The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall in Massachusetts is visited by millions of basketball fans from all over the world every year. Its rooms are scoped out, but most importantly, the inductee dome is scrutinized every year for the new members who were enshrined. But the real question is, how does one get into the Hall of Fame, and who will get to join the lucky few this year?
The enshrinement process is quite long and arduous with a sticky set of rules that are enough to frustrate anyone interested partaking. The regulations are also different depending on one’s role in the NBA. To clarify, referees have a different policy than players and coaches. For example, the players must have been retired for four full seasons before they can be considered for the position. A player who has been retired for a shorter amount of time will have his application considered on a case by case basis. Coaches have a far more demanding requirement which states that they must have been active on the scene for twenty-five years, coaching either high school, college, or professional teams. They are then eligible for the Hall of Fame in their twenty-sixth year of active coaching or in their sixth year of retirement. Referees have a similar rule set in as much as they must have worked for a minimum of twenty-five years or have been retired for four full seasons.
Once the hopeful candidates have put in their applications, it is up to a set of committees to decide who gets enshrined into the Hall. The first committee, composed of the Women’s and the North American sub-categories, is responsible for screening and receive the first look at the candidates. They then put forth a maximum of four and ten finalists, respectively. The finalists are then examined by the Board of Trustees to ensure that none of these players have ever damaged the integrity of the sport, then the remaining players are moved on to the Honors Committee. This group carefully reviews the finalists’ basketball records, then votes on whether or not each player should be enshrined. A finalist must receive eighteen out of twenty-four votes by the Committee to be accepted.
In breaking news, the list of finalists for the 2020 enshrinement has been released by the Hall of Fame. Some top players are included in the lineup, including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Tamika Catchings, and Swin Cash. A first look at the list of eligible nominees was provided by The Jump on ESPN, hosted by Zach Lowe, Scottie Pippen, and Kendrick Perkins. The winning candidate will be unveiled in April, with the much-anticipated enshrinement ceremony being held in Springfield, Massachusetts at the end of August 2020. Tickets for the ceremony and its various events will be on sale shortly and are sure to be the hottest of the year.
Much speculation has been done on the lucky players who will enter the Hall of Fame, but there are definitely a few players who are more likely to enter the Hall than others. For example, Kobe Bryant, with his many titles including the All-Star, NBA Champion, MVP, All-NBA, and Scoring Champion, is a surefire win. On the other hand, players such as Amar’e Stoudemire definitely have a lesser chance of getting admitted. However, all the nominees have quite varied profiles, so there is no telling for sure who will take the win this year.