The guys at ESPN are at it once again. This time, they talked about international players that are Hall of Fame bound.
Here’s their take.
David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: He is, indeed. Manu’s savvy scoring talents worked perfectly within the Spurs’ system, and his passing gifts allowed the Spurs to employ a score-first point guard. Tim Duncan is a top-10 player historically, but Ginobili was a perfect scoring guard to pair with him as well, thanks to excellent shot selection and a huge heart. Few players at that position were better than Manu in his prime, and all who were will be Hall of Famers, too.
Jay Aych, The Painted Area: Absolutely. Manu’s NBA stats and accolades stack up favorably compared to Joe Dumars’. Would Ginobili get into an NBA-only HOF? Probably, but that’s debatable. When you take into consideration his European accomplishments pre-NBA and his success with the Argentine national team, Manu is a lock next to Bill Bradley, the only player to win Olympic gold, Euroleague title and NBA title.
Rob Mahoney, The Two Man Game: Absolutely. What Ginobili’s résumé lacks in longevity, it makes up for it with a string of incredible successes. From 2002-07, Ginobili became an All-Star, posted an average player efficiency rating of 21.1, won three NBA titles, championed Argentina to a gold medal in the Olympic games and led his team to a second-place finish in the FIBA World Championship. Throw that Ginobili did for the “euro step” in the NBA what Allen Iverson did for the crossover, and he certainly qualifies as a basketball luminary.
Jonathan Santiago, Cowbell Kingdom: Ginobili has been a key cog on each of the Spurs’ championship teams of the past decade. And internationally, he led a team that dethroned the United States in the Olympics for the first time since the U.S. started sending professionals.
Jared Wade, 8 Points In 9 Seconds: Yes. He won three NBA titles, an Olympic gold medal, a Euroleague title and an Italian league title. Individually, he has two All-NBA selections, a Sixth Man award, a Euroleague MVP and a few Italian league MVPs. On pure talent, he is no Kobe or Dwyane. He’s not even Drexler or Dumars. But he is so accomplished that he gets the nod.
David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: Yes. It’s not just the rings, either. For years, Parker has literally been one of the top paint scorers in the league. Try these numbers on for size: In the past five seasons, Parker has never made less than 62.7 percent of his rim shots, while current MVP Derrick Rose made 60 percent of his last season, his best showing ever. When a team’s point guard can get to the rim and finish like Parker can, everything else on offense flows so much more easily. Inch for inch and pound for pound, Parker had a stretch as probably the most potent offensive weapon in the NBA.
Jay Aych, The Painted Area: Obviously his NBA career has a lot in common with Ginobili’s, so I’ll say yes. Parker is maybe the best international point guard ever after Steve Nash. He also was a key figure on three NBA title teams and was Finals MVP in 2007. However, he does not have quite the résumé that Manu and Pau have in FIBA play.
Rob Mahoney, The Two Man Game: Maybe. Parker’s career, more than that of any other player included in this space, depends on the years to come. Like Ginobili, Parker is a three-time champion. He also has a trio of All-Star appearances to his name and a handful of highly productive seasons. But Parker has yet to reach the heights that Ginobili once claimed and hasn’t had the same level of international success. Parker may be a Hall of Famer yet, but he’s not quite there.
Jonathan Santiago, Cowbell Kingdom: I’m iffy about Parker because unlike Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, he’s never really won as the focal point of a team. Duncan has always been the centerpiece of all the Spurs’ championship teams, and Ginobili, as I said earlier, led Argentina to a gold-medal victory in the Olympics. With that said, he’s probably a Hall of Famer simply by being the most decorated basketball player to emerge from France.
Jared Wade, 8 Points In 9 Seconds: Nope. He is a huge step below both Manu and Pau in talent and can’t come close to matching their decorated international careers. I’m not even sure there is a legitimate case to be made for Parker, unless perhaps you think Chauncey Billups or Horace Grant is a Hall of Famer.
For his career, Parker is averaging 16.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds on 49.3 percent shooting from the floor.
Ginobili on the other hand is averaging 15.3 points, 3.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds on 44.9 percent field goal shooting in his nine-year career.
Those are not Kobe or Chris Paul like numbers, but you have to consider the fact that both of them where able to produce and certainly lend a big hand during the Spurs three title runs while playing with one of the greatest big man of All Time in Duncan.
Manu gets the unanimous nod because besides his NBA success, he was able to lead Argentina to an Olympic gold medal and an MVP at that.
Parker might need more work, but it should be remembered that he was the Finals MVP in 2007 when the Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers and is arguably the best international player that came out from France. That should speak volumes.
What are your thoughts? Are Manu and Tony Hall of Fame worthy? Tell us what you think.