Monday, June 29, 2015

The Hall of Fame Projector (2014) - The "Strong Candidates"

The next list of five players scored between 80 to 89 percent on the Hall of Fame Projector.  The people over at would call these players "Strong Candidates" for a future Hall of Fame membership.  One of these players is already in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame but it might take some consideration for the other ones.

Deanna Nolan (88 percent) : Nolan is an odd case.  She's 30th all time in Win Shares with 31.3, she has three WNBA championship titles.  She falls a little short in MVP votes and All-Star (or Olympic/FIBA) selections, but there's a reason for that.

At the end of the 2009 season, the Detroit Shock franchise was transferred to Tulsa.  Nolan had played nine years with the Shock.  She stated that she didn't see herself personally willing to relocate and start with a rebuilding squad, and decided to not return to the WNBA.

From this article:

"I don't think I will return to the WNBA," Nolan said. "Of course, I would love to play in America, but there's no way any player can live off of a WNBA salary. The NBA players make millions of dollars and the top WNBA player probably makes $100,000 to $105,000 before taxes."

Nolan currently plays with UMMC Ekaterinburg and is still active overseas.  But we've seen the last of Nolan in the WNBA, barring her being released from UMMC and needing a job.  I don't think Hall of Fame voters will be prejudiced against her; the question is if they'll have her in mind at all now that she's been playing outside the US for the last six years.

Swin Cash (88 percent):  Cash also has three rings with Detroit.  But was she the best player on Detroit's squad?  In 2003 and 2004 she was, after that she never had years with any team as good as those years.  Having two national championships with Connecticut will definitely have pull on the Hall of Fame voters.

Janeth Arcain (87 percent):  Arcain gets the bonus for having a career that ended before 2005, but that didn't seem to hurt her too much.  She won four rings with the Houston Comets.  She's already in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Andrea Stinson (82 percent):  Who is Andrea Stinson?  She played nine years in the league, eight of them with the now defunct Charlotte Sting.  She had her number retired by the Sting, but after the Sting folded her number has come down from the rafters (and no one in Charlotte seems to know what happened to it).  As the Sting haven't been around for almost a decade, is there anyone who really remembers Stinson?  She played one year for Detroit in 2005 before retiring.

Taj McWilliams (80 percent):  I used to joke that when the sun died and the Earth was reduced to a crusty cinder, the only life forms left on the planet would be Katie Smith and Taj McWilliams playing with the last basketball. Grandmama had 538 games spread across two leagues. She played for the Richmond/Philadelphia Rage in the ABL, then with the Orlando Miracle in the WNBA, then moved with the Miracle to Connecticut, then to Los Angeles.  Then a year split between Washington and Detroit, a full year in Detroit (which was the team's last), then New York, and finally Minnesota.  In her final year in 2012 with the Lynx she started in every game she played.

She's the all time WNBA leader in offensive rebounds with 1,062, and she "lost" a couple of years to the ABL.  But the press never really thought of her as a MVP player.  For her first three years in the WNBA she was the best player on the Miracle.  She should get in on the strength of longevity and offensive rebounding alone.

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