The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame released a star-studded list of first-time inductees for the class of 2023 on Wednesday.
Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich, Dwyane Wade and the 1976 US Olympic women’s basketball team make up the group of nominees.
popovich, NBA The winningest coach ever, it was somewhat of a surprise, the biggest surprise. The longtime coach was previously unwilling to have the hall include him as a candidate.
Popovich has won five NBA championships as a coach and has been named Coach of the Year three times. For several years, he led the USA men’s basketball team the Olympicsand won a gold medal in Tokyo.
He is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in history. Since 1996, he has held the position of San Antonio Spurs‘ Coach.
Dirk Nowitzki rose to superstardom during his 21-year career with the team Dallas Mavericks. He is also a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. Nowitzki was selected to 12 NBA All-Star Teams and earned an NBA championship. He was the Finals MVP and league MVP for the regular season.
“It would be a really incredible moment,” Nowitzki said upon his Hall of Fame induction. (Technically, he still has to be voted out.) “I mean, on top of everything that’s happened here in the last couple of years and the words and accolades that have come my way, that final is going to be…the best we’ve ever had in our game.”
Dwyane Wade is a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame and is widely regarded as one of the best shooting guards in NBA history. He spent most of his prolific career with the Miami Heat, where he won three championships. Wade was named NBA Finals MVP in 2006, a 13-time NBA All-Star, and a gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team three times.
Pau Gasol has had a stellar basketball career in the NBA, and internationally. Gasol has won two NBA championships and is a six-time All-Star. The powerful forward finished his NBA career with over 11,000 rebounds.
On the international front, Gasol helped lift Spain to the FIBA World Championship and earned two Olympic silver medals. He is the all-time top scorer in the FIBA European Championship.
Tony Parker has spent most of his NBA career being coached by fellow nominee Gregg Popovich. Parker was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP and was selected to six All-Star Teams. Parker was an essential part of the Tottenham dynasty.
He represented France in international basketball and won the 2013 FIBA Europe Championship title. He is the second all-time EuroBasket scorer, behind only Gasol.
WNBA player Beck Hammon is also a first-time candidate. She is a six-time all-star. the 1976 US Olympic women’s team and the 1982 Cheney University women’s basketball team, which became the first team from Black College historically to reach NCAA Championship Game, also nominated.
Portland Trail Blazers Head coach and longtime player Chauncey Billups is also on the ballot. During his playing days, Billups averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 assists.
Amar’e Stoudemire, Detlef Schremp and Shawn Kemp failed to make the ballot for 2023.
Finalists will be announced in February. The Hall of Famers will be announced in April, and the inductions are scheduled for August.