Longtime Celtics forward Paul Pierce and former NBA player and head coach Doug Collins are among those eligible for the first time to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, writes ESPN’s Royce Young.
Pierce and Collins are joined as this year’s first-time nominees by former Defensive Player of the Year Michael Cooper and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson, along with Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman, and Yolanda Griffith. Those new nominees will be added to a list of returning candidates that includes Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, and Becky Hammon, among others.
While the 2020 Hall of Fame class – headlined by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett – won’t be enshrined until May due to coronavirus-related delays, the 2021 class is scheduled to be unveiled in early April, with a September induction ceremony to follow.
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link) hears from a source that the NBA G League may be targeting February 8 for the start of its shortened season. Training camps would begin at a bubble site – possibly in Atlanta – on January 29 in that scenario, Bondy adds.
- ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) examines what’s next for the players who didn’t sign rookie scale extensions on Monday and takes a look at some players who will still be candidates for veteran extensions during the season, including new Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Rockets forward P.J. Tucker.
- The NBA’s decision to rescind the Bucks‘ 2022 second-round pick after finding evidence that they jumped the gun on negotiations with Bogdan Bogdanovic last month is a relative slap on the wrist, but still represents a noticeable step up over past penalties for tampering, Jared Weiss writes for The Athletic. The league made it a priority starting in 2019 to crack down on such violations.
- Basketball junkies will enjoy the 2020/21 version of Niku Mistry’s annual NBA Almanac, a 300-page guide that recaps last season’s results – along with each offseason transaction – and includes team-by-team breakdowns for the coming year.