DALLAS, Texas and SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today named an elite list of players, coaches and teams as finalists to be considered for election to the Hall in 2010. Gaining the honor of being named a Hall of Fame finalist is one of the true highlights of a career in the sport of basketball. This year’s list includes two-time NBA MVP and 14-time NBA All-Star Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz and Scottie Pippen, a six-time NBA champion as a member of the Chicago Bulls, both first-time nominees. They will be considered along with previous finalists, such as legendary high school coach Bob Hurley of St. Anthony’s in Jersey City, N.J. and Cynthia Cooper, who helped the Houston Comets win four WNBA titles.
Also headlining the list for 2010 are three legendary teams, including the 1960 United States Men’s Olympic Team, the 1992 United States Men’s Olympic “Dream Team” and the All-American Red Heads, a finalist selected by the Women’s Committee. The announcement was made today in Dallas, Texas, in conjunction with the 2010 NBA All-Star festivities.
The complete list of finalists includes from the North American Screening Committee: players Dennis Johnson, Bernard King, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Bob Hurley, Don Nelson and Tex Winter; contributor Jerry Buss; and the two USA Olympic teams. From the Women’s Screening Committee: Cynthia Cooper, Harley Redin and the All-American Red Heads team. From the International Screening Committee: coach Vladimir Kondrashin and Brazilian Legend Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira while Richard Guerin and Gus Johnson represent the nominees from the Veteran’s Screening Committee.
The Class of 2010 will be announced on Monday, April 5 at a news conference in Indianapolis prior to the NCAA’s Men’s Championship game. A Finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2010 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, August 13. Tickets to the 2010 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5550.
NORTH AMERICAN COMMITTEE FINALISTS:
JERRY BUSS – Contributor, has owned the Los Angeles Lakers since 1979 and has built one of the most successful organizations in the history of professional sports. The Lakers have captured nine NBA championships during his tenure while capturing 16 Western Conference championships. During Buss’ ownership, the team has recorded the most wins and the highest overall winning percentage in the NBA. Buss owned the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA from 1996-2006 and the club captured two WNBA titles (2001-02) under his leadership. He also became the first NBA team owner of a D-League franchise when the Lakers bought the Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2006. Buss served two terms as Chairman of the NBA Board of Governors and has received numerous honors for his wide-ranging charitable interests.
ROBERT “Bob” HURLEY, Sr. – Coach, was born in Jersey City, NJ and played college ball at St. Peter’s before becoming the head coach at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City in 1972. Hurley has since compiled over 900 wins at St. Anthony’s while leading the team to 25 State Parochial Championships and three USA Today National Championships (1989, 1996, 2008). Hurley was twice named National Coach of the Year by USA Today (1989, 1996) and was elected to the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. If elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, will become only the third person elected exclusively for their service to high school basketball (Morgan Wootten, Bertha Teague).
DENNIS JOHNSON – Player, was one of basketball’s toughest defenders, earning nine consecutive NBA All-Defensive team honors during his 14-year professional career. He was a major part of three NBA championship teams and won MVP honors at the 1979 Finals as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. He played with Seattle from 1976-80 and was traded to the Phoenix Suns where he played from 1980-83. He finished his NBA career with the Boston Celtics (1983-90) where he won NBA championship rings in 1984 and 1986. Known as “D.J.” to teammates and fans, he was named to five NBA All-Star teams while scoring more than 15,000 points and compiling 5,000 assists before retiring in 1990. (Born Sept. 18, 1954; Died February 22, 2007).
BERNARD KING – Player, spent 15 seasons in the NBA and was named to four NBA All-Star Teams and two All-NBA first teams while averaging 22.5 points. A prolific scorer, King was a collegiate All-American at the University of Tennessee and went on to be named to the NBA All-Rookie team in 1978. He was named NBA Comeback Player of the Year in 1981 and scored nearly 20,000 points in his storied NBA career.
KARL MALONE – Player, was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (1997, ’99) and a 14-time NBA All-Star for the Utah Jazz. He was named as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996 and ranks second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 36,928 points. Malone was selected as an All-NBA first team forward from 1989-99 and was named to the league’s All-Defensive first team from 1997-99. He won two Olympic gold medals, competing as a member of the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team” and the 1996 USA Olympic champions. Malone played collegiately at Louisiana Tech from 1981-1985. He finished his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2003-04.
CHRIS MULLIN – Player, a McDonald’s High School All-American from New York, NY, was a five-time NBA All-Star and a collegiate standout at St. John’s, where he was named Big East Player of the Year three times. A two-time Olympic gold medalist (1984, 1992), Mullin played 16 NBA seasons for Golden State and Indiana, amassing 17,911 points which helped him average more than 20 ppg. for six consecutive seasons. Mullin is the all-time leading scorer at St. John’s where he was named the Wooden Award winner and a first team All-American in 1985.
DON NELSON - Coach, a native of Muskegon, Michigan, began his career as an NBA player for the Chicago Zephyrs (1962-1963) and went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers (1963-65) and the Boston Celtics (1965-1975). He then went on to coach in the NBA, leading the Milwaukee Bucks (1976-1987) to seven consecutive division titles (1979-1986) when he recorded seven straight 50-plus win seasons. He currently coaches the Golden State Warriors. Nelson also coached the New York Knicks (1995-1996) and the Dallas Mavericks (1997-2005). Nelson is one of only two coaches in NBA history to record 250 victories with three different teams. He is a three-time NBA Coach of the Year winner, and currently ranks second in NBA Coaching history for wins. He was named as one of the NBA’s Ten Best Coaches of All-Time when the league celebrated the NBA at 50. Nelson has over 40 years of NBA experience as a player, coach and general manager. His number 19 jersey was retired by the Boston Celtics.
SCOTTIE PIPPEN – Player, was a seven-time NBA All-Star (1990, 1992-97) and a member of six NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls (1991-93, 1996-98). He was a three-time All-NBA first team honoree and was voted to the NBA All-Defensive first team from 1992-99, along with two stints on the All-Defensive second team. Pippen won two Olympic gold medals as he was a member of the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team” and returned to help lead the USA at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He won NBA All-Star MVP honors in 1994. Pippen also played with the Houston Rockets (1998-99) and Portland Trail Blazers (1999-2003). He is a native of Hamburg, Arkansas and attended the University of Central Arkansas (1983-87).
JAMAAL WILKES – Player, was a member of four NBA champions, including his 1975 title with the Golden State Warriors and three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers (1980, ’82 and ’85). He was a three-time NBA All-Star and averaged 17.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg over 12 seasons. Wilkes was named the 1975 NBA Rookie of the Year after being named as an All-American in 1974 upon completion of a stellar collegiate career at UCLA where he was a member of two NCAA national championship teams (1972-73) and placed seventh on UCLA’s all-time scoring list.
TEX WINTER – Coach, was the 1998 recipient of the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement award, presented by the Basketball Hall of Fame to recognize his work in coaching and as the proponent of the triangle and triple-post offense that has been the foundation for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers teams and nine NBA championships. Winter compiled a 454-333 (.577) record at the collegiate level, including records of 262-118 (.689) at Kansas State, 45-35 (.563) at Washington and 78-69 (.531) at Long Beach. While at Kansas State, he led the team to two Final Four appearances (1958 and ’64) and six NCAA Tournament appearances. He was the 1958 NCAA coach of the year and is widely recognized as one of the greatest NBA assistant coaches in history.
1960 USA OLYMPIC TEAM – Team, compiled an 8-0 record at the Rome Olympic Games and won its games by an average margin of 42.4 points. Ten players went on to play in the NBA and six team members have been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, including coaches Pete Newell and Dutch Lonborg. The Hall of Fame players from the ’60 team are: Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West.
1992 USA OLYMPIC TEAM known as “The Dream Team” – Team, compiled an 8-0 record at the Barcelona Olympic Games with an average margin of victory of 43.8. Coached by Hall of Famer, the late Chuck Daly, the “Dream Team” was the first team made up primarily of NBA players who were eligible to compete in international basketball for the first time because of the change of FIBA rules in 1989. Eight players from the team have been enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and three (Malone, Mullin and Pippen) are among the finalists for 2010. The prior inductees include: Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, and John Stockton). Hall of Fame coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Lenny Wilkens assisted Daly while college standout Christian Laettner of Duke University completed the roster. The ’92 Dream team was inducted into the USA Olympic Hall of Fame as a team in 2009.
WOMEN’S COMMITTEE FINALISTS
CYNTHIA COOPER – Player, competed at the University of Southern California where she won two NCAA Championships and participated in three Final Fours. As a member of the Houston Comets, she won four WNBA Championships and was named WNBA Finals MVP with each title. Cooper was named to three WNBA All-Star teams and was also selected WNBA regular season MVP twice. Cooper won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1988 and an Olympic Bronze Medal in 1992 to go along with two FIBA Women’s World Championship Gold Medals.
HARLEY REDIN – Coach, is recognized as one of the greatest coaches in basketball after leading the Wayland Baptist University’s women’s team from 1955 through 1973. He compiled an overall women’s coaching record of 431-66 (.867), including a 76-game win streak from 1955 through 1958 while leading Wayland Baptist University to two undefeated seasons (’56, ’57). Redin captured six AAU women’s national championships (1956, ’57, ’59, ’61, ’70 and ’71), served as coach the USA women’s national team and, earlier in his career, coached the Wayland Baptist men’s team (1948-57). Redin was inducted to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
ALL-AMERICAN RED HEADS – Team, was the first women’s professional basketball team. The Red Heads were founded in 1936 in Cassville, Missouri and competed in games all over the United States and Canada and became the first American team to play in the Philippines, regularly playing more than 200 games a year during six decades (1936-86). The team was often compared with the Harlem Globetrotters as they used serious play and comedic routines to entertain the audience while they promoted women’s basketball.
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FINALISTS:
VLADIMIR KONDRASHIN – Coach, was known as the founder of basketball in Leningrad where he compiled an overall record of 727-365. He led the Soviet Union National Team to the Olympic Gold Medal in 1972, the Olympic Bronze Medal in 1976, and a World Championship Gold Medal in 1974.
MACIEL “UBIRATAN” PEREIRA – Player, was known as “The King” in his native Brazil. He earned a gold medal at the 1963 World Championship, a silver medal at the 1970 World Championship and a bronze medal at the 1964 Olympic Games. Closer to home, he won five South American Championships and 11 titles in the São Paulo League in Brazil. He played in three Olympic Games for Brazil and was inducted as a player to the FIBA Hall of Fame in September, 2009 and has been awarded the FIBA “Order of Merit” honor. (Born: Jan. 18, 1944; Died July 17, 2002).
VETERAN’S COMMITTEE FINALISTS:
RICHARD GUERIN – Player, was a six time NBA All Star (1958-1963) and scored 14,676 points, 4,278 rebounds and 4,211 assists during a pro career with the Knicks (1956-63), St. Louis Hawks (1963-67) and Atlanta Hawks (1968-70). Guerin was the first Knick to score 2,000 points in a single season, and averaged 20.1 ppg as a member of the Knicks. Born in the Bronx, NY, Guerin played at Iona College, where he averaged 24.7 ppg as a senior and was named an All-American. Guerin was also a player/coach for both the St. Louis and Atlanta Hawks, compiling a 327-291 record while being named NBA Coach of the Year in 1968.
GUS JOHNSON – Player, was a five-time NBA All-Star (1965, ‘68-71) and a two-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive team (1970 and ’71). Johnson helped lead the Baltimore Bullets to five playoff appearances in nine seasons, including the 1971 NBA Finals. He played 10 years in the NBA, scored 9,944 points (17.1 ppg) and grabbed 7,379 rebounds (12.7 rpg). Johnson also played for the Phoenix Suns (1972-73) and was a member of the 1973 ABA Champion Indiana Pacers. (Born: Dec. 13, 1938; Died: April 29, 1987).
Tickets to the 2010 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5550.