The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has revealed the 14 finalists from the North American and Women’s committees for the Class of 2021.
The selection features nine players and five coaches from both committees, with the first-time finalists being coach Rick Adelman, two-time NBA champion and NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, five-time NBA champion and NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Michael Cooper, NBA Finals MVP and NBA All-Star Paul Pierce, Bill Russell, the first Black NBA head coach, two-time NCAA national champion Villanova coach Jay Wright, WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith, WNBA All-Star and WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson and NCAA national champion and WNBA Coach of the Year Marianne Stanley.
Other finalists who are up for consideration again are all-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews, NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, National Collegiate Player of the Year Marques Johnson, NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace and NBA All-Star Chris Webber.
“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,” Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “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.”
The official Class of 2021 will be announced on May 16 and their Enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for September 2021.
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