Hall Of Fame

And-Ones: Porter, Gasol, Hall Of Fame, Carter, Cooper

Kevin Porter Jr. made his European debut on Saturday, scoring 14 points in his first game with PAOK in Greece. Porter had just one point before halftime, according to a Eurohoops report, but he began driving to the basket more frequently in the second half.

It was good, honestly,” Porter said. “I didn’t play up to my level, of course. I had a slow start, but playing with this group of guys, they made sure that I stayed positive. The chemistry on this team is beautiful. It wasn’t down. It was always joyful out there. I haven’t been on the court like that and played regulation in a long time. So it’s good to have a group of guys like that to lift me up when I started off slow. It was dope.”

The former Rockets guard is hoping to revive his career, which was derailed by an assault case involving his former girlfriend, ex-WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick. Porter said there are a lot of adjustments in Europe, such as a smaller court and a different style of play, but he already likes his new surroundings.

I’ve only been here five days and feel at home,” Porter added. “It’s how the team welcomed me and the fans who were at the airport, and I met them every day. I don’t know exactly what I will do in the future, but I will return here again.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • Many of Marc Gasol‘s former teammates were on hand Saturday in Memphis for his jersey retirement ceremony, per John Hollinger of The Athletic. The event represented a throwback to the Grizzlies‘ “Grit N Grind Era” as the “Core Four” of Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Tony Allen were together on the court for the first time since 2017. “I had a very unique perspective because I came as 16-year-old (to watch his older brother, Pau),” Gasol said. “I had the perspective of a fan, of what is expected from the team in Memphis, and then followed the team in Spain. When I came back as a Grizzlies player, I carried that with me, and I carried that kind of pride. And I hope everyone enjoyed what they saw for so many years.”
  • In a separate story, Hollinger calls for changes to the selection process for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He argues that the voting shouldn’t be kept secret and contends the Hall contains too many “outliers” and “contributors” instead of just recognizing historically great players.
  • Vince Carter learned about his Hall of Fame selection on April Fool’s Day, so his first thought was that it might be a prank, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Once Carter realized the call was legitimate, he was overwhelmed by the honor. “You think about the people that are in there. … It’s mind blowing for me,” he said at his press conference. “And I enjoy playing the game of basketball every day, and I’m just overjoyed now that my career is over, like somebody said, the cherry on top: This is it.”
  • Magic Johnson is thrilled to see longtime teammate Michael Cooper receive Hall of Fame recognition, telling Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times, “My boy made it! My boy made it! My boy Coop made the Hall of Fame! Damn! I was hollering, man, when I heard it. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited for him, man.”

Basketball Hall Of Fame Officially Announces 2024 Class

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has officially announced its Class of 2024, confirming in a series of tweets the inductees that have been previously reported as well as the other finalists who were elected to the Hall.

Here’s the full list of new Hall of Famers:

  • Chauncey Billups: A five-time All-Star who made three All-NBA teams and a pair of All-Defensive teams, Billups won a championship and a Finals MVP award with the Pistons in 2004. He is currently the head coach of the Trail Blazers. (Twitter link)
  • Vince Carter: Carter played for an NBA-record 22 seasons and scored 25,728 career points, which currently ranks 24th in league history. He’s an eight-time All-Star, a two-time All-NBA member, and was the 1999 Rookie of the Year. (Twitter link)
  • Michael Cooper: Cooper won five NBA championships with the Lakers, earning eight All-Defensive nods and won the Defensive Player of the Year in 1987. (Twitter link)
  • Walter Davis: A six-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA member, Davis won the Rookie of the Year award in 1978 and remains the Suns’ all-time leading scorer with 15,666 points. He died in 2023. (Twitter link)
  • Jerry West: A Hall of Famer already as a player and as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team, West is being enshrined for a third time as a contributor due to his work as an executive for the Lakers, Grizzlies, Warriors, and Clippers. (Twitter link)
  • Doug Collins: A four-time All-Star as a player, Collins is being inducted as a contributor for his work as a head coach of the Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, and Sixers, including 442 career regular season wins, as well as his time as a broadcaster. (Twitter link)
  • Herb Simon: Simon has been the Pacers’ owner since 1983, making him the longest-tenured governor in NBA history. (Twitter link)
  • Seimone Augustus: Augustus was a two-time Naismith College Player of the Year and was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2006. She won four titles in the league, made eight All-Star teams, and claimed the WNBA Finals MVP award in 2011. (Twitter link)
  • Dick Barnett: Barnett, an NBA All-Star in 1968, won championships with the Knicks in 1970 and 1973 after earning three NAIA titles with Tennessee A&I College (now Tennessee State University) from 1957-59. (Twitter link)
  • Bo Ryan: Ryan was the longtime men’s basketball head coach at Wisconsin. He won four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year awards and made back-to-back Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015. (Twitter link)
  • Michele Timms: A WNBA All-Star in 1999 and a Defensive Player of the Year runner-up in 1997 for the Phoenix Mercury, Timms won Olympic bronze and silver medals with the Australian national team. (Twitter link)
  • Harley Redin: The former men’s and women’s basketball coach at Wayland Baptist University (Texas), Redin won six AAU national championships. He died in 2020. (Twitter link)
  • Charles Smith: Smith is the winningest high school head coach in Louisiana history and has led nine teams to high school state championships. (Twitter link)

The enshrinement of the 2024 class will take place in Springfield, MA on Friday, August 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17.

And-Ones: West, MVP Race, All-NBA, Comanche

NBA legend Jerry West is being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for a third time, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Previously enshrined as a player (1979) and as a member of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team (2010), the 85-year-old has now been elected as a Hall of Fame contributor.

The latest induction into the Hall of Fame recognizes West’s work as a team executive, including general manager stints with the Lakers and Grizzlies, as well as time spent as a consultant for the Warriors and Clippers. West won eight championships in those roles, per ESPN, and won Executive of the Year awards in 1995 and 2004.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

Vince Carter, Chauncey Billups Headline 2024 Hall Of Fame Class

Vince Carter and Chauncey Billups will be part of the 2024 Hall of Fame class, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the former NBA stars are being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The full class of 2024 will be formally announced on Saturday at the NCAA Men’s Final Four, but it’s safe to assume that Carter and Billups will be the headliners of this year’s inductees.

Carter, an eight-time All-Star, was named Rookie of the Year in 1999, made a pair of All-NBA teams, and is one of the league’s most memorable Slam Dunk Contest champions. The veteran swingman is also the only player in NBA history to play 22 seasons (1998-2020) and ranks 24th in career points (25,728).

Carter began his NBA career with the Raptors and then spent several seasons with the Nets before also playing for the Magic, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Kings, and Hawks.

Billups, meanwhile, made five All-Star games and three All-NBA teams, along with a pair of All-Defensive squads. The point guard won a championship with the Pistons in 2004, earning NBA Finals MVP honors.

Billups, who is now the head coach of the Trail Blazers, was in the NBA for 17 seasons from 1997-2014, spending time with the Celtics, Raptors, Timberwolves, Knicks, and Clippers in addition to the Nuggets and Pistons, for whom he had his best years. He averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 assists per game in 1,043 regular season appearances.

The full list of 2024 Hall of Fame finalists, several of whom may join Carter and Billups in this year’s class, can be found right here.

Vince Carter, Chauncey Billups Among Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 14 finalists for 2024 on Friday evening (via Twitter), with former NBA stars Vince Carter and Chauncey Billups among the nominees. Billups is currently head coach of the Trail Blazers.

Here’s the full list of finalists:

  • Chauncey Billups — Five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, two-time All-Defense, one-time champion, 2003/04 Finals MVP (Pistons)
  • Vince Carter — NBA-record 22 seasons, 25,728 career points (23rd in NBA/ABA history), eight-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA, 1998/99 Rookie of the Year
  • Michael Cooper — Five-time NBA champion, eight-time All-Defense, 1986/87 Defensive Player of the Year (all with the Lakers)
  • Walter Davis — Six-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA, 1977/78 Rookie of the Year, Suns‘ all-time leading scorer
  • Bo Ryan — Former head coach of Wisconsin, four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year
  • Charles Smith — Winningest high school head coach in Louisiana history
  • Seimone Augustus — Four-time WNBA champion, eight-time All-Star, 2006 Rookie of the Year
  • Marian Washington — Longtime former head coach of Kansas (women’s)
  • Dick Barnett — Two-time NBA champion, one-time All-Star, three-time NAIA champion at Tennessee A&I
  • Harley Redin — Former men’s and women’s coach of Wayland Baptist University (Texas)
  • Michele Timms — One-time WNBA All-Star, Olympic bronze and silver medals with Australian national team
  • Doug Collins — Former NBA player, coach and broadcaster *
  • Herb Simon Pacers owner *
  • Jerry West — Four NBA championships as an executive with the Lakers (he’s already in the Hall of Fame as a player) *

* Nominated as contributors

The Class of 2024 will be unveiled on Saturday, April 6 during the NCAA’s Final Four. The enshrinement ceremony for 2024’s Hall of Fame inductees will take place on Saturday, August 17.

Unbelievable,” Carter said of being a finalist, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “You look in the crowd, you see Hall of Famers, and the opportunity … I mean, you can’t beat that. You can’t beat that. It’s a proud moment.”

Everybody that enters the NBA … it’s their dream. It’s basically basketball heaven to be in the Hall of Fame,” Billups told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter links). “That was never my goal when I was playing. I just wanted to try to win and be the best teammate I could be. … I’m just humbled by today. Just being close to it is an honor. I know I’m not there, but I’m closer. It’s a straight honor.”

According to Reynolds, four others were honored by the Hall of Fame as well. JoAn Scott, the NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball, received the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. J.A. Adande and Debbie Antonelli received the Curt Gowdy Awards for print and electronic journalism, respectively, while Slam Magazine and the television show “NBA Inside Stuff” received the award for transformative media.

And-Ones: Hall Of Fame, Carter, 2025 AmeriCup, McLemore

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has officially revealed its list of eligible candidates for the Class of 2024, announcing in a press release that this year’s group of first-time nominees includes longtime NBA star Vince Carter, who made eight All-Star teams and appeared in 1,541 regular season games across 22 seasons in the league.

Former Pistons big man Bill Laimbeer, four-time WNBA champion Seimone Augustus, and longtime NCAA head coach Rick Barnes are among the other nominees who are eligible for the first time in 2024.

Finalists will be announced during the NBA’s All-Star weekend on Friday, February 16, while the Class of 2024 will be unveiled on Saturday, April 6 during the NCAA’s Final Four. The enshrinement ceremony for 2024’s Hall of Fame inductees will take place on Saturday, August 17.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The 2025 FIBA AmeriCup will be played in Managua, Nicaragua from August 23-31, 2025, FIBA announced today in a press release. The qualifiers for the event will take place across three windows in February 2024, November 2024, and February 2025. Brazil hosted the last AmeriCup in 2022, losing to Argentina in the final. The U.S. team – which featured former NBAers like Norris Cole, Gary Clark, Jodie Meeks, and Patrick McCaw – placed third in ’22.
  • In honor of the holidays, John Hollinger of The Athletic shares his “All-Stocking Stuffer Team,” which is made up of overlooked players who have emerged as unexpected contributors over the course of this season. Magic center Goga Bitadze, Kings guard Keon Ellis, Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio, and Nets center Day’Ron Sharpe are a few of the players singled out by Hollinger.
  • Veteran guard Ben McLemore, who signed with AEK Athens in August, has officially left the Greek team and is joining CB Breogan in Spain, writes Aris Barkas of Eurohoops. McLemore parted ways with AEK B.C. earlier in the month and was said to be in advanced talks with a Turkish club before lining up a deal with CB Breogan instead.

Pacific Notes: Iguodala, Hall Of Fame, Clippers, Suns

Though it was widely reported he would retire at the conclusion of the 2022/23 season, Andre Iguodala remains noncommittal on his retirement. On a recent episode of J.J. Redick‘s Old Man and the Three podcast (Spotify link), Iguodala continued to be 50/50 on whether he would play in the NBA this season.

We recorded my decision, but I might come back and hoop … or I might go home,” Iguodala said.

Iguodala, 39, is a four-time NBA champion with the Warriors and won the 2015 Finals MVP award. Through his 19 seasons in the league, Iguodala holds career averages of 11.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

His most productive on-court seasons came with the Sixers and Nuggets, but he quickly became a staple on Golden State’s championship teams after arriving in ’13/14. Iguodala spent six consecutive seasons with the Warriors from 2013-19 before being traded to the Grizzlies and then the Heat. After playing in 84 games with the Heat, Iguodala signed back with the Warriors ahead of ’21/22 and has played 39 games with the team in the past two years.

For what it’s worth, as of August, it sounded like general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. didn’t expect Iguodala to return to Golden State this season, although he wasn’t ruling out the possibility.

We’re not going to close the door on anything,” Dunleavy said in August. “But my guess, and my belief, is that he won’t be back.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • While Iguodala was a massive part of Golden State’s championship teams, he doesn’t think he deserves to be enshrined in Springfield, he admitted on the Old Man and the Three podcast (Spotify link). “I’m not a ‘ring culture’ guy, but I’ve benefited from that,” Iguodala said. “I know I have a lot of flaws. And I think there should be tiers of the Hall of Fame. … I’m not a Hall of Famer, if you ask me. No, no, no. Those guys [Hall of Famers] had no flaws.
  • While four of the five starting positions for the Clippers appear to be filled, there still remains a hole at the starting power forward spot, opines Law Murray of The Athletic. Murray explores the team’s depth chart and goes through multiple possible options for the starting position, including Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, and outside options like Kobe Brown and Kenyon Martin Jr. Murray expects the team to eventually make an outside addition via trade at some point during the season.
  • The Suns are one of 10 NBA teams who have yet to win an NBA championship. However, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic believes this season provides one of the franchise’s best opportunities to change that. Rankin lists five reasons why the Suns can win the NBA Finals this year, including their newly developed big three, their defensive-minded coach and their chemistry.

Andre Drummond Believes He Has Hall Of Fame Case

Appearing on The Comfortable Pod (YouTube link) with Marcus Bagley, Bulls center Andre Drummond was asked about the hiatus he took last season for mental health reasons and admitted that he has found it challenging to go from a franchise player in Detroit to a little-used reserve within the last few years.

While it sounds like the veteran big man has come to terms with his role in Chicago heading into 2023/24, the conversation led to a discussion about Drummond’s professional résumé and his place in NBA history. He was an All-Star in 2016 and 2018, made an All-NBA team in ’16, led the league in rebounds per game four times, is the NBA’s all-time leader in rebound percentage, and won a World Cup gold medal with Team USA in 2014.

“I used to play 40-plus minutes. I was a star — All-Star, All-NBA, I’ve done it. Hall of Fame candidate, best rebounder ever,” Drummond said (hat tip to NBC Sports). “… I’ve done great in my career. I think I have a chance to be a Hall of Fame player due to what I’ve done in my career. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m in the top 20 for being in the Hall of Fame, so I have a great chance.”

Asked where he’d rank himself compared to other centers in NBA history, Drummond replied, “I’d give myself top 30, top 20. I don’t see why not. I’ve done amazing things in my career.”

Given that Drummond – who is still just 30 years old – averaged a career-low 12.7 minutes per game for the Bulls last season, it may seem outlandish on the surface to consider him a Hall of Fame candidate. But his claim that he’s the best rebounder the NBA has ever seen isn’t without merit.

Drummond has averaged 12.7 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game across 785 career appearances. Dennis Rodman, widely considered the NBA’s greatest rebounder, averaged 13.1 in 31.7 minutes per night (911 games). The two men rank first and second in league history in rebound percentage, with Drummond (24.85%) comfortably ahead of Rodman (23.44%), for now.

Of course, while he has always excelled as a rebounder, Drummond hasn’t necessarily been elite in other areas of the game. He’s a solid scorer and defender around the basket, but has seen his role reduced in recent years because he doesn’t stretch the floor on offense and isn’t particularly switchable on defense. He also doesn’t have the sort of postseason accolades that bolster a Hall of Fame case — his teams have won just two games in four playoff appearances.

In an earlier era, when NBA teams were built around traditional centers, Drummond would have been in a better position to enjoy a Hall of Fame career. He could still have several more seasons ahead of him to continue building his résumé, but his case will be harder to make in the modern-day game.

Community Shootaround: Hall Of Fame Omissions

Saturday’s induction ceremony at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame featured another impressive class, many of whom have NBA ties. Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Pau Gasol and Tony Parker all enjoyed long, illustrious careers and were easy choices for enshrinement in Springfield.

But even with more than 150 players in the Hall of Fame, there are some noteworthy omissions. Many players throughout the years have reached notable milestones or contributed to numerous championships without being rewarded by Hall of Fame voters.

Vince Carter, who scored more than 25,700 points in 21 NBA seasons, appears to be the only obvious choice among first-time-eligible players in 2024. That might open the door for a few others who have been waiting a long time for recognition.

Here are a few candidates with possible Hall of Fame credentials:

  • With 20,049 career points, Tom Chambers is the highest-scoring NBA player who’s not already in the Hall. He was a four-time All-Star and was named MVP of the 1987 game.
  • Antawn Jamison is right behind Chambers with 20,042 points, making them the only eligible 20,000-point scorers not in the Hall. Jamison was a two-time All-Star and was named Sixth Man of the Year in 2004.
  • Chauncey Billups is one of two eligible Finals MVPs who haven’t been voted into the Hall. The Trail Blazers coach was a five-time All-Star, made three All-NBA teams and was twice named to the All-Defensive team.
  • Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudamire starred during the Suns’ “Seven Seconds or Less” era. Marion was a four-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA honoree and won a title with Dallas in 2011. Stoudamire was Rookie of the Year in 2003 and picked up six All-Star appearances and five All-NBA designations during his career.
  • A.C. Green set an NBA record by playing in 1,192 consecutive games. Even though he didn’t put up flashy numbers, he won three championships with the Lakers and was a steady contributor for his entire 16-year career.
  • Shawn Kemp was a six-time All-Star and a three-time All-NBA selection. The “Reign Man” scored more than 15,000 career points and was among the game’s most ferocious dunkers.
  • Bill Laimbeer epitomized the “Bad Boys” attitude during his years with the Pistons. He won two titles, made four All-Star teams and was an early pioneer among three-point shooting big men. Laimbeer also became a successful WNBA coach after retirement, winning three championships and earning Coach of the Year honors twice.

We want to get your opinion. Do you consider the names on this list to be Hall of Famers, and do you have some more to nominate? Please leave your responses in the space below.

Texas Notes: Wembanyama, Ginobili, Popovich, Mavericks

Hall of Fame former Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili is ready to help the team’s 2023 No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama reach his astronomic ceiling, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News.

“He is a different type of player than we have ever seen before, so it is a great challenge for the organization and also for him to grow together and to make it together,” Ginobili said. “He is 19, so he is going to have to work a lot, the organization is going to have to work a lot to develop him… But it is a thrill. It is a great problem in some ways to have. So, we are very excited to have him, the same as the community, of course.”

The 7’3″ big man from France looks to be an intimidating defensive force from the start of his rookie season, but he may take some time to develop as a scorer.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State.

  • On the heels of the addition of Wembanyama and a five-year contract extension, 74-year-old Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t nearly seem done with his Hall of Fame career as both the club’s coach and president of basketball operations. Nevertheless, he will be officially honored in Springfield tonight for his accomplishments thus far. With the four stars that helped propel him to his five titles now all enshrined, Popovich is finally open to his own induction, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Zillgitt takes stock of Popovich’s storied run in San Antonio, and examines what is to come.
  • Some surprising names mark Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype‘s list detailing the top 12 highest-earning names in Mavericks history, including Shawn Bradley, Erick Dampier, Wesley Matthews, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dwight Powell. Though the No. 1 most highly compensated Dallas player will hardly surprise anyone, the name at No. 2 certainly will.
  • In case you missed it, 2021 Rockets lottery pick Jalen Green impressed USA Basketball brass with his performance for the Select Team in a pre-FIBA World Cup scrimmage against Team USA in Las Vegas.