During his prime, Ben Wallace was one of the best centers in the NBA and could guard anyone exceptionally well. Now 8 years after his retirement, he’s yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, despite his jersey being retired by the Pistons. So should Wallace be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
What does it take to join the Hall of Fame?
Firstly, I think it’s important to say that there are no specific criteria to be in the Hall of Fame. Rather it is decided by a committee of NBA executives, Hall of Famers, and members of the media. A player must receive 75% of all votes in favor of them joining the Hall of fame. However, this process can be controversial and has lead to some Hall of Famers who aren’t worthy of the achievement.
For example, Bill Bradley is only a 1-time All-Star and 2-time NBA Champ yet he is an All-Star. But Chauncey Billups is not in the Hall of Fame despite his extensive resume of being a 5-time All-Star, 3-time All-NBA, 2-time All-Defensive, 1-time NBA Champ, and a Final’s MVP. Also at the top of the list of players snubbed from the Hall of Fame is, of course, Ben Wallace.
Ben Wallace’s achievements
Taking a look at his achievements, there are no prizes for guessing which end of the floor he excelled at. Of his 9 seasons on the Detroit Pistons, he won DPOTY an insane 4 times. This is the most of any player in NBA history and he shares this record with Dikembe Mutumbo.
On top of this, he was on the All-Defensive team 6 times, a 2-time rebounding champ and he led the league in blocks in the 2001-02 season. He was one of the best defensive players in the league and was at the heart of the Pistons defense. While Wallace was on the Pistons, they never ranked lower than 8th in defensive rating. But what makes his defensive accomplishments even more impressive to me is that he was only a 6’9 center. He was shorter than virtually every center he played against so how did he get an advantage over his opponents? He did this by being strong, incredibly strong.
It was rumored that he could bench press 460 pounds, which is more than Shaq and not far off what Wilt Chamberlain could bench press. With his formidable strength, it made him one of the few players who could guard Shaq and he’s likely the best defender Shaq ever faced, other than maybe Yao Ming or Dikembe Mutumbo. And despite Wallace never winning a ring, he was selected for 4 consecutive All-Star games while on the Pistons.
So with all his accolades, do I think he should be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Yes, absolutely. Having the most DPOTY awards should undoubtedly put you into the Hall of Fame. But doing it as a 6’9 center is just insane.
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