The former rivals appear as finalists for the 2021 Hall of Fame, alongside 12 other basketball greats.
The 14 finalists include nine players and five coaches who have all been exceptional within their respective roles on the court.
Announced by The Jump on ESPN, the first-time finalist includes:
- Ninth-winningest coach in NBA history Rick Adelman
- Two-time NBA champion and 11-time NBA All-Star Chris Bosh
- Five-time NBA champion and five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Michael Cooper
- NBA Finals MVP and 10-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce
- First Black NBA head coach Bill Russell
- Two-time NCAA national champion Villanova coach Jay Wright
- Seven-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith
- Seven-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson
- NCAA national champion and WNBA Coach of the Year Marianne Stanley
Previous finalists up for review again include:
- All-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews
- Five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway
- Consensus National Collegiate Player of the Year Marques Johnson
- Four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace
- Five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber
Although the 2020 Hall of Fame enshrinement was delayed due to the pandemic, Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, expressed excitement about the revelation of the finalist for 2021.
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“While our timeline of events over the past year has been adaptable and reimagined due to the global pandemic, we have never wavered in our commitment to renovating our beautiful museum and recognizing the greats of the game who deserve to be immortalized there. Revealing the finalists for the Class of 2021 today is an exciting step towards honoring the men and women who have contributed greatly to the game we celebrate,” said Colangelo. =
Who are you excited to see inducted to the Hall of Fame?