Dec. 21 is not only recognized as the birthday of basketball, it also came with the official announcement of the candidates for 2018 Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame class. With different coaches and players accomplishing historic careers in the NBA, internationally, or collegiately, a series of basketball powerhouses come together for a historic night each year.
The 2018 nominees feature notable players who are eligible for the first time in Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups. Other players attempting to break through and enter the honored ranks are Chris Webber, Muggsy Bogues, Tim Hardaway, Maurice Cheeks, Sidney Monfrief, Jack Sikma and Ben Wallace.
The coaching candidates include those who have guided some of the more recognized teams in basketball history also deserve recognition.
‘Fab Five’ head coach Steve Fisher and Rudy Tomjanovich, who aided the Houston Rockets to their only two championships, can also receive the ultimate recognition.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, the North American and Women’s committee will announce the finalists for the class of 2018. The event falls on NBA All-Star Weekend, with the press conference held in Los Angeles.
The finalized list of entrees into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame will be announced during the NCAA Final Four weekend, in San Antonio, Texas.
Kidd and Nash, who rank second and third all-time in NBA history for assists, respectively, each have made a tremendous impact on the history of point guards. Kidd was a magician on the court, collecting the third most triple-doubles in NBA history throughout a spectacular career.
Not only was he able to reach the NBA Finals the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks, but was also a captain and respected force around the league. Nash was one of the innovators of the fast-paced style of play that has encompassed today’s NBA.
Orchestrating Mike D’Antoni’s ‘seven seconds or less’ offense, Nash collected two MVP Awards and had a tremendous impact on the uprising of basketball in Canada. Hill, with a highly impressive collegiate career, would stand out amongst the rest had his NBA career not been derailed by injuries.
However, he had a respected career and fought through countless setbacks for the game he loved. Once the Class of 2018 is announced, the elected legends will have to wait until the weekend of Sept. 6 to officially be enshrined into the Hall of Fame.
Tickets to the event can be found on the Hoop Hall website. The annual event takes place in Springfield, Mass., where some of the more notable speeches in NBA history have been made.
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