Karl Malone should be an obvious choice for induction into the (US) Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this coming summer. He’s the 2nd most prolific scorer in NBA history for staters. After Michael Jordan’s induction in 2009, it’s fitting that one of his greatest rivals during their careers is now eligible and should be among those inducted.
But, another candidate captures my imagination: Mr. Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen. Taking nothing away from Mr. Malone, I’m pleased to see Mr. Pippen among the nominees. I understand that Mr. Pippen is also an obvious choice for first-ballot induction. I simply want to note that, in my book, he’s one of the few guys who could have a chance at winning a 1-on-3 half-court game against NBA players when he’s the one. He had great defensive abilities both up and down the size scale. And he could score, too.
To be sure, there are other deserving nominees: Dennis Johnson, Oscar Schmidt, Jim Valvano, and (especially) Tex Winter. Visit the Naimsmith Hall of Fame. See Scott Howard-Cooper’s article about nominees (with a great photo of Mr. Malone and Mr. Pippen) on the NBA site.