NBA: Is Joe Johnson a Hall of Famer?

Joe Johnson had a weird career in the grand scheme of things. That is exactly what makes answering the question wether he belongs in the Hall of Fame so tough.

Career Averages

One thing that the Basketball Hall of Fame has shown is that players don’t need big numbers to get in, but it doesn’t hurt.

The formula for getting into the Hall is a steady diet of (at least) decent numbers and career accolades and/or accomplishments. This is why guys like Dennis Johnson, Dennis Rodman, and Maurice Cheeks got inducted. All of which averaged under 15 ppg.

Johnson for his career averaged 16 ppg, and during his seven seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, he averaged just under 21 ppg in his prime. The Arkansas product also averaged 4 rebounds per game and 4 assists per game on over 80% from the line to go with just a tad under 50% shooting from the field. If it wasn’t for Johnson trying to extend his career, his averages would look sexier. However, Johnson’s numbers are good enough to get him in the HOF compared to those above.

Accolades/Accomplishments

“Joe Cool” made six straight all-star appearances from 2007 to 2012, then his last in 2014. Johnson won the Player of the Week Award seven different times and won the Player of the Month Award once. In 2009, Johnson made his only All-NBA team, being the third team. “Big Shot Joe” is also currently 45th in career made field goals, and 10th in career three-pointers made.

Last, but far from least, is the fact that he is currently 42nd in total points scored. What’s so special about that? Everyone in front of him and most close behind him are either in the Hall already or will be. With all of this being said, Basketball Reference already has his induction probability sitting at just above 50% currently.

Conclusion

No, Joe Johnson didn’t have the type of career that most think of when speaking of HOF players, but compared to some that got in undeserving, this guy is a guarantee to get in. Compared to careers like Sarunas Marciulionis, Arvydas Sabonis, Gus Johnson, Guy Rodgers and many many more, Johnson should be inducted without question.

Nobody thinks Johnson is going to be first ballot. They would be right to think this, but in due time, he’ll get in. Johnson still hasn’t officially retired yet, so it is unknown who will be in his class. This is a question to be revisited in the future once he officially hangs them up for good. Until then, Joe Johnson belongs in the HOF.

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