The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2018 today with 13 new inductees from across the basketball spectrum. Most prominent for NBA fans are five perimeter players who established themselves as among the best ever at their positions: Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Ray Allen and Maurice Cheeks.
All five posted strong Hall of Fame credentials, but part of the fun of sports is arguing about who was the best:
- Before an injury derailed his career in the late 1990s, Hill was putting up MVP-type numbers each year, finishing third in the voting in 1997. A seven-time All-Star, he popularized the concept of a “point forward” and averaged 7.3 assists per game during the 1996/97 season. A bad ankle limited him to a total of 47 games in what should have been four of his prime seasons, but he recovered and was able to stay in the league until age 40.
- Kidd was a triple-double machine who led the Nets to the finals twice, then won a title late in his career with the Mavericks. A 10-time All-Star, he led the NBA in assists five times in a six-year period and finished second in the 2002 MVP voting. Kidd is second in career assists and steals and ranks ninth in made 3-pointers.
- Nash won back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006 and finished second in the voting in 2007. An eight-time All-Star, he is best known as the creative force behind the high-scoring Suns team from last decade. One of the game’s most accurate shooters, Nash posted four seasons in the 50/40/90 club.
- Allen holds the record for most 3-pointers with 2,973 and was a 40% career shooter from long distance. He was a huge scorer for Milwaukee and Seattle, and later became a 3-point threat for championship teams in Boston and Miami. A 10-time All-Star, Allen was one of the most feared shooters in the league for 18 seasons.
- Cheeks was a talented two-way point guard for Sixers teams that were among the league’s best throughout the 1980s. Though he was often overshadowed by more famous teammates, Cheeks was an important contributor, making four All-Star teams and four All-Defensive first teams. He ranks fifth in career steals and 11th in assists.
We want your opinion on these new Hall of Famers. If you could take one of them in his prime to build a team around, which one would you choose? Jump into the comments section below and give us your pick.