DDue to COVID, the Basketball Hall of Fame will open its doors twice in 2021. In May, the induction ceremony for the class of 2020 was held, postponed by the pandemic. Its most prominent members were the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett. This Saturday the 16 new ones chosen from this course will enter.
The roster includes as big names Paul Pierce, Celtics myth, sixteenth highest scorer in NBA history (26,397 points), 10 times All Star and ring champion with Boston in 2008, being also the MVP of those Finals. He will be joined by Chris Bosh, who played 11 times in the All-Star Game and won two titles with the Heat; five-time All Star Chris Webber; and Ben Wallace, four-time NBA Best Defender.
Among the international players, the chosen one is the Croatian Tony Kukoc, one of the best Europeans of all time who after dominating in the Old Continent with Jugoplastika (three European Cups in a row between 1989 and 1991) joined the Bulls to win three rings with Michael Jordan (from 1996 to 1998). He was also World Champion with the former Yugoslavia and won silver at the Barcelona Games with the Croatia team, which fell to the original Dream Team.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame is former Australian player Lauren Jackson, winner of two WNBA titles and numerous individual accolades. The legendary Bill Russell already has a place as a player and now he will have it as a coach. To be the fifth to do so in the two categories after John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn. He was the first black manager in NBA history and won two rings with the Celtics.
The list of 16 will be completed with Rick Adelman and Cotton Fitzsimmons, former NBA coaches; Jay Wright, coach who won the NCAA twice; Yolanda Griffith, seven-time WNBA All Star; Bob Dandridge, NBA champion with the 1971 Bucks; veteran Pearl Moore; Clarence Jenkins, one of the first African American pioneers; Val Ackerman, former WNBA commissioner; and Howard Garfinkel.