Bosh, Pierce headline finalists for 2021 HOF class
Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, and Paul Pierce are among 14 finalists for the 2021 Hall of Fame class, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday.
Below is the complete list of finalists:
- Chris Bosh
- Michael Cooper
- Tim Hardaway
- Marques Johnson
- Paul Pierce
- Ben Wallace
- Chris Webber
- Rick Adelman (coach)
- Bill Russell (coach)
- Leta Andrews (coach)
- Yolanda Griffith
- Lauren Jackson
- Marianne Stanley (coach)
- Jay Wright (coach)
Bosh spent his 13-year career with the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat before being forced to retire in his prime because of blood clot complications. The Georgia Tech product won back-to-back championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013 and currently ranks second all time in Raptors history with 10,275 career points. He made 11 All-Star appearances and one All-NBA team.
Pierce enjoyed the majority of his success with the Boston Celtics after the club drafted him 10th overall in 1997. He capped off his incredible run in Boston by winning his lone NBA championship in 2008 and being named Finals MVP. Pierce was named to 10 All-Star Games and four All-NBA teams and finished his career ranked second on the Celtics' all-time scoring list with 24,021 points. He also sits atop the franchise leaderboard in 3-pointers (1,823) and free throws made (6,434).
Russell, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1975, is being nominated as a coach for the first time. The 87-year-old Celtics legend won two of his record 11 NBA championships as a player-coach.
First-time finalists Jackson and Griffith represent two of the most intimidating interior forces in women's basketball during the 2000s. Both were selected to the WNBA's Top 15 Team in 2011 and subsequent Top 20@20 team in 2016.
Jackson, a three-time MVP, two-time champion, and seven-time All-Star, played her entire stateside career with the Seattle Storm. She represented her native Australia in four Olympic tournaments from 2000-2012, earning three silver and one bronze medal. Griffith played all but 33 games of her WNBA career with the now-defunct Sacramento Monarchs, earning MVP honors in 1999 and bringing the city a championship in 2005. She added a pair of gold medals to her ledger with Team USA in 2000 and 2004.
Five of the 14 finalists - Andrews, Johnson, Hardaway, Wallace, and Webber - are all previous finalists up for consideration once again.
Villanova head coach Wright, longtime bench boss Adelman, and Stanley round out the first-time finalists from coaching ranks.
The 2021 Hall of Fame class will be revealed May 16.