Fast Links: Players Leagues All-Star Games Awards Coaches Draft

About the Hall of Fame Monitor

First, a few words about the Basketball Hall of Fame. When we think of hall of fames we usually think of them as being associated with one particular institution, such as the Baseball Hall of Fame and MLB or the Football Hall of Fame and the NFL, but basketball is different for a number of reasons. Basketball is a more global sport than most other professional American sports. It is not only played in many different countries and regions, but also played very well. It is also a cross gender sport, making the Basketball Hall of Fame open to many more women than the other hall of fames. And lastly, until the mid 1950's there were a variety of major pro basketball leagues throughout the country. Because of all of this, the basketball hall of fame has a wider variety and more diverse selection of players, coaches and contributors. The formula used for the HOF Monitor is really only valid for players who have played their entire careers in the NBA, ABA or a combination of both. For example, Arvydas Sabonis may make the hall of fame, but it will have more to do with his performance on the Russian National Team than for his play in the NBA.

For more information on the selection process for the Basketball Hall of Fame, visit their web site at

The Hall of Fame Monitor is a formula with six components. It is meant to be used as a guide and not as a hard and fast rule. There are some players who do very well according to the formula and are not in the hall of fame, but for the most part this formula is a good scale.

The Formula:

  • 75 points for each NBA MVP award
    • 15 points for each All NBA First Team selection
    • 1 point for each point of NBA career Approximate Value and .33 points for each point of ABA career Approximate Value
    • 2.5 points for each point of NBA career Efficiency
    • 3.5 points for each NBA Championship
    • -20 points for centers and -15 points for forwards

      Formula Explanations

      NBA MVP
      Being an NBA MVP has been the best way to get into the hall. Every NBA MVP who is eligible for the Hall of Fame is in the Hall of Fame. When a player wins an MVP award, its almost as good as getting enshrined.

      All NBA First Team
      Being elected NBA First Team carries some weight with the hall. 80% of players who were All NBA First Team two or more times and are eligible for the hall of fame, are in the hall of fame. The percentage jumps to 96% for players with three or more NBA First Team selections. Being selected to an All NBA First team should be slightly easier for a forward or guard than a center because two forwards and guards are selected as opposed to one center.

      Approximate Value (AV)
      Approximate Value is a statistical calculation that provides an idea of how much a player contributed to his team over the course of a season. The career AV will provide an idea of how much a player contributed to his teams over the course of his entire career. This component gives players credit for long, solid careers. ABA AV is not given as much credit as NBA AV. The AV is also slightly biased towards centers and forwards.

      Efficiency (EFF)
      Efficiency is a measure of a players impact per game. Since it is a per game average, it helps players who had short, but spectacular careers. It is also the only component that can decrease over time. So a player who has a career EFF of 20.1 after five seasons, may fall off and only have a career EFF of 17.3 after 10 seasons. This means that the HOF Monitor score can actually fall for some players over time. EFF is slightly biased towards centers and forwards.

      NBA Championship
      Winning an NBA Championship is a good thing in the eyes of the Hall of Fame voters. It also gives that player some publicity and possibly enhances the perception that he is a great player. Players who play on multiple championship teams have a slightly increased chance of making the Hall of Fame.

      C and F Penalty
      The slight bias towards centers and forwards that AV and EFF have needs to be acounted for with a penalty. Centers are penalized 20 points and forwards are penalized 15 points. Each player in our system has been assigned one single position. This is not ideal, but in most cases works out fine. Players who play multiple positions were given the position that they played most over the course of their career.

      This formula provides a handy guide for rating a player's HOF chances. It is not meant to be a way to compare players of different eras. 85% of all players with a HOF Monitor score of 135 or more and are eligible are in the Hall of Fame. 99% of players with a score of 160 or greater and are eligible are in the Hall of Fame. One thing you will notice is that good players tend to jump out to a quick pace. This is because of the player's career EFF score. Keep in mind that the career EFF score will probably not move very much for a player and in most cases will actually drop off as the player becomes older and his skills diminish.

      All time and current HOF Monitor Scores