The formal announcement is yet to happen, but ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski couldn’t help but drop a Woj bomb. He revealed some of the 2023 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class via Twitter this evening. His wording makes it appear that more members will be announced at the NCAA Final Four, but he named multiple notable figures.
Wade, a thirteen-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion is one of the best shooting guards to ever play in the league. The long-time Miami Heat superstar averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. He was named to the All-NBA team eight times and led the league in scoring during the 2008-09 season. His career saw him play with and win championships alongside many other great talents, such as Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James.
Perhaps the best European player in league history, Nowitzki became his era’s most talented big-man scorer. He made his one-legged fadeaway iconic. His prolific three-point shooting ability for someone of his height stands almost unmatched. The 2006-07 NBA MVP certainly made Dallas Mavericks fans happy for over two decades, with a high-water mark in 2011. That season, Nowitzki led the team to the only NBA title in franchise history.
The next member of the Hall of Fame may have never been the best in the league at his position, but he was one of the best for many years. The 18-year veteran earned six All-Star nominations and made an All-NBA team four times. He won two championships in Lakers purple and gold alongside Kobe Bryant. Gasol was a consistent scorer and elite rebounder, as he averaged 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Gasol was named second-team All-NBA for the 2014-15 season, at 34 years of age, a testament to his longevity.
The starting point guard for one of the greatest recent dynasties in the NBA, Parker certainly deserves a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame. While his 15.5 points and 5.6 assists per game may not appear to be Hall of Fame worthy, it is important to note the talent that Parker played with. Parker proved that he could step up as a primary scorer when needed, as he averaged over 20 points per game twice. The six-time All-Star was a huge reason that the Spurs won four championships during his time in the league.
The first coach that Wojnarowski named, Hammon is currently the head coach for the Las Vegas Aces, the 2022 WNBA champions. Prior to her tenure in Las Vegas, she was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, just the second time a woman has ever been an assistant coach in NBA history. Hammon also became the first female acting head coach in league history when Gregg Popovich was ejected from a game. Hammon was also a successful player in her own right, being named a WNBA All-Star six times.
Popovich is clearly one of the best coaches of all time. He has won five NBA championships with the Spurs and been NBA Coach of the Year three times. He also coached the United States Men’s basketball team to a gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Only four other coaches have won as many NBA rings as Popovich. The NBA 75th Anniversary team also selected Popovich as one of the greatest 15 coaches in league history.
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