2011 NBA Champion Shawn Marion on Hall of Fame: 'I Know It's a Political Thing'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Shawn Marion warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Shawn Marion believes he left a mark on the game of basketball large enough to make the Hall of Fame.

As for whether he makes it, Marion believes that's all up to politics. 

The 42-year-old, who played 16 seasons, told Michael Lee of The Athletic:

"I think the legacy I left for the game is there. But who is it to decide? Who is making the decisions? What do they base it off of? If you look at all the numbers, to me, I should be a shoo-in. Should I not? What am I supposed to do? What am I not supposed to do? It's out of my control. I know it's a political thing. It's a lot more other stuff going on. But certain things, you earn that. I earned that."

His case is among the most interesting of his era. The UNLV product, who was drafted ninth overall in 1999 by the Phoenix Suns, made four All-Star teams, was a two-time All-NBA selection and won the 2011 NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks. Those accomplishments, while impressive, do not scream Hall of Fame. That's the same number of All-Star selections as Latrell Sprewell and one fewer All-NBA selection than Gilbert Arenas—neither of whom are headed to the Hall.

Marion's career, which included stints with the the Heat, Raptors and Cavaliers, becomes more impactful when considered in its totality rather than its peak. As noted by Lee, he is the only player in NBA history with 17,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 1,000 blocks and 500 three-pointers for his career. In an age of multipositionality, Marion now appears ahead of his time for his ability to defend four positions on the floor.

The 6'7" forward said: 

"I'm a big (reason) why the game is what it is today. And I can walk out of my house and hold my head held high and talk about this game, because I know what I was able to do on this floor. What I was able to do is the model of what everybody is trying to do right now. Everybody is trying to find somebody to do everything that I was able to do. Which they ain't been successful. But they've found some bits and pieces to do some stuff."

Marion never made an All-Defensive team despite his versatility, which is one of the biggest oversights of the mid-2000s. Basketball Reference nevertheless gives Marion a 75.6 percent chance of making the Hall, the fifth-best of any eligible player who has yet to be selected. Marion's resume is considered similar to Tim Hardaway (79.2 percent) and Amar'e Stoudemire (72.9 percent), both of whom have higher peaks but less longevity.

These borderline Hall of Famers benefit from the Basketball Hall having looser entrance guidelines than baseball or football. It's likely Marion will get in at some point as part of a class with fewer headliners than 2020.