The Hall of Fame Class of 2020 was honored this week, and many fans are reminiscing about the good days. The class consisted of 5-time NBA champion Tim Duncan, 2008 NBA champion Kevin Garnett, legendary coach Rudy Tomjanovic, and of course the great Kobe Bryant. Looking back, these guys were invaluable to their teams and will be cherished forever.
But where does the 2020 Hall of Fame class rank all time? We have seen how all-time great players such as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar get inducted into the Hall of Fame but were their classes better than that of 2020? Here are the top 10 greatest Hall of Fame classes ranked from 10-1.
10. 2006 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars
Charles Barkley is one of the greatest power forwards to have ever lived. Even though he didn't win an NBA championship during his career, he was still a Hall of Famer as an 11-time All-Star who won the 1993 MVP with the Phoenix Suns. Barkley is one of the top-5 players of the iconic 90s era, and anytime a player is a rival to Michael Jordan, he should be honored forever.
Alongside him was Dominique Wilkins, your favorite player's favorite player. Wilkins is one of the greatest dunkers ever and also a legendary Atlanta Hawks star that deserves to be honored in the Hall forever. The 9-time All-Star won the scoring title in 1986 and made 7 All-NBA Teams in his career.
Finally, 2-time NBA champion Joe Dumars was inducted in 2006 because his role with the Bad Boy Pistons was critical to the title-winning teams in 1989 and 1990. In 14 seasons, Dumars made the All-Star Team 6 times and his partnership with Isiah Thomas is one of the best ever.
9. 2008 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Adrian Dantley, Pat Riley (Coach)
Arguably the player with the greatest footwork ever, Hakeem Olajuwon won two NBA titles with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. He also won the MVP Award in 1994, and the Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1993 and 1994. The 12-time All-Star dominated both ends of the floor and is widely regarded as a top-5 center ever. While Olajuwon headlined, Patrick Ewing was a close second.
Ewing played 17 seasons in the NBA, making the playoffs 14 times, and the All-Star Team 9 times. Ewing is one of the greatest New York Knicks ever, and also one of the players who should have won an NBA title during their career. Adrian Dantley, a two-time scoring champion, was also inducted. Dantley made 6 All-Star Teams and was one of the most unstoppable players during his era.
Of course, Pat Riley would be honored as one of the greatest coaches to have ever been a part of the NBA. Riley was a legend because not only was he an accomplished coach, but he knew how to guide NBA superstars and bring them together to get the job done. Riley was the leader for the Los Angeles Lakers Showtime squad that won 4 titles and also the 2006 Miami Heat squad that won the title. Riley was a no-nonsense coach that despite having great players such as Magic Johnson and Dwyane Wade, he was the man pulling the strings in the locker room and on the court.
8. 2018 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Maurice Cheeks
The 2018 Hall of Fame class featured some of the greatest modern players. Jason Kidd and Steve Nash headlined as point guards who were NBA champions and iconic playmakers. Jason Kidd played 19 NBA seasons, making the playoffs 17 times, and making 3 Finals appearances. Kidd was an all-around superstar in his prime, making the All-Star Team 10 times and winning the championship in 2011 with the Mavericks.
Steve Nash, a 2-time MVP and one of the best shooters ever, joins Kidd as a headliner in the class. Nash made 8 All-Star Teams, led the league in assists 5 times, and is the architect behind the "7 Seconds or Less" offense run by Mike D'Antoni and the Phoenix Suns. Ray Allen, the man who holds the record for most three-pointers in a career, was also honored in 2018. Allen was a 10-time All-Star and a 2-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
Allen was the model of consistency as a scorer and star player and even took a backseat role to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett during the 2008 title-winning season. Allen also hit the biggest shot of his career for the Heat which ended up helping them win the NBA title in 2013. Grant Hill would have been one of the best players ever, but injuries cut his career short.
Grant Hill was still a superstar during his prime, making 7 All-Star appearances and 5 All-NBA Teams. Hill had it all as a wing player and he was honored because his career would have been something special had he stayed healthy. Maurice Cheeks was a great player for the Philadelphia 76ers, making 4 All-Star appearances and also winning the NBA title in 1983.
7. 1995 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Vern Mikkelsen, Earl Strom (Referee)
In 1995, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was inducted into the Hall of Fame. That is enough for that class to be ranked among the top-5 because Kareem was one of the best centers ever if not the best. Kareem's accolades are incredible, as he ranks 1st in total points scored and has 6 NBA titles. Kareem also won 6 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs, and made the All-NBA Team 15 times. In terms of dominance every single year of his career, Kareem is one of the best to ever do it.
Vern Mikkelsen also joins Kareem as a headliner of the 1995 Draft Class, as one of the greatest Lakers ever. Mikkelsen won 4 NBA championships and made 6 All-Star Teams with the Lakers, holding career averages of 14.4 PPG and 9.4 RPG. Mikkelsen was one of the most physically strong players ever, as he stood 6'7" at a sturdy 230 lbs.
Earl Strom, arguably the most iconic referee ever, was also inducted. Storm was a referee for 29 years during nearly three decades of the league. Strom is one of the most respected referees because he was always ready to throw hands at any given moment. Strom took no nonsense from NBA players, even if they were abnormally sized human beings. Strom told it like it is and that is why he was the best ever.
6. 1971 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Bob Cousey, Bob Pettit, Abe Saperstein
Bob Cousey headlined an iconic Hall of Fame class in 1971. One of the greatest Celtics and all-around point guards ever, Cousey captured 6 NBA titles with the Celtics and led the NBA in assists 8 separate times. Cousey won the MVP in 1957, made 13 All-Star Teams, and won the All-Star Game MVP two times. Cousey ranks among the best to ever wear the Celtics green and that alone is enough to justify his induction into the Hall.
Alongside Cousey was Bob Pettit, arguably the most dominant (St. Louis) Hawks star ever. Pettit averaged a career 26.4 PPG and 16.2 RPG and won the 1958 NBA championship. A 2-time MVP and 11-time All-Star, Bob Pettit was a dominant big man who used his 6'9" frame to dominate around the basket and on the boards. Of course, Abe Saperstein was also inducted.
The man behind the iconic Harlem Globetrotters, Saperstein was the founder and early coach for the entertaining basketball team. While the Harlem Globetrotters weren't an official NBA team, they made a massive impact on basketball culture with their style and skill with the ball. The Globetrotters didn't have to play professional ball, but what they did was iconic and Saperstein was the brains behind it.
5. 2016 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, Jerry Reinsdorf (Owner)
Anytime Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, and Yao Ming get inducted into the Hall of Fame, that is an iconic class. Shaquille O'Neal, 4-time NBA champion and the most dominant modern star, is a true legend of the game. You can go anywhere on Earth and Shaquille O'Neal is a known figure. He was not only a ferocious player in his prime but also an extremely likable character off the court. O'Neal won 3 Finals MVPs and his career will likely never be repeated by a center again.
Allen Iverson, a groundbreaking player that stood barely 6-feet tall, was also a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Iverson won 4 scoring titles and won the 2001 MVP, and even led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals against Shaq and Kobe. Iverson overcame his size to dominate the game and his impact off the floor was arguably just as big. Alongside him was Yao Ming, the greatest Asian player to have ever lived.
Yao Ming opened an entirely new market of NBA fans and was a part of making the league a global game. Yao had his career cut short by injuries, but his talent at his incredible size was a joy to watch on the court. Interestingly, the 7'6" giant felt he was inducted a decade early, but his role in the Chinese market cannot be denied and his inclusion was warranted.
Head coach Jerry Reinsdorf was also inducted. Reinsdorf was the famed owner of the rockstar caliber Chicago Bulls of the 1990s. Reinsdorf did a great job bringing in Scottie Pippen on board (and later Dennis Rodman) to pair alongside Michael Jordan. Jordan and the Bulls won 6 NBA titles in 2 separate 3-peats, sparking a conversation that Reinsdorf is one of the best owners in sports. Of course, he is still the owner of the Bulls and also the Chicago Red Sox baseball team to this day.
4. 2010 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, 1992 USA Dream Team
Without a doubt, a top-5 Hall of Fame class, the 2010 Hall of Fame featured 2 superstar players along with a multiple-time NBA champion and a superstar power forward.
Karl Malone is recognized as one of the top-3 power forwards of all time, ranking 2nd in total points and also winning the league MVP twice. The Mailman was an unstoppable offensive force, making 14 All-Star Teams and 14 All-NBA Teams during his 19-year career. Malone and John Stockton were one of the best duos ever, and even if Malone never won an NBA title, he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Of course, Scottie Pippen was inducted into the Hall of Fame. A 6-time NBA champion and the sidekick to the greatest player ever, Scottie is one of the best perimeter defenders of all time. Pippen made 7 All-Star Teams, 7 All-NBA Teams, and 10 All-Defensive Teams. One of the top players to ever hold the small forward position, Pippen doesn't get his respect as a two-way forward with his playmaking and defensive skills.
Unsurprisingly, Dennis Johnson was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Johnson won 3 NBA titles during his career with the Seattle Supersonics and the Boston Celtics, making a whopping 9 All-Defensive Teams as a lockdown point guard. Johnson always showed up in big games, winning the Finals MVP in 1979 by averaging 22.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 6.0 APG in the series against the Washington Bullets.
Gus Johnson was a one-of-a-kind power forward during his era, as he combined speed and strength in his play. "Honeycomb" averaged a double-double every year over his 10 NBA seasons, finishing with a career 17.1 PPG and 12.7 RPG. Johnson's grace as a power forward helped the Baltimore Bullets to 5 playoff appearances during his career.
3. 1980 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas, Les Harrison
The 1980 Hall of Fame class was absolutely stacked. The original triple-double king, Oscar Robertson is one of the best point guards of all time. Oscar made 12 All-Star Teams and 11 All-NBA Teams while leading the NBA in assists 6 separate times. Before Russell Westbrook broke the record, Oscar led all players in triple-doubles. Oscar also won the 1964 MVP and the 1971 NBA championship.
Jerry West, the legendary Lakers guard, and NBA logo was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. West made 9 NBA Finals appearances and won an NBA title, with his true impact came as a shooter and defensive player. West was an all-time great player and executive, and behind the formation of the dominant Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant duo. West was a winner of the highest order and is without a doubt a no-ballot Hall of Famer.
Jerry Lucas was a superstar power forward during his career, making 7 All-Star appearances and winning the 1973 NBA championship. Lucas is one of the most dominant paint players ever by averaging 17.0 PPG and 15.6 RPG during an 11-year Hall of Fame career. Les Harrison also spearheaded the merger of the NBL and BAA to form the NBA. Of course, Harrison led the Royals to the 1951 championship and also captured 5 division titles.
2. 2009 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Michael Jordan, David Robinson, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan (Coach)
The 2009 Hall of Fame class featured the greatest player of all time, Michael Jeffrey Jordan. That alone places this Hall of Fame draft class as top-2 ever, and it makes sense considering Jordan's dominance in the NBA. A 6-time NBA champion and 6-time Finals MVP, Jordan is the greatest winner in team sports. Nobody possessed a killer instinct like Jordan had, and he conquered every single one of his rivals en route to unrivaled success as a scorer and defensive star.
After Jordan, the 2009 Hall of Fame class featured David Robinson and John Stockton. Robinson was one of the most iconic centers during his era, winning an MVP Award and also 2 NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs. The Admiral made 10 All-Star Teams and 10 All-NBA Teams over his career, as one of the most talented yet underrated stars in history.
Of course, John Stockton deserved his induction into that Hall as well. Stockton is arguably the best playmaker in NBA history, as the man who leads all players in assists and steals all-time. When Stockton was at the helm of the Utah Jazz alongside Karl Malone, the team never missed the playoffs. Stockton was one of the best point guards ever and deserves his place alongside Jordan and Robinson.
One of the greatest coaches ever, Jerry Sloan was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sloan was the longest-tenured coach with one franchise (Utah Jazz) after coaching the same team for 23 out of his 30 years as a coach. Sloan was the man who coached Stockton and Malone to 2 NBA Finals appearances and is one of the ten best coaches ever.
1. 2020 Hall of Fame Class
Key Inductees: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Tomjanovic (Coach)
The 2020 draft class is indeed the greatest ever. Kobe Bryant, 5-time NBA champion, was the ultimate inductee. Of course, Bryant's tragedy is another reason to honor the great Lakers legend. Nonetheless, Kobe Bryant is one of the 5 greatest Lakers ever and his 5 NBA titles and 2 Finals MVPs earned him his Hall of Fame status. A whopping 18 All-Star Team appearances and 12 All-NBA Teams further solidifies his claim as an all-time great.
A great rival for Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan also won 5 NBA titles in the same era. The greatest power forward of all time spent his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs, winning 2 MVPs and 3 Finals MVPs. Making 15 All-Star Team appearances and 15 All-NBA appearances, Duncan is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and will likely be the best power forward ever for eternity.
Kevin Garnett was another ultra competitor who owned the power forward position alongside Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki in his prime. Garnett is one of the best defensive power forwards ever, and his ability to dominate both ends of the court is a reason he's in the Hall of Fame. A 15-time All-Star, MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year winner; The Big Ticket deserved his induction in the best Hall of Fame class ever.
Rudy Tomjanovich is one of the best coaches of all time. The legendary leader won back-to-back titles with the Houston Rockets led by Hakeem Olajuwon, managed to coach the great Kobe Bryant with the Lakers, and even oversaw an iconic Olympics team that also featured Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. In terms of track record, Rudy T is a certified Hall of Famer.