Basketball Hall of Fame players from Louisiana

These are the players born in Louisiana who are in the Basketball Hall of Fame. The state of Louisiana is just 25th in terms of population, but roughly 100 players born in the state have played in the NBA, and eight of those players are in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

There is no denying the great basketball talent that has come out of the Bayou State. My favorite NBA team, the New Jersey Nets, tapped into that talent pool in 1979, when we drafted Calvin Natt in the first round. Natt was born in Monroe, Louisiana. He averaged 19.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game for us until we traded him away.

Natt played 10 years in the NBA, and averaged 17.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his career. Pretty good numbers, but not good enough to make this list of hall of fame players born in Louisiana. Players are ranked by their career scoring averages in the NBA.

Basketball Hall of Fame Players from Louisiana

1. Bob Pettit - 26.4 points per game

Bob Pettit was born in Baton Rouge on December 12, 1932. After averaging 27.4 points and 14.6 rebounds per game at LSU, Pettit played 11 years in the NBA. He averaged 26.4 points and 16.2 rebounds per game.

Pettit's points per game average is seventh best in NBA history, while his rebounding average is third best all-time behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Bob Pettit won two scoring titles in his career, was a two time MVP, was an 11 time all-star, a four time All-Star Game MVP, and he won a championship in 1958 with his longtime team, the St. Louis Hawks.

Bob Pettit was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971.

2. Karl Malone - 25.0

Karl Malone was born on July 24, 1963 in Summerfield, Louisiana. After averaging 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game at Louisiana Tech University, Karl Malone played 19 years in the NBA. He averaged 25.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

The Mailman was a great scorer, his career average is the 12th best in NBA history. Karl Malone played in the fourth most games in NBA history at 1,476, played the second most minutes at 54,852, made the most free throws in league history at 9,787, and scored the second most points at 36,928.

Malone is one of the all-time greats in NBA history. He was a two time MVP and a 14 time all-star, but he never won a championship. Karl Malone was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

3. Elvin Hayes - 21.0

Elvin Hayes was born on November 17, 1945 in Rayville, Louisiana. After averaging 31.0 points (36.8 as a senior) and 17.2 rebounds per game at the University of Houston, Elvin Hayes played in the NBA for 16 years. He averaged 21.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.

The Big E led the NBA in scoring once in his career as a rookie in 1969 with a 28.4 points per game average. He also led the NBA twice in rebounds per game, was a 12 time all-star, and won a championship in 1978 with the Washington Bullets. Elvin Hayes was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.

4. Clyde Drexler - 20.4

Clyde Drexler was born on June 22, 1962 in New Orleans. After averaging 14.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game at Houston in the Phi Slama Jama fraternity, Clyde the Glide played in the NBA for 15 years. He averaged 20.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

Clyde the Glide Drexler was a 10 time all-star, and won a championship in 1995 with the Houston Rockets. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

5. Willis Reed - 18.7

Willis Reed was born on June 25, 1942 in Hico, Louisiana. After averaging 18.7 points (26.6 as a senior) and 15.2 rebounds (21.3 as a senior) at Grambling University, Willis Reed played in the NBA for 10 years. He averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.

Willis was MVP of the NBA in 1970, was a seven time all-star, won two NBA Championships and was MVP in the Finals for both of those titles. Reed is best known for walking out onto the Madison Square Garden floor before the start of Game Seven in the 1970 finals.

He had a torn muscle in his thigh and was not expected to play, but Willis started the game against Wilt Chamberlain, and scored the Knicks first two baskets, leading the team to their first NBA Championship. Willis Reed was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

6. Joe Dumars - 16.1

Joe Dumars was born on May 24, 1963 in Shreveport. After averaging 22.2 points per game at McNeese State University, Dumars played in the NBA for 14 years. He averaged 16.1 points per game.

Joe Dumars was a six time all-star in the NBA, and he won two consecutive championships in 1989 and 1990 with the Detriot Pistons, while being named NBA Finals MVP in 1989. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

7. Bill Russell - 15.1

Bill Russell was born on February 12, 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana. After averaging 20.7 points and 20.3 rebounds per game at the University of San Francisco, Russell played in the NBA for 13 years, all with the Boston Celtics. He averaged 15.1 points and 22.5 rebounds per game. His rebounding average is second best in NBA history.

In 13 years of playing in the NBA, Bill Russell won an incredible 11 championships. That is the all-time most in NBA history by a player. The NBA Finals MVP Award is named after Russell, who was a five time NBA MVP. He would have won many NBA Finals MVP Awards if they had one during his career.

Bill Russell was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.

8. Robert Parish - 14.5

Robert Parish was born on August 30, 1953 in Shreveport. After averaging 21.6 points and 16.9 rebounds per game at Centenary College of Louisiana, Parish played in the NBA for 21 seasons. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

The Chief holds the NBA record for most games played all-time at 1,611. He played his last game when he was 43 years old, the third oldest player in league history. In his career, Robert Parish was a nine time all-star, and won four NBA Championships (1981, 1984 and 1986 with the Celtics, and 1997 with the Chicago Bulls).

Robert Parish was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

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Updated Friday, Sep 9, 2011