On Friday as the festivities for 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend got underway, the first seven members of the 2014 class for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame were announced, including ex-commissioner David Stern. In addition to the seven automatic inductees based on the votes of several committees, the 10 finalists were announced as hopeful members of the 2014 class.
As it’s the “basketball” hall of fame and not the NBA exclusively, there are some people with college fame to their name that are finalists. However, the 10 finalists were narrowed down to Alonzo Mourning, the Immaculata College women’s basketball team, Harley Redin, Tim Hardaway, Nolan Richardson, Mitch Richmond, Spencer Haywood, Gary Williams, Eddie Sutton and Kevin Johnson.
Of the players, coaches and teams elected as finalists, all 10 have a solid case to make it to the Hall of Fame. However, one of the most underappreciated players from that group is former Phoenix Suns guard and now mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson.
Because he played in such a talented area in the late 80s and through the entirety of the 90s, some people often forget how dominant of a point guard Johnson was and how much of a fit he gave Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the postseason in the early 90s.
From 1988-92, Johnson averaged a ridiculous 21.2 points, 11.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor. That’s absolutely absurd production from the point guard position regardless of what era he was playing in.
Johnson was one of the most exciting players in the game in his day and that seems have been overlooked as the years have passed since his playing days. However, it’d be more than well-deserved if he was able to move beyond being a finalist and be named a member of the class of 2014 for the Basketball Hall of Fame.