Amar’e Stoudemire has a strong case for the Hall of Fame. He was a consistent winner for the Phoenix Suns, though they never won a title. He also put up strong career stats on a per-game basis even though his career was shortened by injury. Stoudemire also made six All-Star and five All-NBA teams.
Is Amar’e Stoudemire Eligible for the Hall of Fame?
Amar’e Stoudemire, a 6’10” center/power forward, retired from the NBA after the 2015-2016 season. According to the Hall of Fame’s rules: “A player must be fully retired for four full seasons before being eligible for Enshrinement”.
Thus Amar’e became eligible to be selected for the Hall of Fame with the 2020 class. He has not been selected thus far, however, as of the writing of this article.
Is Amar’e Stoudemire a Hall of Fame Player?
You can see Amar’e Stoudemire’s career counting stats below:
While there is nothing officially written about what makes a player eligible to be inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame, observers generally agree that there are three main factors weighed when choosing NBA players for the Hall.
The first factor is winning. Players who win consistently or win multiple titles often get consideration for the Hall of Fame that they normally wouldn’t.
Robert Horry has very meager career stats and accomplishments, but he is often discussed as a serious candidate because he won seven titles.
A second factor in choosing players for the Hall of Fame is career awards and accomplishments. These are things like making All-Star, All-NBA, or All-Defensive Teams and winning MVPs or Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
Generally speaking, players who stack up enough of these accomplishments are selected for the Hall of Fame.
I wrote recently about the players with the most All-Star appearances who did not make the Hall of Fame. There are only a handful of players to have made six All-Star games or more and not make the Hall of Fame.
There is only one, Larry Foust, to make more than six and not make it – he made eight!
The last criteria used to choose NBA players for the Basketball Hall of Fame is career statistics. A player who does not win can put themselves into a strong position for the Hall of Fame by consistently putting up good statistics.
I think Joe Johnson is a good example of this. I predicted here that he will probably make the Hall of Fame because he scored 20,000 points in his career and nearly everyone who has ever done so has been enshrined in Springfield.
This despite the fact that Iso Joe never really won much at all and has borderline career accomplishments.
We will look at Amar’e Stoudemire’s standing in each of these three categories below.
Amar’e Stoudemire Hall of Fame Criteria: WinningEmbed from Getty Images
Amar’e Stoudemire cannot make the kind of case for the Hall of Fame based on winning that an all-time great like Kobe Bryant or Hakeem Olajuwon could. Players like that won multiple titles in addition to all the other reasons they are slam-dunk Hall of Famers.
But Amar’e has a better argument that he was a winner than some other borderline Hall of Fame candidates like Jermaine O’Neal or Joe Johnson do. Those guys never really won much at all.
Amar’e was the best player, or at least the leading scorer, on a pretty great Suns team. That team had a lot of talent, for sure, with the likes of Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Joe Johnson as well.
But, again, Amar’e was the leading scorer for those teams through a stretch where they played some high level basketball. It can certainly be argued that Steve Nash was their best player, but Amar’e was a dominant force as well.
In 2004-2005, the Suns won 62 games and lost to a Tim-Duncan-led Spurs team in the Western Conference Finals. Duncan led the Spurs to a title that year.
The next season the Suns lost to a Dirk-Nowitzki-led Dallas team in the Western Semi-Finals. The Mavs went to the Finals that year.
In 2006-2007, the Suns won 61 games and lost to San Antonio in the West Semi-Finals. The Big Fundamental once again took that Spurs team to a title that year.
After another early playoff loss to San Antonio in 2008, and a year out of the playoffs, the Suns went back to the Western Conference Finals in 2010. They lost then to a Kobe-led Lakers squad that won the title that year.
My point here is that Amar’e Stoudemire’s Suns teams were really good! They made deep playoff runs consistently and were blocked by teams who won NBA titles. Those teams featured some of the best players to ever live in Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan.
And Amar’e was not a bit part on those teams. He generally was the team’s leading scorer and was right below Shawn Marion as the leading rebounder.
When he went to New York, they exited the playoffs early in his first year and then injuries decimated his career. But up to that point, Amar’e Stoudemire had been a consistent winner, if not quite a champion, in the NBA.
Amar’e Stoudemire Hall of Fame Criteria: Career Awards & AccomplishmentsEmbed from Getty Images
Amar’e Stoudemire has really good, if not quite amazing, Hall of Fame credentials in the area of career awards and accomplishments.
He made six All-Star games. Five of those appearances were during his great run with the Suns and one was in his first season in New York, which was excellent.
After that, injuries knocked Stoudemire’s career off a cliff. After his first season in New York, he only played more than 55 games one time and he quickly became a shell of the athletic force he had been in Phoenix.
In addition to his six All-Star appearances, Amar’e made five All-NBA teams. That is no small number. In 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011 Stoudemire was 2nd Team All-NBA. In 2007, he was 1st Team All-NBA.
While it is not the kind of award that seems to move the needle much in Hall of Fame voting, Stoudemire also won Rookie of the Year in 2003.
A player with six All-Star games will usually make the Hall of Fame. When you add in five appearances on All-NBA teams, that is usually going to be enough to make that player at least a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame.
Let’s look at Stoudemire’s career stats next.
Amar’e Stoudemire Hall of Fame Criteria: Advanced Stats & Player Comparison
Here again are Stoudemire’s career counting stats:
For comparison’s sake, here are Shawn Kemp’s career counting stats:
Finally, let’s look at an obvious Hall of Famer. Here are Kevin Garnettt’s stats:
I have chosen these three players to compare deliberately. They all played similar positions in the same general era – although Kemp came well before Stoudemire.
I chose Kevin Garnett for the obvious reason that the Big Ticket was one of the best players to ever play and an easy choice for the Hall of Fame when he became eligible.
I picked Kemp because he was a really good player who has not quite gotten into the Hall of Fame yet. He is a pretty clear borderline case who could make it, but might not.
The counting stats above don’t really seem to differentiate too much between these players. Of course, KG was one of the greatest defensive players to ever live and these traditional stats are not great at capturing defense.
Maybe the biggest difference is in games played. Garnett played forever and he was good for nearly his whole career. Both Kemp and Stoudemire had careers that were cut short, in Amar’e’s case by injury while Kemp battled addiction issues.
In the comparison between Amar’e and the Reign Man, Stoudemire looks pretty good. He was the better scorer and was close in most other categories.
Let’s look at some advanced stats to see what they can tell us about these three players.
I am relying on just a few advanced stats. None are perfect and I am not even saying these are the best stats to use to judge players’ careers.
But each of the three stats below uses a statistical formula to try to capture all a player does on the court to help their team win. When you look at a bunch of these types of stats for players, generally you will notice the best players come out on top.
|Player||PER||Win Shares||Box Plus/Minus|
The first thing that stands out among the advanced stats is that Kevin Garnett was a hell of a player! His stats here are unreal.
I guess it’s not surprising that Amar’e Stoudemire was not quite the player that KG was.
The second thing I notice here is that Stoudemire’s career advanced stats are quite a bit better than Shawn Kemp’s.
Despite fewer games played, he got more win shares. Stoudemire also had better Box plus/minus and PER.
When compared to an all-time great like KG, Stoudemire comes up a bit short. But when compared to a borderline Hall of Famer like Shawn Kemp, Amar’e Stoudemire clearly looks to be a bit better.
Amar’e Stoudemire Hall of Fame: Other Factors
Most NBA players make the Hall of Fame for what they did in the league. Other players, like Bill Walton and Ralph Sampson mostly got in based on their college exploits because their NBA careers were too short.
Some other players, like Alvin Robinson, have glaring red flags that will keep them from getting serious Hall of Fame consideration.
It is worth considering if players have other factors that might influence their Hall of Fame chances. In the case of Amar’e Stoudemire, the answer is no.
Amar’e came right out of high school into the league, so there is no discussion about his college career to be had. And, as far as I am aware, Stoudemire was a model citizen with no baggage that could hurt his Hall of Fame chances.
Prediction: Will Amar’e Stoudemire Make the Hall of Fame?
As I mentioned at the start of this article, Stoudemire is already eligible. That he has not yet been chosen says that he is not an easy, obvious choice. But, the more I write about him, the more I think he should already be in.
Therefore, I think it is safe to predict that Amar’e Stoudemire will make the Hall of Fame. He was obviously not a first-year slam dunk choice like Kobe or Larry Bird. But I believe Stoudemire will get inducted sooner rather than later.
He has a good combination of a winning record, good career accomplishments and strong career statistics. That should be enough to get Amar’e Stoudemire into the Hall of Fame.
In general, the Basketball Hall of Fame has been less picky and more receptive to borderline players than other sports Halls of Fame. That is one more fact supporting Stoudemire’s candidacy. I predict he gets in.
Summary: Amar’e Stoudemire Hall of Fame
Amar’e Stoudemire never won a championship, but his Suns teams were consistent winners. He put up very good career statistics and made six All-Star and five All-NBA teams. That combination should be enough to get him into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
I have been a Boston sports fan for more than forty years. I write about games, players and seasons from the past.