Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies are Friday, a chance to honor some of the greatest players (and in the case of the 2016 class, "unique") that the sport has ever known.
But while we're busy honoring the past, we started thinking about the present as well: Which guys currently in the NBA are locks for the Hall when they retire? Even more, who is a lock in baseball and football as well?
We decided to take a look, with 30 active players who are locks for the Hall of Fame when they retire.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Notable Accomplishments: 579 career HRs, 11th all time; three-time NL MVP; 10-time All-Star; two-time World Series champion; two-time NL home run champ; 2003 NL batting champ; 2001 NL Rookie of the Year. Career .310 hitter. Pujols hasn’t quite been the same player in Los Angeles that he was in St. Louis, but he’s still one of the greatest players of his generation or any other. He will almost assuredly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
APGene J. Puskar
Notable Accomplishments: Two-time AL MVP; four-time AL batting champion; two-time AL home run leader; two-time RBI leader; 11-time All-Star; World Series champion. Career .320 hitter with 426 HRs. One of the greatest hitters of all time, Cabrera became the first player in nearly 50 years to win a Triple Crown in 2012. He’s a lock for Cooperstown.
Getty ImagesLeon Halip
Notable Accomplishments: Only player in MLB history with 200+ hits 10 straight seasons; 4,272 career hits including 2,994 in MLB; 17-time All-Star (combined); MLB record 262 hits in a season; two-time MLB batting champ; 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year; seven-time AL hits leader; All-Star and Gold Glover for 10 straight seaons; three-time MVP of Japan's Pacific League.
No matter what you think of the recent “controversy” surrounding Ichiro and the MLB hits record, what can’t be denied is this: He is one of the greatest pure hitters the sport has seen.
Getty ImagesDilip Vishwanat
Notable Accomplishments: 526 career HRs, 19th all time; 10-time All-Star; three-time World Series champ; 2013 World Series MVP; 2006 AL home run leader; 2004 ALCS MVP; two-time AL RBI leader.
Whether you believe Ortiz is a Hall of Famer may depend on whether you believe voters will hold against him a report that he tested positive for PEDs in 2003. Since he never officially tested positive and there are many questions about that 2009 report, we are admitting Ortiz to Cooperstown.
Getty ImagesSean M. Haffey
Notable Accomplishments: Three-time NL Cy Young Award winner; 2014 NL MVP; two-time NL wins leader with 21; four-time NL ERA leader; three-time NL strikeouts leader; All-Star in six of his nine seasons.
Yes, Kershaw is still young, but in his short career he’s done things that few pitchers have, including winning the NL pitching Triple Crown in 2011. Of the eight other pitchers to win at least three Cy Youngs, all are in the Hall of Fame, with the exception of Roger Clemens, whose career has been marred by PED allegations.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Notable Achievements: Four-time MVP; three-time NBA champion; three-time NBA Finals MVP; 13th all time in scoring; 18th all time in assists; career 27.2 ppg, 2007-08 scoring champion; 12-time All-Star; two-time Olympic gold medalist.
LeBron cemented his Hall of Fame status long ago, and his long-term legacy by bringing Cleveland an NBA championship this year. The only question is how much more impressive these stats can become between now and retirement, before he ultimately ends up in Springfield.
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images
Notable Achievements: 15-time All-Star; 2003-04 MVP; 2008 NBA champ; among all-time leaders in points (17th), rebounds (9th), field goals made (11th), games played (5th) and blocks (17th); four-time rebounding leader; 2007-08 Defensive Player of the Year; 2000 Olympic gold medalist.
One of the most consistently great players in NBA history, as evidenced by his top-20 ranking in so many categories. Garnett will make the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsJesse Johnson
Notable Achievements: Among all-time leaders in scoring (6th), field goals made (12th), 3-point field goals made (15th) and games played (12th); 13-time All-Star; 2006-07 MVP; 2011 NBA champion and Finals MVP.
Nowitzki is the greatest European-born player in NBA history and helped redefine how 7-footers play the game.
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Notable Achievements: 12-time All-Star; three-time NBA champion; 2006 Finals MVP; 2009 scoring champion; 2008 Olympic gold medalist; 39th all time in scoring; career 23.7 ppg.
Wade gets the nod not so much because of any individual season, but more so because of his career accomplishments. That includes nine straight seasons scoring at least 20 points per game.
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images
Notable Achievements: Among all-time leaders in points scored (16th), field goals made (4th) and games played (15th); 2008 NBA Champion and Finals MVP; 10-time All-Star; career 20 ppg.
This is where things start to go from “Duh, totally obvious” to not so much, but Pierce still gets the nod thanks to his high level over a lengthy career. By the way, how many people know that Pierce is the 16th all-time scorer in NBA history, a mark which puts him ahead of Allen Iverson, Jerry West and Patrick Ewing, among many others?
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Notable Achievements: Two-time MVP; 2015 NBA champion; most 3-pointers made in a season and four-time NBA leader; 19th all-time in 3-pointers made; three-time All-Star; 2016 scoring champ and steals leader.
You might think I’m crazy for making Steph a “lock” due to his short time as an NBA superstar, but remember that in that short window he’s done stuff no one else in league history has come close to accomplishing. With two league MVPs, an NBA record for 3-pointers made in a season with 402 this year, and four of the seven greatest 3-point shooting seasons of all-time in the past four years, he would be in the Hall of Fame if he retired tomorrow.
Getty ImagesMaddie Meyer
Notable Achievements: Four-time NBA champion; 2004 Olympic gold medalist; 2001 EuroLeague champion; two-time Italian League MVP; two-time NBA All-Star.
Ginobili’s NBA stats aren’t as impressive as most Hall of Famers, after not arriving in the NBA until age 25, and splitting so many minutes and stats with Spurs teammates in the years since. Still, as a four-time NBA champion, and one of the most decorated international players ever, Ginobili will be in the Hall of Fame when he retires.
J Pat Carter/Getty Images
Notable Achievements: 11th all-time in assists; nine-time All-Star; four-time league leader in assists; six-time league leader in steals; two-time Olympic gold medalist; 2006 Rookie of the Year; career averages of 18.8 ppg and 9.9 apg; six-time All-Defensive First Team.
The numbers don’t blow you away, but as one of the most consistently great point guards of his generation, CP3 would make the Hall of Fame if his career ended today.
Getty ImagesHarry How
Notable Achievements: Nine-time All-Star; 29th all time in scoring; 2013 scoring champion; career 24.9 scorer; two-time Olympic gold medalist.
This one is going to drive the basketball purists crazy (as well as Knicks fans), but Melo is a lock to make the Hall as one of the top 30 scorers in NBA history, averaging 20 or more points in each of his 13 seasons, and the 2013 scoring champ.
Every NBA player who ranks in the top 35 in scoring (and is Hall of Fame eligible) has made it to Springfield. Do you know the last NBA scoring champ who didn’t make the Hall of Fame? Max Zaslofsky, who led the league in 1947-48.
Getty ImagesSean Gardner
Notable Achievements: 2014 MVP; four-time scoring champion; seven-time All-Star; career 27.4 scorer; 2008 Rookie of the Year; 2012 Olympic gold medalist.
KD has been in the league only nine years, but if he were to retire tomorrow, his career (which included four scoring titles) would be enough to get him to Springfield. And after joining the Warriors, he may soon add the biggest thing missing from his résumé: an NBA title.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Notable Accomplishments: Four-time Super Bowl champ; three-time Super Bowl MVP; two-time NFL MVP; two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year; among all-time leaders in career touchdown passes (T3) and passing yards (5th); two-time NFL leader in passing yards, four-time leader in TD passes.
If this guy isn’t the GOAT, he’s pretty close. Forget the four-game Deflategate suspension. Brady will be headed to Canton as soon as he’s eligible.
Getty ImagesMaddie Meyer
Notable Accomplishments: Among all-time leaders in touchdown passes (T3), completions (3rd) and passing yards (4th); 2010 Super Bowl MVP and champion; two-time Offensive Player of the Year; six-time leader in passing yards, four-time leader in touchdown passes.
Yes, Brees has spent the bulk of his career in Sean Payton’s pass-happy offensive attack, but do you see these stats? Simply put, he’s the most underrated player in his generation.
Another fun fact about Brees? Of the 10 best single-season touchdown passing totals ever, Brees has two of them. Not even Tom Brady can say that.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Notable Accomplishments: Two-time Super Bowl champ; among all-time leaders in career touchdown passes (14th), completions (13th) and passing yards (13th).
Roethlisberger may not seem “sure-fire” — until you look at his accomplishments: He’s already ranked in the top 15 in passing yards, completions and touchdown passes and has two Lombardi trophies, yeah he’s in.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Notable Accomplishments: Two-time Super Bowl MVP and champion; top 12 all-time in touchdown passes (8th), completions (10th) and passing yards (11th).
See everything we said about Roethlisberger above, and insert it here. Peyton Manning’s goofy, Oreo-eating younger brother is a Hall of Famer, the stats say. Manning is one of five QBs with two or more Super Bowl MVPs. The others: Brady, Joe Montana, Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw. Manning also is the active leader in consecutive starts (194, 3rd all time) following Peyton's retirement.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Notable Accomplishments: 2011 Super Bowl MVP and champ; two-time NFL MVP; highest passer rating in a season and career; top TD-to-INT ratio in NFL history; most consecutive seasons with a passer rating over 100.0; one of four QBs with a postseason passer rating over 100.0; most TD passes of 70 or more yards; most consecutive passes at home without an INT.
Despite a late start thanks to about 37 different Brett Favre retirements and un-retirements, Rodgers still has done a lot in a short amount of time, including joining only Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady with three seasons of 38+ touchdowns. If Rodgers retired tomorrow, he’d be headed to Canton.
Getty ImagesWesley Hitt
Notable Accomplishments: 2012 NFL MVP: three-time NFL rushing leader; 10th all time in rushing touchdowns; most rushing yards in a game; second-highest rushing yards in a season; seven-time Pro Bowler.
The man they call ‘All Day’ has been the dominant back of his generation. Even though there are still a few good years of his prime left, Peterson would be in the Hall of Fame if he retired tomorrow, based on more than 11,000 yards rushing and 97 rushing touchdowns.
Jon Durr/Getty Images
Notable Accomplishments: No. 15 in rushing yards; eight seasons of 1,000 yards rushing or more; five-time Pro Bowler.
Gore doesn’t jump out as a sure-fire Hall of Famer, but the stats say he is. Every player in the top 15 in rushing yards who is eligible for the Hall of Fame has made it to Canton, with the exception of Edgerrin James, who just became eligible this year. Gore is one of three players with 200 or more carries in nine straight seasons while averaging 4 yards or more. The other two? Jim Brown and Barry Sanders.
Getty ImagesRob Foldy
Notable Accomplishments: Top 10 all-time in catches (8th) and receiving yards (9th); two-time receiving yards leader; seven-time Pro Bowler.
Gore’s former Miami Hurricanes teammate and roommate also will get to Canton, behind the fact that he ranks in the top 10 all time in catches and receiving yards. Can you imagine what he could have done if he’d ever played with a real quarterback during his time with the Texans?
Getty ImagesJoe Sargent
Notable Accomplishments: Among all-time leaders in catches (11th), touchdown catches (11th) and receiving yards (15th); nine-time Pro Bowler.
Like Johnson, Fitzgerald rarely played with elite quarterbacks, but still put up some of the best numbers of his generation. At 30 he became the youngest to reach 11,000 receiving yards and his 76 per game rank fifth in NFL history.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Notable Accomplishments: 7th all-time in touchdown catches; eight-time Pro Bowler.
One of the most dominant tight ends ever, Gates is second to only Tony Gonzalez in TD catches at his position.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Notable Accomplishments: 10th all-time in career receptions; 10-time Pro Bowler.
Despite playing for the Cowboys his entire career, Witten doesn’t feel as high-profile as Gates, but he’s been every bit as good. His 1,020 catches rank 10th all time, and second for tight ends behind Gonzalez.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
Notable Accomplishments: Nine-time Pro Bowler.
With offensive linemen it’s hard to judge Hall of Fame credentials, but as the gold standard for NFL offensive tackles for a decade, Thomas seems to be as safe and sure-fire as anyone in the league. He is the only offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first nine seasons in the league.
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Notable Accomplishments: Nine-time Pro Bowler; 2004 NFC Defensive Player of the Year; 9th all time in sacks.
One of the most consistently dominant defensive players of his era, Peppers had a staggering eight seasons with 10 sacks or more. His 136 total is ninth all-time.
Getty ImagesRonald C. Modra/Sports Imagery
Notable Accomplishments: 2016 Super Bowl champion; two-time league leader in sacks; 11th all time in sacks; nine-time Pro Bowler; 2008 NFC Defensive Player of the Year.
If Peppers is one of the most consistently dominant defensive players of his era, Ware is one of the most consistently underrated. Like Peppers, he has had eight seasons of 10 sacks or more, and two of the top 12 sack seasons with 20 in 2008 and 19.5 three years later.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Notable Accomplishments: Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year; two-time sacks leader.
Yes, his career has been short, but with 74.5 sacks and four Pro Bowls in just five years he’s made it count. With 20.5 sacks in both 2012 and 2014, an NFL record, he has two of the 10 best sack seasons in NFL history.