Paul Pearce, Doug Collins, Michael Cooper and Lauren Jackson nominate a group of 2021 first-time nominees, announced the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class on ESPN’s The Jump on Tuesday.
Also joining the group for the first time were Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman and Yolanda Griffith, with popular returning candidates to go along with Chauncey Billops, Chris Bosh, Richard Hamilton, Becky Hyson, Swine Cash and Ben Wallace.
Pierce spent 15 of his 19 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning a Championship and Finals MVP in 2008. He is a 10-time All-Star and ranks second on the all-time scoring list behind the Celtics’ John-Hewleck.
Collins is a former No. 1 overall draft pick and spent all eight seasons of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers. He is better known for his coaching, starting with the Chicago Bulls in 1986, where he made Michael Jordan famous before Phil Jackson. Collins became the coach of the Pistons, Wizards and 76ers and had a career record of 442–407.
Cooper spent 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers as a member of the “Showtime” era, winning five championships. He was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1987 and named to the All-Defensive Team five times. Following his playing career, he worked as the coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, winning two championships in 2000 and the WNBA Coach of the Year.
Jackson is one of the most decorated female players to win WNBL MVP honors four times and WNBA MVP three times. He is a three-time WNBA scoring champion and seven-time WNBA All-Star, who won Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and was named the WNBA Finals Final MVP in 2010 as he led the Seattle Storm to a championship.
Garfinkle was a famous basketball scout and founded the Five-Star Basketball Camp, Henson is the richest coach at the University of Illinois and New Mexico State, Ackerman was the first president of the WNBA and Griffith played 11 years in the WNBA, winning a title. And MVP in the final 2005 with Sacramento Monarchs.
The selection process for the final of the North America and Women’s Committee will take place on NBA All-Star Weekend to be held in early March. The entire class of 2021 will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four scheduled in early April.
The 2021 class is scheduled to be incorporated in Springfield, Massachusetts in September 2021. The 2020 Confirmation Ceremony – a star-studded group starring Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, rescheduled and relocated, set for May 13. 15 at the Mohegan Sun in Unesville, Connecticut.