NBA Finals 2010: Would a Second Title Catapult Pau Gasol into Hall of Fame?

For all the talk of Kobe Bryant legitimizing the comparisons to Michael Jordan, of Phil Jackson standing a single game away from owning more championship rings than fingers, of Ron Artest’s career redemption, and of Boston's Big Three cementing their place among Celtics legends, everyone has forgotten about Pau Gasol.

Until joining the Lakers, Gasol was rarely mentioned among the league's top power forwards.

Amar’e Stoudemire was a better scorer. Tim Duncan was a better winner. Dirk Nowitzki had more range.

Three postseasons later, Gasol stands four quarters away from accomplishing something that none of those players have even had the opportunity to attempt.

A second consecutive NBA championship.

Gasol, playing in his third straight NBA Finals appearance, was never looked at as a Hall of Famer before now. Even Gasol’s performance in last year’s Finals against the Orlando Magic hadn’t elevated him to such elite status.

But being the second best player on a repeat championship team has to put you in the conversation. Doesn’t it?

It’s not that the Hall of Fame always gets it right.  In fact, they often don’t.

If you haven’t heard the murmurs that Allen Iverson, owner of the third highest scoring average in NBA history, might be denied a Hall of Fame spot after his eventual retirement, you’ve been hiding under a rock.

The Hall’s blatant snub of five time NBA champion, defensive stalwart, and rebound maestro Dennis Rodman was even worse. Denying Rodman will forever taint the Hall’s selection committee.

But what excuse would they have to exclude Gasol if he does win tonight?

Nowitzki is considered a surefire Hall of Famer, but are his career stats of 23 points and eight rebounds per game so m...

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