA when he scored 13 points in 35 seconds to lead a miraculous come from behind victory that will be forever etched in the annals of history.
Even before you check Iverson’s and T-Mac’s bios and career highlights, I can easily say: “He is a Hall of Famer because my generation grew up with their names.” No doubt in my mind Iverson and McGrady will be Hall of Famers because of the way those two guys left their mark on NBA world. Together, they went to 18 All-Star Games and won six scoring titles (four for AI). On top of those awards, Iverson was the smallest player to ever earn MVP honors. And I still feel sorry for him to not given one last try for NBA. You can argue about their respective Hall of Fame worthiness in the United States but when you try to see that issue in any country in the World, you can easily aware that those two names are just like Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen…