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.