Hall Of Fame

2019 Hall Of Fame Class Announced

Several former NBA stars are among the Class of 2019 for the Basketball Hall of Fame, writes Dave Campbell of The Associated Press. The announcements were made today at the site of the Final Four in Minneapolis.

Sidney Moncrief, Vlade Divac, Jack Sikma, Bobby Jones and Paul Westphal are the more modern players chosen for enshrinement, joined by Al Attles, Carl Braun and Chuck Cooper. Also headed to the Hall are coach Bill Fitch, former WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon, the Tennessee A&I men’s team that became the first back-to-back national champions in any college division from 1957-59 and the Wayland Baptist University women’s team that strung together 131 straight wins in the mid-1950s and captured 10 AAU titles overall.

Weatherspoon was chosen by the Women’s Committee, Attles was selected by the Contributor Direct Election Committee, Cooper was picked by the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Divac was the choice of the International Committee and Braun was tabbed by the Veterans Committee.

“I’m overwhelmed by this honor,” Divac said in a statement released by the Kings. “As a young man, I never would have believed the opportunities afforded to me by this great sport. “Basketball has looked after me for most of my life, and I’ve always done what I can to give back to this special community.”

The enshrinement ceremony is set for September 6 in Springfield, Mass.

Hall Of Fame Unveils 13 Finalists

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced 13 finalists to be considered for induction this year, including four newcomers, according to a league press release.

The list includes eight players, four coaches, and a referee.

The new names under consideration are Marques JohnsonJack Sikma, Ben Wallace and Paul Westphal. The other players on the list include Bobby Jones,  Sidney Moncrief, Chris Webber and Theresa Weatherspoon.

The four coaches hoping for enshrinement include Leta Andrews, Bill Fitch, Eddie Sutton and Barbara StevensHugh Evans is the referee who made the short list.

Potential honorees are eligible on the ballot for Hall of Fame enshrinement after three full seasons of retirement.

The Class of 2019 will be announced at a press conference in Minneapolis at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April.

Among the newcomers, Johnson’s resume includes reaching the All-Star game five times and being named 1979 national collegiate Player of the Year. Sikma, who played for the Seattle SuperSonics, was a seven-time All-Star. Wallace made four All-Star appearances and was named Defensive Player of the Year four times with the Pistons. Westphal, also a longtime coach in the league, was a five-time All-Star.

To make the Hall of Fame, a finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee.

Ray Allen, 12 Others Selected To 2018 Hall Of Fame Class

Two-time NBA champion and 10-time All-Star Ray Allen was among 13 names selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for enshrinement as part of the 2018 Hall of Fame Class.

In his 18-year career, Allen set the record for most three-point field goals made with 2,973 and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list with an .894 mark. Allen, 42, was drafted by the Bucks fifth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent his first six-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee. After a four-and-a-half year run with the then-Supersonics, Allen joined the Celtics, capturing his first of two NBA titles in 2008.

The University of Connecticut product joined the Heat for his final two seasons, capturing his second championship in 2013. Allen sank several clutch treys in Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, leading the Heat to the title.

As we relayed earlier this week, Jason KiddSteve Nash, Grant HillMaurice Cheeks, and Rod Thorn were selected to the Hall of Fame. You can read detailed descriptions of their careers from our February report of 13 finalists being selected for the Hall of Fame.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith,  four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson, long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Dino Radja, Charlie Scott, Ora Mae Washington, and Rick Welts were also selected.

Hill, Kidd, Nash, Cheeks Headed To Hall Of Fame

2:24pm: Rod Thorn, who spent years as a coach and executive and worked for the league office, will also be inducted, Wojnarowski tweets.

10:55am: Former Sixers point guard Maurice Cheeks will also be inducted this year, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Cheeks was a four-time All-Star and a five-time selection to the All-Defensive Team. He won an NBA title in 1983.

10:33am: Three NBA greats will be part of the Class of 2018 for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Grant Hill, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash have all received notice that they will be among the inductees, although the formal announcement won’t be made until this weekend.

The third pick in the 1994 draft, Hill shared Rookie of the Year honors with Kidd. He was a seven-time All-Star, a first-team all-NBA selection in 1997 and a second-team choice four other times. He was also part of the gold medal team at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Kidd was a 10-time All-Star who is recognized as one of the top point guards of his era. He was a five-time choice to the all-NBA first team and led the league in assists in five seasons. He won Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2008 and captured an NBA title with the Mavericks in 2011.

Nash is one of a handful of players to be named MVP in consecutive seasons. He was an eight-time All-Star, a five-time all-NBA first-team selection and a five-time assists leader. Nash also has a strong presence in international basketball as a former player and current GM for the Canadian national team.

Nash, Kidd, Allen Headline 13 Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced 13 finalists to be considered for election to the Hall of Fame in 2018. The list includes six first-time finalists, including likely first-ballot hall-of-famers Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash, as well as Grant Hill, three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith and four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson.

Among the seven other finalists are four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber. Rounding out the list are long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, 28-year NBA referee Hugh Evans, two-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, and 10-time AAU National Champions Wayland Baptist University.

The Class of 2018 will be announced on Saturday, March 31 at a press conference in San Antonio prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Let’s now take a look at some more information on the six former NBA stars up for election as players.

  • Steve Nash – Played in the NBA for 19 seasons, earning MVP honors in both 2005 and 2006. An eight-time All-Star and an All-NBA First Team member in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Nash also holds the NBA record for highest career free throw percentage (.904) and had four seasons with a shooting line of .500/.400/.900, the most in NBA history.
  • Jason Kidd – During his 18-year NBA career, he earned All-NBA First Team honors five times and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times. He is a 10-time NBA All-Star while also ranking second on the NBA all-time steals list (2,684) and all-time assists list (12,091).
  • Ray Allen – A two-time NBA Champion, Allen was selected to the All-Star game 10 times during his 18-year career. He is still the all-time NBA leader in three-point field goals made (2,973) and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list (.894).
  • Grant Hill – A 19-year NBA veteran, a seven-time NBA All-Star, and a member of the All-NBA First Team in 1997, Hill was also a member of two NCAA national championship teams (1991, 1992) at Duke and a gold medal recipient at the 1996 Olympic Games.
  • Chris Webber –Webber is a five-time NBA All-Star and the 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year. He earned All-NBA First Team honors in 2001 and averaged more than 20 points per game for nine consecutive seasons from the mid-90’s to the early 00’s.
  • Maurice Cheeks – A four-time NBA All-Star (1983, 1986-1988) and four-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, Cheeks was also a member of the 1983 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers.

Southwest Notes: Rockets, Moore, Long, Cunningham

The Rockets enter the 2017/18 campaign with last season’s Most Valuable Player runner-up in James Harden and offseason acquisition Chris Paul, widely viewed as one of the greatest point guards ever. A deal for Carmelo Anthony has not materialized but Houston is still an improved team, David Aldridge of NBA.com writes.

Aside from the acquisition of Paul, the Rockets have been in headlines all offseason. Tilman Fertitta purchased the Rockets for $2.2 billion, Hurricane Harvey hit the city of Houston hard, and even to this point, Anthony to Houston rumors persist. Nonetheless, head coach Mike D’Antoni believes his team is in prime position for success.

“The biggest advantage is for 48 minutes we have a Hall of Fame point guard (either Harden or Paul) on the floor. That’s huge,” D’Antoni said. “And both of them can play off the ball real well, they’re both great shooters, and both can exploit the defense when the ball is kicked … whoever initiates it would normally finish it, but if they have to kick the ball over to the other guy, they’ll finish it.”

Aldridge also breaks down the team chemistry heading into the season and expectations for a team that won 55 games last season.

Below you can read additional notes around the Southwest Division:

And-Ones: NBA Owners Ranked, Tomjanovich, NCAA Tournament

ESPN concluded their management series with ownership rankings, citing the Spurs (Julianna Hawn Holt), Warriors (Joe Lacob, Peter Guber), and Celtics (Wyc Grousbeck) as teams with the best ownership in the league (article link). ESPN’s panel ranked owners in terms of “performance in guiding the franchise to overall on-court success, both in the short and long term.” To that end, it perhaps isn’t surprising to see the Kings (Vivek Ranadive) and Knicks (James Dolan) round out the list; two owners who have made unfortunate headlines for on-and-off the court stories this season.

More from around the game…

  • Rudy Tomjanovich, a five-time NBA All-Star and decorated head coach, wasn’t inducted into the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class. Several figures around the league were critical of Tomjanovich receiving the shaft, including former Rocket Calvin Murphy and Jeff Van Gundy. (Twitter links) In an op-ed piece for the Houston Chronicle, Jonathan Feigen chastised Hall of Fame voters who “inexplicably” snubbed Tomjanovich. “Tomjanovich, especially, deflected attention, not just in the way he downplayed his coaching contributions, but even in his coaching style that stripped away excess to get the ball simply and quickly to his best player, turning the Rockets from winners to champions,” Feigen writes. “The exclusion of Tomjanovich and others said nothing about their achievements, and everything about the secret panel’s failure.”
  • Tim Duncan‘s ex-adviser, Charles Banks, plans to admit financial misconduct from his business relationship with Duncan (Associated Press link). According to court paperwork, Banks will confess to misleading Duncan into obtaining $6MM in loans.
  • Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress provided an NBA prospect guide to the Final Four, naming South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell as the NCAA Tournament’s MVP thus far.
  • Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett will put his name in the NBA Draft but won’t hire an agent, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reports (link). Per Patrick Brennan of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bluiett is “certain to again seek out evaluations from industry experts on his likely draft stock.”

2017 Basketball Hall Of Fame Class Announced

The 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class was announced this afternoon on ESPN2 (link). Tracy McGrady, Rebecca Lobo, Bill Self, Muffet McGraw, Robert Hughes, Jerry Krause, George McGinnis, Tom Jernstedt, Nikos Galis, Zack Clayton and Mannie Jackson all made the cut as inductees.

A seven-time All-Star whose career spanned 17 seasons, McGrady received the HoF nod in his first year on the ballot. T-Mac, who battled injuries throughout his career, announced his retirement following the 2012/13 season, in which he made six postseason appearances with the Spurs.

Dikembe Mutombo, a Hall-of-Famer and former teammate of McGrady’s, was overjoyed to see Tracy’s selection.

“To have two of my friends, Tracy and Yao [Ming], who competed with me for the Houston Rockets, one of the great organizations, to see them in the Hall of Fame, that means a lot,” Mutombo told Mark Berman of Fox 26. “It’s something I can sit down with my kids and tell them I was not the only Hall of Famer out there with the Houston Rockets. I was lucky and fortunate to play with the other two.”

A pioneer of the WNBA, Lobo had been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Following a successful career with the UConn Huskies, Lobo played for the New York Liberty in the WNBA’s inaugural season. Lobo would play in parts of six WNBA seasons, playing for the Houston Comets and Connecticut Sun following her time in New York.

Krause, the former Bulls’ GM, was inducted posthumously, as the former executive passed away on March 21. Serving as the Bulls’ GM for over 18 seasons, Krause is credited as the architect of Chicago’s roster during Michael Jordan’s tenure.

Lakers Notes: Pelinka, West, Kobe, Walton

New Lakers GM Rob Pelinka vows to be aggressive in his attempts to get the franchise back on the winning path, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News relays. “We have to get better talent for [Luke Walton] to coach. We have to develop our young players. Our timeline is to be aggressive and to grow with quality players,” Pelinka said. “All of these things are like a chess game. You’ve got to start moving pieces around the board before you can win the game.”

The former agent wouldn’t commit to a timeline regarding a turnaround, adding that “it’s impossible to predict.” He said the front office will put in the necessary hard work and it will be “committed to excellence every day.” Team president Magic Johnson didn’t commit to a timeline either, but he also took accountability for the team’s future.

“If we can’t do our job, then I’m going to hand the keys back to Jeanie and step aside,” Johnson said. “If I see I can’t do it, I’ll gladly step aside.”

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • Jerry West was interested in returning to the Lakers, but he didn’t match owner Jeanie Buss“vision for the future,” sources tell Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. West’s son, Ryan, currently works for the Lakers and is expected to remain with the team.
  • Ding adds (same piece) that while Kobe Bryant remains “loyal” to Pelinka, though the future Hall of Famer is sticking to his plan of pursuing business ventures rather than chasing a front office role.
  • Despite the down season, both Pelinka and Johnson support Walton as the team’s coach, Medina adds in the aforementioned piece. Johnson recently referred to Walton as “the right man for the job.”
  • Pelinka believes in the Lakers‘ young talent, though he admits to being unsure about the team’s title chances with its existing core, Medina passes along in that same piece. “I don’t know,” Pelinka said in response to a question about the team’s ability to win a title with its core players. “But I do know this. We have a championship coach and Earvin and I are going to put in a championship accountability system to make sure any player that has the honor to put that jersey on is striving for greatness, is working hard and is a person of integrity.”

And-Ones: Cavs, Bogut, Barnes, Holiday

The Cavs won’t make a decision on Larry Sanders until after the trade deadline, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com passes along (ESPN Now link). Cleveland is also keeping an eye on the Andrew Bogut situation. The Cavs would like to bring the center aboard and they’re expected to be in the mix for him.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Several teams have expressed interest in Matt Barnes, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com tweets. Sources tell Shelburne that he’s waiting until after the trade deadline to make a decision.
  • Jarrett Jack will audition for the Pelicans, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. New Orleans is pursuing backcourt help after trading away several players in the DeMarcus Cousins deal.
  • Point guard and pending free agent Jrue Holiday said the Pelicans “see me as a part of [the future],” the team tweets. The organization is calling Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis their version of a Big Three.
  • Mike Bibby and Ricky Davis will be the co-captains of the Ghost Ballers, the fourth official team in the new 3-on-3 league, according to a press release on BIG3.com.
  • Thunder center Enes Kanter returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing arm surgery, Royce Young of ESPN.com reports. It’s uncertain whether Kanter, who suffered a broken arm punching a chair on the bench on January 26th, will return to action on Friday against the Lakers.
  • Former Rockets center Yao Ming, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, has been appointed as president of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to an ESPN.com report. He gave up ownership of the league’s Shanghai Sharks in order to take over his new role.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post