SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers star Michael Cooper and 11-time NBA All-Star Chris Bosh lead a list of 14 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
The list announced Tuesday features six other first-time finalists: former NBA coach Rick Adelman, two-time NCAA champion and Villanova coach Jay Wright, two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith, three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson and former WNBA coach of the year Marianne Stanley, plus Hall of Famer Bill Russell for inclusion as a coach.
Russell, who won 11 NBA titles while playing for the Celtics, became the NBA’s first Black head coach in 1966 while he was still a player. He led Boston to back-to-back NBA titles in 1967-68 and 1968-69 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1975.
Rounding out the list of finalists are Leta Andrews, the all-time winningest high school coach, male or female; Michigan “Fab Five” member Chris Webber; 2000 Olympic gold medalist Tim Hardaway; five-time NBA All-Star Marques Johnson and four-time NBA defensive player of the year Ben Wallace.
The Class of 2021 will be announced on May 16. The enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for September in Springfield. The exact date has not been released.
The Class of 2020 ceremony, headlined by the late Lakers star Kobe Bryant, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been rescheduled for May 14-16 in Uncasville, Connecticut.