Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Chris Webber and Ben Wallace Top 2021 Class for Basketball Hall of Fame

A day after seeing his friend and longtime teammate Kevin Garnett enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, longtime Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce joined him in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Pierce, along with two-time champion and eleven-time all-star Chris Webber, five-time All-NBA selection and four-time defensive player of the year Ben Wallace, topped the 2021 Hall of Fame class. . The honor was announced the day after Garnett, Tim Duncan and the late Kobe Bryant were officially inducted into the Class of 2020, which has seen its entry delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Class 2021 will be dedicated on September 11.

Webber had been a finalist in each of the past five years before finally breaking through. Bosh and Pierce were among those who passed their first year of eligibility.

The other members of the 2021 class:

  • Rick Adelman, longtime NBA coach

  • Jay Wright, Two-Time NCAA Champion Head Coach

  • Bill Russell, who won two championships as a coach, for his time on the sidelines

  • Seven-time WNBA star Yolanda Griffith

  • Lauren Jackson, seven-time WNBA All-Star and three-time MVP

  • Bob Dandridge, by the Veterans Committee

  • Toni Kukoc, by the international committee

  • Pearl Moore, four-time AIAW Small College All-American, by the Female Veterans Committee

  • Clarence Jenkins, elected among the first African-American pioneers

  • Val Ackerman, former president of the WNBA

  • Longtime NBA Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons

  • Howard Garfinkel, creator of the five-star summer camp

Pierce, alongside Garnett and Ray Allen, led the Celtics to the 2008 NBA title, with the MVP victory of the Finals the same year. He finished with 10 All-Star appearances, four All-NBA tag team selections and scored over 26,000 points in his 19 seasons with the Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and LA Clippers.

Bosh, who was drafted fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors in 2003, spent seven years with Toronto before joining the Miami Heat as a free agent in 2010, teaming up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to qualify. for four consecutive NBA Finals, winning two of them (2012 and 2013). He also won a gold medal with the United States team in 2008, although his career was interrupted by blood clot issues that forced him to retire in 2017 while he was still at its peak.

“It was short lived, in my opinion,” Bosh said of his career. “I wanted to play for a lot longer; unfortunately it ended abruptly. But looking back at all I have been able to accomplish, all the friends I have been able to make, the relationships I have made, all the memories we have been able to make together is what matters most. “

After being a part of one of college basketball’s most iconic teams as the first Fab Five rookie to attend the University of Michigan, Webber, the No.1 pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, was five-time All-Star, five-All-NBA pick and NBA Rookie of the Year in 1994. His best years came playing for Adelman with the Sacramento Kings from 1998 to 2005, when he helped lead the Kings to seven of 10 playoff appearances they made in their 36s in Sacramento – and it was there all four times they’ve won a playoff series.

“I’m just grateful man, grateful … I’m just in shock I really don’t know what to say,” Webber told his friend and former Michigan teammate Jalen Rose when asked about his reaction to the new.

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Chris Bosh looks back on his career and his election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Wallace, who was not drafted out of the Virginia Union in 1996, went on to become one of the best defensive players of all time and was the anchor of the great Detroit Pistons of the 2000s who won the title in 2004 and reached six consecutive Eastern Conferences. finals. Wallace, who also played for the Wizards, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, is tied with Dikembe Mutombo for career most defensive player of the year (four), and he made four teams All -Star, five All-NBA teams and five All-Defensive teams.

Adelman made it to two NBA Finals and won over 1,000 games as a coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves, while Wright brought Villanova back to the top of the world of college basketball, winning titles in 2016 and 2018 and making three Final Fours while in Philadelphia.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Wright said. “You showed the pic of all these guys – Bill Russell, KG, Chris Webber – and just to hang out with these guys and listen to their stories and be a part of the room with them, and this class, that n ‘ is nothing you would have ever dreamed of. That’s pretty cool. “

Russell, one of the greatest players of all time and the first black head coach of the NBA, won two titles as a Celtics coach in the late 1960s. He had previously been listed as a player in 1975. He became the fifth Hall of Famer who would be inducted as both player and coach, joining John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn.

Jackson was a three-time MVP and won two championships with the Seattle Storm, while Yolanda Griffith was the 1999 WNBA MVP and led the Sacramento Monarchs to the title in 2005.

“I’m very, very proud to just have an opportunity,” Griffith said of his time in the WNBA. “I was drafted in 1999, second choice for the Sacramento Monarchs, and it was a joy as it gave me the opportunity to come home after playing in Europe. It gave my family a chance to seeing me play, well, pro level, and I just like playing that level at the top level, basically. I enjoyed the ride with the Sacramento Monarchs. “

Also on Sunday, Hall said ESPN’s vice president of women’s sports programming, Carol Stiff, is this year’s recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. She will be honored during Hall of Fame weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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