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Will Dikembe Mutombo be the only first-year eligible player elected to 2015 HOF?

Dikembe Mutombo may be the only first-year eligible NBA player elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015 according to Brett Pollakof of NBC Sports on Aug. 11.

Kobe Bryant is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Bryant ranks in the top five players ever to play the game.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Mutombo, known for his finger-wagging after blocking a shot, is pretty much a lock to be elected to the Hall of Fame. However, the question is will he be the only first-year eligible player with ties to the NBA elected in his first-year of eligibility?

Yes, due to the weak first year-eligible candidates that includes Bruce Bowen, Brent Barry, Bobby Jackson, Matt Harpring, Tyronn Lue, and Mark Madsen, among others.

Mutombo played 18 years in the NBA with six teams and is a four-time Defensive Player of the Year. He last played in the NBA in 2008-09 and produced career averages of9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game. The eight-time All-Star also was a standout at Georgetown.

Bowen is the strongest candidates to eventually make to be enshrined of the first-year eligible’s but will not get elected this year, and will probably will not ever. Bowen, a very strong defender and a very good three-point shooter, was an eight-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection – five-time First Team selection and three-time Second Team selection. He won three NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs (2003, 2005, and 2007). Barry has a slim chance at ever being elected while Jackson, Harpring, Lue and Madsen have no chance at all.

Mutombo will likely not be the only former NBA player to be elected in 2015 as Kevin Johnson, Tim Hardaway and Spencer Haywood have strong cases. Also, Chris Webber, Penny Hardaway and Robert Horry could join the field after not being nominated for 2014 enshrinement despite being eligible.

Johnson is on the bubble for the Hall-of-Fame but should get in eventually. He played 13-years in the NBA and was a three-time All-Star and four-time second team All-NBA section. Johnson holds several Phoenix Suns records and had a successful career at the University of California-Berkley.

Hardaway should get into the Hall-of-Fame this year. He spent 15-years in the NBA and a five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA second team selection. The 1989 WAC Player of the Year is the Miami Heat’s all-time three-point leader.

Haywood will likely be elected this year, he played 1969-1983. He was the ABA MVP in 1970 and averaged 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds throughout his NBA and ABA career. Haywood was a consensus All-American at the University of Detroit in 1969.

Webber should be a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer. He was a five-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA First Team 2011 – Webber also was named to the All-NBA second Team (three times). The 1994 Rookie of the Year averaged 20.7 points and 9.6 rebounds – he led the NBA in rebounds in 1999. In college, Webber was named the USBWA Freshman of the Year in 1992 and was a consensus First Team All-American selection in 1993.

Hardaway deserves to be in the Hall of Fame but not sure he will make it. In 16 years, Hardaway was a four-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team selection. He was a consensus First Team All-American consensus selection in 1993 while at Memphis.

Horry also known as “Big Shot Bob” has absolutely no shot at making the Hall of Fame.

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