The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame officially announced the 13 finalists from the North American and Womens committees to be considered for enshrinement into the 2018 class. Of the 13, six were first-time finalists including former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash as well as Jason Kidd and Grant Hill.
Along with those three, two-time NBA Champion Ray Allen, three-time gold medalist and former WNBA MVP Katie Smith, and four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson were also named finalists for the first time.
Previous finalists who were nominated once again are four-time All-Star Maurice Cheeks, former Rockets and Lakers head coach Rudy Tomjanovic, five-time All-Star Chris Webber, current Baylor University women’s coach Kim Mulkey, legendary college coach Charles ‘Lefty’ Driesell, 28-year NBA official Hugh Evans, and, as a team, 10-time AAU National Champion Wayland Baptist University.
The official class will be announced on March 31 during the NCAA Final Four. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee in order to be elected.
In addition to those announced today, there will also be enshrinees from other committees including early African-American pioneers, international, contributors, and veterans.
This is undoubtedly a star-studded class and it will be a difficult decision for the committee to decide who is most deserving. Kidd and Nash are two of the greatest point guards of all-time and rank near the top of a lot of all-time statistical lists.
Meanwhile, Hill was one of the most talented players of his generation who lost a lot of his prime due to injury. Returnees like Webber, Tomjanovic, Mulkey, and Driesell are all more than deserving as well considering their career accomplishments, while Thompson and Smith are two of the greatest players in WNBA history.
Once the class is announced in March, they will be officially enshrined in the birthplace of basketball, Springfield, Mass. in September.
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