Has Kyle Lowry Done Enough to Make the Hall of Fame?
In 2013, Kyle Lowry was viewed as a locker room cancer. Uncoachable, hard headed, and just an absolute nuisance to have in your organization. At the end of 2019 we view Kyle Lowry as a: perennial All Star, a maestro with the ball, the greatest Raptor of all time, and a World Champion. How things can change so fast.
To discuss and debate about Lowry’s legacy is redundant and pointless. The championship alone birthed a new generation in Canadian basketball. The real question is, does Kyle Lowry have enough on his resume to make the Hall of Fame?
There have been multiple players who have come out publicly and said that Kyle Lowry is already a Hall of Famer. We have seen the likes of Chris Bosh, C.J McCollum, Eric Bledsoe, and Tristan Thompson, all publicly say that Kyle Lowry should be in the Hall of Fame. Many fans and media personnel are conflicted about the topic, but the best way to figure out the answer is to compare and contrast Kyle Lowry’s career with other players who are already inducted in Springfield.
The Basketball Hall of Fame isn’t the hardest of the four major sports to get in to. We have seen players with subpar careers get nominations into the Hall. Even in the 2019 Hall of Fame class there was some questionable selections. Players such as Vlade Divac, and Sidney Moncreif were inducted. All due respect to those players who were amazing NBA athletes, but were they Hall of Fame level? That’s where the debate begins.
I have 3 players who were inducted into the Hall that I will compare to Kyle Lowry. At the end we will let you decide if he’s worthy to be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
1. Mitch Richmond
I hope I already provoked some of the people reading. Don’t get me wrong, Mitch Richmond is a very good player. Hall of Fame though? That’s where my eyebrow twitches.
Mitch Richmond was a prolific scorer back in his day. His resume stands out when you look at it, at first glance. 6x All Star, 5x All-NBA, Rookie of the Year, All Rookie team, and even an NBA champion. How is this even a question? Mitch Richmond has a significantly better resume than Kyle Lowry to be in the Hall of Fame.
But that’s where you’re wrong. Mitch Richmond only made the playoffs 4 times in his 14 year NBA career. Kyle Lowry has reached the playoffs 6 consecutive years with the Raptors alone, and will soon make it 7 consecutive years.
“He was able to win a championship in those 4 years he did make the postseason, what do you have to say to that?”. What I have to say is, he only played 2 games the entire championship run that 2002 Lakers team had, while only scoring 3 points. His lack of playoff experience, and productivity has to come into consideration. Not only was Kyle Lowry a big time contributor for the Raptors in every post-season they’ve been in, he’s been a top 2 player in those series for Toronto (if you disagree watch some highlights of Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals).
2. Drazen Petrovic
This is a hard one. I love me some Drazen just as much as the other guy, but if we are being honest, he didn’t have the most outstanding career.
Due to his untimely death, Drazen Petrovic wasn’t able to achieve his full potential, and I know that. But I’m not here to talk about the what ifs about Petrovic, I’m here to compare his career to Kyle Lowry’s.
Petrovic only played 4 years in the NBA before he unfortunately passed away. The only accolade he has in his career is that he was an All-NBA player in the 1993 NBA season. Majority of his accolades come from his time overseas. He was the FIBA MVP in 1989, and won a gold and a bronze in the EuroBasket, and also a gold and a bronze in the FIBA World Cup. The glaring fact about this is that European basketball wasn’t close to as good as it is now. The competition of European basketball in the 80s and 90s, compared to the competition in the NBA back in the 80s and 90s, is drastically different.
The Basketball Hall of Fame isn’t just the “NBA Hall of Fame”. The contributions that someone makes in international play is taken into consideration as well. Kyle Lowry doesn’t have nearly the resume as Petrovic does overseas, as he’s only won one gold medal (2016 Olympics).
The lack of NBA experience and achievements that Petrovic had compared to Kyle Lowry is evident. One can say “if Drazen is in the Hall, Lowry should be as well.”
3. Bill Bradley
Just because a player was a key contributor for a championship team doesn’t mean they should be in the Hall of Fame. Let me repeat myself, just because a player was a key contributor for a championship team doesn’t mean they should be in the Hall of Fame.
Bill Bradley was a player on those early 70s Knick championship teams. A great role player he was, but that’s it. Bradley averaged a mediocre 12.4 PPG along with 3.4 REB throughout his career. Besides the championship seasons, his only other accolade was an All Star appearance in 1973.
If we compare Bill Bradley’s sole All Star season stats with Kyle Lowry’s first All Star season stats, there are a few things that stand out. Bill Bradley (6’5’) averaged 16.1 PTS, 3.7 REB, and 4.5 AST a game. Kyle Lowry (6’0) averaged 17.8 PTS, 4.7 REB, amd 6.7 AST a game. Lowry’s averages are greater than Bradley in every category.
Bill Bradley was a great role player in his day, but wasn’t a Hall of Fame worthy player. Putting him in the Hall is the equivalent to putting Richard Hamilton in the Hall of Fame, or even the likes of players such as Danny Green, Jason Terry, and Ron Artest. All those players were great role players, and contributors to championship level teams, but putting them in the conversation of Hall of Fame players is simply laughable.
Also one of the biggest reasons Kyle should be in the Hall of Fame, is the impact he’s had on Canadian basketball. Not only has he turned a franchise around, he is part of the reason for a new revolution of basketball for the youth in Canada. Young Canadian talent have gone on record to say the Lowry has been a big motivating factor as to why they love basketball so much.
Now this wasn’t just to bash on some former NBA players just for the fun of it. This was to prove a point that if there are some players with decent to very good careers in the Hall of Fame, why can’t Kyle Lowry be in it as well? There has to be a pattern and consistency when inducting players into the Hall of Fame. If Mitch Richmond got inducted, the same should happen to Kyle Lowry.
What do you think? Was I able to convince you that Lowry should be in the Hall of Fame, or do you believe he still isn’t there yet?