Look, I am not going to dispute that the Basketball Hall of Fame has really hit some clunkers. (Calvin Murphy? Guy Rodgers?) but those guys are so far off from what should be the standard to get into the Hall of Fame that their selection cries out "embarrassment" more than it leads to any serious consideration of what the standard should be for a Hall of Fame player.
But Mitch Richmond - he was a very good player. So should he be a Hall of Famer?
Mitch Richmond had 0 first-team all-NBA selections. He had 0 times that he finished in the top 12 in the MVP balloting. So he was NEVER ONCE deemed to be among the top 12 most valuable players in the league, and, even with Michael's retirement for two years, he never made first team all-NBA. He was a 6 time all-star.
Go to the link and review his Win Shares "similar players" - do you see any Hall of Famers? No. Walter Davis was, arguably, as good of a player. Dan Majerle's teams had more success and his Win Share performance was almost identical.
The strength of Mitch Richmond was that he played a lot of games on bad Kings teams, so he got a lot of two things -- shots and minutes. Look at those minutes logged by Mitch Richmond for 11 years straight! Was he an efficient player? No. He had two years with a PER over 20. Two years. Vince Carter's CAREER PER is 20. Vince has had 8 years with a PER over 20.
After this year, it is likely that Mitch Richmond will have fewer overall Win Shares than Vince Carter has just offensive Win Shares.
Mitch was the All-Star Game MVP one year, shooting 10 of 13. The remainder of his All-Star games? 15 of 44. So, his much touted All-Star moment was really just one good game, mixed in amongst many bad games.
Again, Mitch Richmond was a very good player. And he was recognized with 3 second team and 2 third-team All-NBA selections. But if we select Mitch Richmond as a Hall of Fame player, how do we possibly keep out Joe Johnson? Look at their comparisons: http://bkref.com/tiny/yxLAd
While Mitch's stats and honors are slightly better, Joe's teams have been consistently better than Mitch's teams were. Joe has been a 7 time all-star.
Have we really reached the point where if you were a 6 or 7 time all-star that you are a lock for the Hall of Fame? If so, I guess I will just have to swallow hard and accept it. But I would prefer to think that a true Hall of Fame player should have been either: 1) a top 3 starter on a championship team; 2) a couple times first-team all-NBA; 3) top 10 in MVP balloting at least 2 times; 4) possessing some otherworldly skill that deserves recognition (10 times all-defense, 3 times Defensive POY, rebounding champ 4+ times, etc.); or 5) top 10 all-time in one particular positive stat of note.
Neither Mitch Richmond nor Joe Johnson meets any of those criteria. I don't think those criteria are overly difficult. Will there be some borderline guys left out? Sure. But it appears that the HOF is just putting guys in now because they are running out of good candidates and need to present a program in August.