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Is Andre Iguodala a Hall of Famer?
Breaking down the Hall-of-Fame case for Andre Iguodala.
Although the system was designed to evaluate baseball players, with a few minor tweaks it can also be used to assess the Hall-worthiness of basketball players. In this post, I will examine Andre Iguodala’s case for the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Was he ever regarded as the best player in basketball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in basketball?
No, not even close. I’m not sure Iguodala was even considered a top-15 player at any point in his career (he was never named to one of the All-NBA teams).
Was he the best player on his team?
I would argue Iguodala was the best player on the Philadelphia 76ers from 2006-07 through 2011-12. Those teams had a combined record of 219-257 (.460) over that those six seasons, making four playoff appearances. The Sixers won just one playoff series in that span, in 2012 versus the Chicago Bulls. That particular series deserves a bit of an asterisk, as Chicago lost superstar Derrick Rose for the remainder of the series after he sustained a knee injury in Game 1.
Was he the best player in basketball at his position?
No, he was not. Iguodala was primarily used at small forward, a position that included the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Paul Pierce. And, as mentioned earlier, Iguodala never earned so much as an All-NBA Third Team selection.
Did he have an impact on a number of NBA Finals or conference finals?
Yes, he did. Iguodala was named Finals MVP in 2015, when his Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games. You can argue the merits of that selection (I would have voted for LeBron James or Stephen Curry), but Iguodala was clearly a very important player for the Warriors in that series.
Iguodala played on three other title-winning teams (the 2017, 2018, and 2022 Warriors), and also made Final appearances in 2016 and 2019 with the Warriors and 2020 with the Miami Heat. Iguodala was just a bit player with the 2022 Warriors, averaging 4.8 MPG in four Finals games.
Was he good enough that he could play regularly after passing his prime?
At the age of 37, Iguodala averaged 21.3 MPG while playing 63 of a possible 72 games for a playoff team, so the answer is clearly yes. However, after posting a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 15.0 or higher in seven of his first nine seasons, he never reached that mark again in any of the last 10 seasons of his career.
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Is he the very best (eligible) basketball player in history who is not in the Hall of Fame?
Iguodala is not yet eligible, but even if he was I would not put him at the top of that list. As I’ve stated numerous times in the past, I believe Chauncey Billups holds this somewhat-dubious honor.
Are most players who have comparable statistics in the Hall of Fame?
Iguodala is one of 21 players in NBA history to record at least 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, and 5,000 assists. Of those 20 other players:
Fifteen have been elected to the Hall of Fame.
Four are still active but will be elected (LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul, all of whom were named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team).
One is retired but not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame (Joe Johnson).
That said, Iguodala ranks 21st among those players in points, 20th in assists, and 15th in rebounds, so you’d put him closer to the bottom of the group than the top.
If you calculate Iguodala’s career value as described in this post, you’ll find he ranks 109th among all players and 88th among Hall-of-Fame eligible players (granted, Iguodala is not yet eligible for election). Here are the five eligible players directly above and below Iguodala:
Seven of these players have been elected to the Hall of Fame: Manu Ginobili, Maurice Cheeks, Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, Nate Archibald, Mitch Richmond, and Vlade Divac. It should be noted that both Ginobili and Divac have considerable international accomplishments that bolstered their resumes.
Do the player’s numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?
Iguodala’s Hall of Fame Probability is 12.7%, which is on the low side. If you look at the five eligible players directly above and below him, you’ll find just three who have been elected to the Hall of Fame:
Micheal Ray Richardson
Earl Monroe, Chris Webber, and Bernard King are the Hall of Famers.
Iguodala’s Hall of Fame standards score is 30, which puts him at the lowest end of the “feasible candidate” range. It’s not unheard of for someone with a score that low to get the call, but it’s not common.
Note that both of the measures used above are based on past voting tendencies. In other words, they don’t necessarily reflect who should be elected to the Hall of Fame, but rather who will be.
Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?
There is some evidence, yes. Traditional statistics are inadequate, at best, for evaluating defense, and Iguodala was by all accounts a very good defensive player, earning two All-Defensive selections (one First Team, one Second Team) and voting consideration in 12 other seasons. Iguodala also earned at least one point in the Defensive Player of the Year Award balloting eight times, his best showing being a fifth-place finish in 2013-14.
Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame?
No, I don’t believe he is. I think Marques Johnson, for one, has a better case than Iguodala.
How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?
Iguodala did not receive so much as a single fifth-place vote in the MVP balloting, so he was never a serious contender for the award.
How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?
Iguodala earned just one All-Star Game selection, in 2011-12 with the Sixers. This would obviously be an extremely low total for a Hall of Famer. There are 121 eligible players who played at least 1,000 career games in the NBA. Only three of those players have earned two or fewer All-Star selections and still been elected to the Hall of Fame: Manu Ginobili (two), Calvin Murphy (one), and Vlade Divac (one).
I sometimes define an “All-Star-type” season as one in which a player records a PER of 20.0 or higher while playing at least 50% of all possible minutes (about 2,000 minutes in an 82-game season). Iguodala never recorded such a season.
If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win an NBA title?
No, such a team would not be a title contender. As noted above, the Sixers were a sub-.500 team when Iguodala was their best player, with just four playoff appearances in six seasons.
What impact did the player have on basketball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way? Was his college and/or international career especially noteworthy?
Iguodala won gold medals playing for the U.S. national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Summer Olympics. Other than that, there’s nothing else that gives his resume a boost.
This is a tough one. I’m fairly confident Andre Iguodala will eventually be elected, but I’m conflicted about his candidacy. On the one hand, Iguodala is a four-time NBA champion and the 2015 Finals MVP Award winner. On the other hand, he’s a one-time All-Star who was never named to an All-NBA team and won just one major award.
It’s hard to ignore Iguodala’s four championship rings, but in one of those runs he was rarely used (2022). Yes, Iguodala played a bigger role for those other squads, but I’d argue he was, at best, the fifth most important player on those teams (behind Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson). The first nine seasons of his career, when Iguodala was consistently one of the top two players on his team, he did not enjoy much success, with a cumulative regular season record of 359-369 (.493) and just one postseason series win in six tries.
There’s no doubt Iguodala was a good player for a long time. He was also an interesting interview and, by all accounts, a great teammate. In the end, I just don’t think it’s enough. This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but Iguodala does not clear the Hall of Fame bar for me.