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The Official 2021 Basketball Hall Of Fame Class Is Out And It Is Once Again Absolutely Loaded

Andrew D. Bernstein. Getty Images.

Not only was the 2020 HOF class absolutely stacked, but we're about to get the exact same thing for the 2021 class. You may have remembered a few months ago when we heard the finalists, well today the Hall made it official with who will spend the rest of time among the all time greats. 

From the player perspective, it's a list that is probably a little overdue for some, and definitely a little controversial

We're also seeing Rick Adelman, Jay Wright, Yolanda Griffin, andLauren Jackson enter. I obviously can't forget Bill Russell going in as a coach and Mike Gorman joining as well for his career. Basically it's going to be a big time emotional day for yours truly with Pierce, Russell, and Gorman all going in at the same time. Makes me sad that Tommy isn't here, but I would argue nobody deserves it more


But back to the players for a second. Everyone with a working brain knew Paul Pierce was going to be a first ballot HOFer. When you're one of top 10 at your position all time, you're making the HOF on the first ballot. With or without a title. Hate him if you want, but Pierce's resume is more than good enough. Love that for him the same way I loved it for KG. 

From there, things get a little more controversial. We saw Bosh get snubbed of his first ballot status this past class, but seeing him eventually get in this year isn't really a surprise. Personally, I consider him a first ballot guy anyway. He made the biggest sacrifice when he joined the Heat which obviously impacted his numbers. If he was putting up that type of production this whole time with the Raptors, he's done enough even without the titles. There are some out there though that don't see Bosh as a HOFer, and probably would have compared him more to two guys who had a hard ass time making the HOF, but found their way in this year.

Are Ben Wallace and Chris Webber Hall Of Famers or Hall Of Very Good-ers? It's a question that's been debated for what feels like forever whenever you talk about the Basketball Hall Of Fame. It took Webber 8 long years to finally get the nod. He was a prior finalist 5 times. Ben Wallace now becomes the first undrafted player to ever make the HOF and he had been a finalist a total of 4 times before getting the nod. There's no denying the impact that Webber had on the game and his production speaks for itself, and then with Wallace I just don't get how you could keep a 4x DPOY, 6x All NBA defender, 5x All NBA player and 4x All Star out. Especially when he's one of the best defensive players to ever play while also winning a title. You could make the case that without Ben Wallace, that entire Pistons era doesn't happen. People forget they were kings of the East mountain for a decent chunk of time. 

What I struggle with sometimes is the idea that if it takes you 8 years to get into the HOF, shouldn't that tell you everything you need to know? On one hand I do think so, but on the other I feel like maybe people were just being stupid when it comes to Webber and Wallace and they should have been in a long time ago. If you are someone who is protective over who makes the HOF, you shouldn't have to worry about the 2022 class. That's going to just be Manu. Other guys like David West, Richard Jefferson, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson etc aren't going to get in. I do wonder what we'll see happen with Tim Hardaway though. 

All I know is that between the 2020 and 2021 class, I feel old as shit. These were the players I grew up watching. Some of the most important players to my basketball fandom. It's really weird that they are now actually real life HOFers instead of us always just saying "future HOFers" when they were playing. Time really does kick you right in the balls.