May 29, 2023

Basketball Hall of Fame class one for the ages


The Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame’s class of 2023 was announced on Saturday and features an embarrassment of riches. 

The players headed toward enshrinement are Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol and Dwyane Wade. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is also being added to the Hall of Fame as well as former WNBA player and current Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon.

That’s a dizzying array of talent with 45 All-Star appearances, 28 All-NBA appearances and 16 championships between them.

Other basketball greats in the Class of 2023 include former coaches Jim Valvano (North Carolina State), Gene Keady (Purdue) and Gary Blair (Texas A&M) as well as David Hixon of Division III Amherst. also noted Gene Bess from Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, is being honored after recording 1,300 wins during his coaching career.

Those names add to an illustrious list that puts the 2023 class in a conversation among the best Hall of Fame classes in basketball history. And there have been several great ones over the years. 

The 2009 class has to be up near the top of the list. That year, Michael Jordan was honored alongside David Robinson, John Stockton, Jerry Sloan and C. Vivian Stringer.

The class of 2020 also should be considered as it included Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, WNBA great Tamika Catchings and coaching legends including Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich and Kim Mulkey.

Digging back further, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West were inducted in 1980, while the 1987 class featured Rick Barry, Walt Frazier and Pete Maravich. Other classes headlined by Julius Irving (1993), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1995), Charles Barkley (2006), Shaquille O’Neal (2016) and Steve Nash (2018) are among the best in NBA Hall of Fame history.

But the strength of this year’s crop of inductees means the 2023 class stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the giants that came before it.

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