The 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame Class has been enshrined.
It happened on Sunday, so it's obviously the appropriate time to talk about the 2014 class, a mere four days later.
Let's disqualify, for the moment, those who have been on the ballot and didn't make it last time around. It was a relatively weak class that went in Sunday, so those that didn't make the cut, don't have a great argument for enshrinement a year later.
Also, for the sake of the discussion, we shall focus on the NBA players, not foreigners, women, officials or dignitaries. Honestly, I can't state with any level of expertise why or why not any of them belong in the Hall.
Let's look at the newly eligible.
Any good cook knows you have to trim the fat when you butcher the meat (friendly tip from Iron Chef Brighters: don't always do that because fat can lead to flavor).
The fat, in this case is Damon Stoudamire, Bo Outlaw, P.J. Brown, Eddie Jones, Steve Francis, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Sam Cassell. Some have better claims than others in that group, some (sorry, Bo) have no claim, but no matter what, none of these players deserves realistic consideration.
That leaves us with four new candidates open for debate.
The man who is still probably most famous for the phantom timeout in the NCAA Championship had an incredibly productive professional career.
Webber's 15-year career may not have put him in a mortal lock category for the Hall of Fame, but he deserves to go.
He averaged 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game over his career. Those first two numbers are very good and the assists number for a big man is very, very good.
Webber made five All-Star games and five All-NBA teams, including one first team, and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting five times. In a 15-year career, that doesn't look sterling, but you have to delve a little deeper.
Webber played in the era of Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki at the power forward spot. Those three are all-time greats, and, no, Webber is not one for the ages, but to rattle off those accomplishments, five times is not a joke. With incredibly stiff competition, Webber distinguished himself.
He led the renaissance in Sacramento basketball and, sure, those Kings teams probably could've played in at least one NBA Finals to cement Webber's legacy, but the San Antonio Spurs were a dynasty and the Los Angeles Lakers were close to one.
These aren't brought up as excuses to justify Webber's small number of appearances in laudatory devices. Nor is his injury history. It's just to showcase that Webber may not have been immortal, but he was awfully good and made the postseason 10 times. In most of those trips, he was the best player on the team.
Webber had a great amateur career, marred not just by an ill-fated crossing of his hands in a "T" formation, but also by a plea arrangement for lying to a grand jury about taking money while in college.
There are plenty of bad guys in the Hall of Fame.
It all adds up to enough. Webber's the type of guy who voters might make wait a year.
Full disclosure - in researching Mourning's case, early on, it seemed like an easy yes.
For the first eight seasons of his career, Mourning averaged 20.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 3.1 blocked shots per game, which is a towering number (his career numbers are lower thanks to stints as a bench player).
During that time, Mourning made five All-Star games (he made two more after he was a freak of nature force), All-NBA twice, including a first-team nod, and All-Defensive first team twice, and won Defensive Player of the Year in back- to-back years. Those two years, Mourning finished second and third in MVP voting.