2014 Basketball Hall of Fame Candidates and Direct Elects

Image Courtesy of the BHOF

Image Courtesy of the BHOF

The Naismith Hall of Fame is located in Springfield, Mass., the Hall has 326 individuals and nine teams enshrined at present. The finalists for induction into the 2014 class were revealed last Friday.

Here’s the individuals on the list:

  • Tim Hardaway – Five-time All-Star, ranks 14th in league history in assists and 12th in 3-point field goals.  Hardaway recorded 5,000 points and 2,500 assists, second fastest in NBA history after Oscar Robertson; Hardaway accomplished it in 262 games. Number 10 retired by the Miami Heat.
  • Mitch Richmond – Six-time All-Star, NBA Champion (2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers), 1995 NBA All-Star MVP and 36th in league history in points per game.  Number 2 retired by the Sacramento Kings.
  • Spencer Haywood – Five-time All-Star, NBA Champion (1979-80 Los Angeles Lakers) and 1970 ABA Most Valuable Player.  Number 24 retired by the Seattle Supersonics.
  • Kevin Johnson – Three-time All-Star, 18th in league history in assists and sixth in assists per game.  First player in NBA history to rank in the top three in assists per game and three-point field goal percentage in the same season (K.J. ranked third in assists per game in ’96-’97 at 9.3, and third in three-point field goal percentage in ’96-’97 at .442). Number 7 retired by the Phoenix Suns.
  • Harley Redin – Coach of Wayland Baptist University’s women’s basketball team, who tore off a 131-game winning streak in the 1950s en route to six National Championships.  For eighteen years under the coaching leadership of Redin, the team would win 431 games against only 66 losses. Redin would go on to coach the USA Women’s Pan American Team in 1959 and 1971.  He was inducted into the inaugural class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • Alonzo Mourning – Seven-time All-Star, NBA Champion (2005-06 Miami Heat), two-time Defensive Player of the Year, 12th in league history in blocked shots and sixth in blocks per game.  Number 33 retired by the Miami Heat.
  • Nolan Richardson – The only coach ever to win an NCAA National Championship (1994 Arkansas Razorbacks), an NIT Championship (1981 Tulsa Golden Hurricanes) and a Junior College National Championship (1980 Western Texas Junior College), Richardson won Naismith Coach of the Year in 1994 and was inducted in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
  • Eddie Sutton – Coached for 36 years in the NCAA with an 804-327 record and three Final Four appearances.  Won AP National Coach of the Year honors in 1978 and 1986.
  • Gary Williams – Coached Maryland to the 2002 NCAA National Championship and had a 668-360 career coaching record over 33 years.  Two-time ACC Coach of the Year (2002, 2010)
  • Immaculata University (team) – The Mighty Macs won three consecutive AIAW tournaments from 1972-1974 and played in the first nationally televised women’s game ever (1975 against Maryland).

The actual inductions will not take place until September; the Class of 2014 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.

Five names were also announced as direct-elects for the Class of 2014:

  • David Stern – NBA commissioner for 30 years.  During that time he relocated 6 NBA franchises (Clippers, Kings, Grizzlies, Nets, Sonics and Hornets), ratified the NBA Dress Code, dealt with four NBA lockouts (1995, 1996, 1998-99, and 2011) and oversaw the creation of the WNBA.
  • Nat Clifton – The second African American to sign and play in the NBA, also made an All-Star Game (1956-57) with the Knicks.  Clifton’s contributions to his community during his sporting career and after his playing days have been recognized by the Associated Black Charities of New York City. They have honored him by naming one of the Black History Maker Awards the Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton Award. In 2005, the New York Knicks basketball team renamed their monthly “City Spirit Award” in his honor.
  • Guy Rodgers – Four-time All-Star and two-time NBA assist leader (1963 and 1967), is 16th in league history in assists and tops in assist percentage.  Rodgers played alongside the great Wilt Chamberlain from 1959 through 1964, and during Chamberlain’s famous 100-point game, he led the way with 20 assists.
  • Bob ‘Slick’ Leonard – Spent seven seasons in the NBA as a player (1956-63) and 12 years across the ABA and NBA as coach of the Indiana Pacers, winning three ABA Championships (1970, 1972 and 1973).
  • Sarunas Marciulionis – One of the first Europeans to play in the NBA, the Lithuanian also helped lead the USSR to a 1988 Olympic gold medal.  In 1999, Marciulionis founded the North European Basketball League (NEBL) and also became its commissioner.

My thoughts on the current HOF candidates:

I don’t have an issue with any of the candidates in this years Hall, but I questioned the former commissioner David Stern being inducted so soon. Stern retired just a little over two weeks ago and he’s already being inducted?  Normally an individual would be eligible after five years from retirement unless a candidate was close to death or may have recently died, which would speed up the eligibility process. Stern looks pretty healthy to me so I think he should wait just like everyone else.