As is tradition during NBA All Star Weekend, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the Finalists for this year’s class:
The Finalists are:
Ray Allen: Allen is a two time NBA Champion (Boston 2008 & Miami 2013) and was a ten-time All Star. Allen is still the all-time leader in three pointers. An All-American at the University of Connecticut (1996), Allen also was a member of Team USA’s Gold Medal win in 2000.
Maurice Cheeks: Cheeks was a four time NBA All Star and four time selection for the All-Defensive Team. At the time of his retirement, Cheeks was fifth all-time in both Steals and Assists.
Lefty Driesell (Coach): Driesell is to date the only coach to win 100 Games at four different schools. Inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, Driesell has a coaching record of 786-394.
Hugh Evans (Referee): Evans was an NBA referee from 1972 to 2001 and officiated nearly 2,000 Games.
Grant Hill: Hill was a 19 year veteran who was a First Team All-NBA Selection once and Second Team All-NBA Selection four times. He is also a two time NCAA Champion at Duke and was an Olympic Gold Medalist for Team U.S.A. in 1996.
Jason Kidd: Kidd was a ten time NBA All Star and was five times chosen for the First Team All-NBA roster. Kidd also was a four time First Team All-Defensive Selection and is second all-time in the NBA in Steals. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist with Team U.S.A. (2000 & 2008) and also is a NBA Champion with the Dallas Mavericks (2011).
Steve Nash: Nash was a two time NBA MVP (2005 & 2006) and was a three time First Team All-NBA Selection. Nash was a five time Assists leader and he still is the all-time leader in Free Throw Percentage.
Rudy Tomjanivich (Coach): While “Rudy T” has a case to be a Hall of Fame inductee as a player, this nomination is as a coach. Tomjanavich took the Rockets to back-to-back titles (1994 & 1995) and also was the Head Coach for Team U.S.A. at the 2000 Olympics.
Chris Webber: Webber was the 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year and was a five time All Star. The former of Michigan’s “Fab Five” was also a one time First Team NBA and three time Second Team NBA Selection.
Women’s Committee Finalists:
Kim Mulkey (Coach): Mulkey took Baylor to two NCAA Titles (2005 & 2012) and was the consensus Coach of the Year in 2012. Historically speaking, Mulkey is the only woman to win a NCAA Title as a Player, an Assistant Coach and a Head Coach.
Katie Smith: Smith is a former seven time WNBA All Star and is also a time WNBA Champion with the Detroit Shock. She is also a three time Olympic Gold Medalist (2000, 2004 & 2008) with Team U.S.A.
Tina Thompson: A four time WNBA Champion with the Houston Comets (1997-00), Thompson holds the distinction of being the first ever draft pick of the WNBA. Thompson is also a two Olympic Champion with Team U.S.A. (2004 & 2008).
Wayland Baptist University: WBU won 131 straight games from 1953 to 1958 and would win 10 AAU National Championships.
The Class of 2018 will be announced on March 31 during The Final Four.