The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is littered with the greatest players, coaches and contributors in the history of the sport, not just from the NBA, but from around the world.
With the outstanding 2018 class set to be inducted into the Hall this weekend, we decided to vote for the 10 greatest Hall-of-Fame classes of all time. For our purposes, we’re solely focusing on the player inductees for their NBA contributions.
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
10. 1971: BOB COUSY, BOB PETTIT, AL SAPERSTEIN
Between them, Bob Cousy and Bob Pettit combined for 20 1st Team All-NBA selections, 24 All-Star bids and seven championships, and although the legendary Boston Celtics guard counts for six of those rings, Pettit did some serious winning in his own right throughout his career.
This Hall of Fame class was special for a few reasons.
For starters, Cousy was one of the first truly commanding floor generals in league history. To this day, his 8.6-assist-per-game average in the playoffs is the ninth-best mark ever. Cousy also led the NBA in nightly regular-season assists eight separate seasons – only one player accomplished the feat more times. Most importantly, however, Cousy was an absolute winner. All six of his titles came in a seven-year stretch, with five of them coming consecutively from 1958-59 to 1962-63.
Pettit, meanwhile, was one of the first floor-spacing big men ever. His ability to pull up from the midrange and knock down jumpers was unheard of for the bigs of his day and age; his influence as a scorer trickled down through the generations that followed. For his career, Pettit averaged 26.4 points per contest – the eighth-best mark in NBA history. He led the league in scoring twice, and possesses the fifth-highest single-game scoring total in a Finals game after dropping 50 points in a decisive Game 6 Atlanta Hawks victory over the Celtics in the 1958 Finals for the lone title of his career.
Two early NBA legends, and together, they form one of the best Hall of Fame classes ever.