Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Will Derrick Rose Be The First NBA MVP To NOT Make It Into the Hall of Fame?

To date, every NBA MVP Award winner has made it into the NBA Hall of Fame soon after becoming eligible, a trend that goes back to 1955, when the NBA announced their first MVP winner, Bob Pettit. (Here's a complete list of MVP award winners by year.)

That shouldn't be terribly surprising. A player who is considered to be the most valuable player for an entire season is obviously someone who's quite talented and has had or will continue have a stellar NBA career. Moreover, many players who won MVPs were so dominant that they won several MVPs, e.g., players like Kareem, Russell, Wilt, Magic, Bird, MJ and LeBron.

Currently, there are nine MVP winners who aren't in the Hall of Fame, all because they are still playing (although quite a few on this list will retire this year, most likely) or aren't yet eligible for induction into the HoF (Nash):

  1. Tim Duncan
  2. Kevin Garnett
  3. Steve Nash
  4. Dirk Nowitzki
  5. Kobe Bryant
  6. LeBron James
  7. Derrick Rose
  8. Kevin Durant
  9. Stephen Curry
How likely is it that all of those players will make it into the HoF one day? Clearly, many of those nine players are absolute, guaranteed, don't even talk about it locks for the HoF. But there is one extreme outlier in that list... If we go by Basketball-Reference.com's Hall of Fame Probability metric, the list (ordered from most likely to least likely) looks like this:
  1. Tim Duncan - 100%
  2. Kevin Garnett - 100%
  3. Dirk Nowitzki - 100%
  4. Kobe Bryant - 100%
  5. LeBron James - 100%
  6. Kevin Durant - 99.43%
  7. Steve Nash - 98.29%
  8. Stephen Curry - 85.12%
  9. Derrick Rose - 10.52%
Basketball-Reference.com outlines the math used for determining HoF probability here, but in short it takes into account NBA Championships, what stats they led the league in, Win Shares and All Star Game selections, among other criteria.

All that to say, things are not looking good for Derrick Rose - 10.52% probability! Eep. Looking at just active players, that puts Rose in the same neighborhood as Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Deron Williams, three guys who are good, sure, but not what you'd consider Hall of Famers.

Now, the HoF probability metric isn't perfect. There are players in the HoF who have extremely low probabilities per the Basketball-Reference.com formula, the most jarring being Bill Walton, who only has a 2.04% chance per their math. But given that Rose's peak was interrupted so early by injury and that his Bulls team wasn't ablt to win a championship in that small window, it seems quite probable that Rose will have to live with the ignominy of being the only NBA MVP to not make it into the Hall of Fame.


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