I was having a really good discussion on Twitter today about how many Hall-of-Famers were participating in the 2014 NBA Finals.  The slam dunks are pretty obvious: LeBron James, Ray Allen, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker, with Manu Ginobili in as well (his International accolades – Euroleague and Italian League MVPs, etc. – should definitely push him over the top).  But, what about Chris Bosh?

Is this dude a Hall-of-Famer?

If you get past the confetti-eating and dinosaur jokes, Bosh is a really interesting case.  He’s a nine-time All-Star and one of the better forwards of his time, yet he’s seen as a third wheel on a Miami team that is the first East squad in a quarter-century to make four consecutive NBA Finals appearances.  Judging from the reactions today, I’d say that most think of Bosh as a prime example of a Hall of Very Good player as opposed to one that should be enshrined into Springfield.

I decided to outline the case, both for and against, Bosh’s eventual inclusion into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The case for Chris Bosh:

He has the chance to call himself a three-time NBA champion, should Miami beat the Spurs for a second-straight year.  Similar to recent inductions like Jamaal Wilkes and Dennis Rodman, Bosh was never the best player on any of his title teams.  He was the perfect complement to LeBron/Wade like Wilkes was to Rick Barry and Magic/Kareem, or Rodman was to Isiah/Dumars and Jordan/Pippen.  Regardless, he’s an important cog of the memorable Big Three; a multiple championship trio that will be remembered like Duncan-Ginobili-Parker, Bird-McHale-Parish, and Magic-Kareem-Worthy. 

As @JayHorrey pointed out on Twitter, Bosh is in favorable company on Basketball Reference’s Hall-of-Fame probability list.  He’s eighth among active players - behind Kobe, Duncan, LeBron, Wade, Garnett, Nowitzki, and Pierce, who are all easily in – and above Ray Allen (10-time All-Star, NBA’s all-time three-point leader), Carmelo Anthony (6-time All-NBA, 20k points), Tony Parker (already think he’s in), and Dwight Howard (would get in even if his career ended today).  

He’s a career 19/9 (19.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg) player – numbers that are nothing to scoff at.

The case against Chris Bosh:

He’s only ever made one All-NBA Team (second team selection), and that was his best statistical year with a slightly above-average Toronto team that was eliminated in the First Round of the playoffs in 2007.  The All-NBA Team is more exclusive and isn’t a popularity contest like the All-Star Game, so it’s a more accurate portrayal of a player’s true claim to being a top-fifteen-level player in any given year.  From that standpoint, Bosh has only been considered a top-fifteen NBA player once in his eleven years in the league.  That 2007 season was the only one in which he finished in the top ten of the NBA MVP voting (7th).

You’d also struggle to find an attribute that distinguishes Bosh and makes him stand out.  While Dennis Rodman only made two All-Star Games, he was a tremendous rebounder and was one of the best defensive forwards in NBA history (two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year).  Bernard King was only a four-time All-Star, but was an MVP-caliber player at his peak (runner-up in 1984) and an elite scorer (1985 scoring champ).  Reggie Miller had his memorable postseason heroics, Ralph Sampson’s case was aided by his dominant college career (three-time Naismith winner), and Arvydas Sabonis had his unparalleled European career (6-time Euroscar Winner).  

Despite strong numbers, Bosh doesn’t pass the “eye test” for most people and has a much stronger on-paper resume than he does on-court.

What say you?  Is Chris Bosh a Hall-of-Fame player?  Vote in our Listener Poll:

Poll: Is Chris Bosh worthy of the Hall-of-Fame?