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Could Dikembe Mutombo lead next year’s Hall of Fame class?

Aug 11, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

Dikembe Mutombo Getty Images

This year was a quality Hall of Fame class. David Stern was a must, even for those of us who see his legacy as mixed. Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond deserved the call, as did Nat Clifton and Sarunas Marciulionis.

Now, what about next year’s class?

First, the voters should put in some of the guys who didn’t make the cut this year but deserve to be in — Tim Hardaway should be in, and Chris Webber deserves to be in the conversation (he wasn’t even nominated last year). Other guys to consider are Penny Hardaway and Spencer Haywood. (Sorry, I’m not in the group that thinks Robert Horry should be in.)

The reason to focus on those guys? Because the rookie eligibility class is not very strong. Scott Howard-Cooper listed the top names over at’s hangtime blog.

One name deserving of consideration is Dikembe Mutombo — eight time All-Star, four time Defensive Player of the Year and one of the great players to come to the NBA from Africa (not to mention he had a strong career at Georgetown and this is a basketball, not NBA, hall of fame).

After that the pickings in the rookie class get slim: Bruce Bowen, Brent Barry, Bobby Jackson, Matt Harpring, Tyronn Lue and Mark Madsen are the names you know, and none of them are really Hall of Fame guys. Some good players, but not HOF.

Next year will be an interesting case, it might be time for a smaller class than normal heading into the Hall of Fame.

  1. asimonetti88 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    This feels like Deja Vu all over again!

  2. bevan18 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    2016 should be a good one. Shaq and A.I. are 1st ballot guys

  3. thekiller678 - Aug 11, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    4 time DPOY
    2nd ALL TIME in blocked shots
    8 time all star.
    Also don’t be fooled by his career ppg, Mutombo was a solid offensive player in his prime.

    Absolutely deserves to get in

    • elcaminobilly - Aug 11, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Absolutely. He’ll get in on the first try and deserves it 100%.

  4. antistratfordian - Aug 11, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    I always laugh when people say that AI took the Sixers to the Finals by himself when Mutombo was on that team and won DPOY that season.

    • thekiller678 - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      Mutombo only played 26 games for the 76ers that year

      • antistratfordian - Aug 11, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        Neat. You don’t carry a team to the Finals in the regular season. He played all their playoff games.

        And Mutombo not only won DPOY that season but he also led the league in rebounding. He was a huge addition.

        Also, Aaron Mckie won SMOY and Larry Brown won COY – so the idea that Iverson did everything by himself is a little misplaced.

      • sumkat - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:10 AM


        You also don’t get DPOY for what you do in the playoffs, so you argument kind of collapses on itself. First you want to act like he won the DPOY award for what he did in Philly, he didn’t. If anything, it took him a few weeks to adjust, and he was nowhere near his normal self defensively until just before the playoffs

        AI didn’t take them to the finals by them self. Hill was a double double guy that year, it was the best season of McKie’s career, Lynch was a lock down defender, etc. But that team, even with Mutombo, would of been lucky to make the playoffs minus AI. He didn’t do it by himself, but he certainly carried them on his back

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