During NBA All-Star Weekend, the league announced it’s current group of players up for consideration for the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. Two former Pistons were included, both Ben Wallace and Chris Webber.
Certainly it’s Wallace that has the deeper ties with the Pistons. Big Ben tied Dikembe Mutombo for the most Defensive Player of the Year honors for a single player at four and boasted some of the best defensive seasons for a player of all time. He has a strong argument as the defensive GOAT.
From 2001-06, Wallace led the league in blocked shots with 1,111. Second place was Tim Duncan with 961. Only five other players had more than 800. He was, without a doubt, the most dominant shot blocker of his era. By comparison, the leading shot blocker of the past five full seasons has been Anthony Davis with 874.
He was also sixth in steals over that period of time. Second in rebounds. And he did it all without being selected in the NBA Draft.
Chris Webber’s stint with the Pistons was impactful, but much shorter. He only spent the back half of the 2006-07 season in Detroit after being signed off the midseason waiver wire from Philadelphia. But he paired with Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, and Jason Maxiell to make a formidable frontcourt.
He’s almost certainly a lock to make the HOF - guys who average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game over a 14 year career typically do. And he played a key role in one of the few bright spots of the Sacramento Kings franchise history - including their robbed Western Conference Finals in 2002.
But as advanced metrics have become more prevalent, there’s probably room for more consideration of whether a player like Webber legitimately belongs. Or at least, whether he should be considered the lock while Wallace is less of one. After all, a guy whose basis for entry is his 20 points per game status while only posting a 51 percent true shooting percentage.
The announcement for who is in will come during the Final Four, with enshrinement coming in September. Ben Wallace should be there for it.