There was a question that was brought up by Harrison Moore in his article titled "NBA Finals 2010: Would a Second Title Catapult Pau Gasol Into the Hall of Fame?"
The answer at this point is a clear and definitive no! Even with the two rings, Gasol's name doesn't belong with the greatest power forwards of all-time. His numbers aren't even close.
So far in his career, Gasol has averaged 18.8 points, 9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, .5 steals, 1.7 blocks, on 52.1 percent shooting, and 74.3 percent from the free throw line.
Those numbers are very good career wise. The Hall of Fame, though, isn't for the very good; it's for the best of the best. Does Gasol even come close to being mentioned among the best power forwards ever or even among the best players ever in NBA history?
The issue though is that Gasol has only once in his career been considered amongst the best power forwards in the NBA until his ninth season. It took him nine seasons to average a double double, and only twice in his career has Gasol ever averaged over 20 points per game.
He's also only won the Rookie of the Year Award. He's only been in the top 10 in rebounding once.
In the playoffs his numbers are similar to this regular season. He averages 18.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
Another issue that haunts Gasol is that he's always been seen as soft. When teams play Gasol physically, he has a hard time with it. He's also going to be remembered for allowing Leon Powe to abuse him for 21 points in just over 14.5 minutes.
It also happened again where Gasol didn't really bother showing up in the Finals for a game, this time being outplayed by Glen "Big Baby" Davis.
Yes, Gasol played extremely well against the Orlando Magic when Gasol earned his first championship ring. Dwight Howard isn't necessarily known for being a dominating post presence either.
Also, in Moore's article he talks about Dennis Rodman not being in the Hall of Fame. This also hinders his argument because is Gasol even anywhere near the defensive player that Rodman was? What about rebounding wise?
So, if Rodman isn't in then how can Gasol be in? The only aspect of Gasol's game that is better than Rodman's is offense. Rodman, though, never really cared to score points or back a defender down; he just went out and rebounded the ball, played defense, and tried to get under his opponent's skin.
If Gasol is looking for a Hall of Fame career, he will need to score over 20,000 points and grab over 10,000 rebounds. Right now Gasol is at 12,192 points and 5,821 rebounds.
As Gasol hits thirty year of age, it will be interesting if he can continue to put up numbers or if he gradually slows down, because it seems at the age of thirty, power forwards tend to start slowing down.
Otis Thorpe was a very good power forward throughout his career. He won a ring with the Houston Rockets as well, playing alongside Hakeem Olajuwon.
For his career, he averaged 14 points and 8.2 rebounds. He scored 17,600 points and grabbed 10,370 rebounds. He had some very good seasons before he hit thirty years of age. Thorpe's not in the Hall of Fame.
Buck Williams was another very good power forward and another good example of a power forward that slowed down after the age of 30. His career numbers are 12.8 points and 10 rebounds. Williams is not in the Hall of Fame.
As for the argument about the scoring numbers of both Thorpe and Williams, Williams played until he was 37 and Thorpe until he was 38. Both players played a good three to four years past when they were actually effective.
For Thorpe, he averaged eight or more rebounds ten times and half of those were over 10 rebounds per game. With Williams, he averaged eight or more rebounds 14 times, including in those 14 seasons over 10 eight times. Gasol on the other hand has only averaged more than 10 once in his career.
Chris Webber has a better chance of being a Hall of Famer than Gasol, even though Webber does not have a ring. Career-wise, Webber averaged 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
Webber averaged over eight rebounds 12 times including half of those years averaging over 10 rebounds. Five times Webber was among the top 10 in rebounds per game, including leading the league once with an average of 13 per game. Gasol has never been among the league leaders in rebounds per game.
There are other players who also can put up big numbers, like Amare Stoudemire who's only 27. He's had some injury issues for his career but he also isn't Hall of Fame worthy because, for a player who has so much athleticism, he doesn't rebound enough and he's right at 8.9 rebounds per game for his career. Plus, he scores more than Gasol.
Dirk Nowitzki getting in the Hall of Fame is beyond me. Although, according to Basketball-Reference.com he has a 91.2, I can see why he would be in. Even though he doesn't rebound enough for a power forward at 8.5 per game. He's an exceptional scorer.
Even though the Dallas Mavericks have only been to the Finals once with Nowitzki, he improves his play whereas Gasol's numbers pretty much stay nearly identical to his regular season stats. In the playoffs, Nowitzki averages 25.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.
Gasol, if he does win another ring, greatly helps his case for the Hall of Fame. It doesn't make him anywhere near a lock by any stretch of the imagination though; he still has a ways to go to get to 20,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.
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