SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (CBS SF/AP) — Former Golden State Warriors top draft pick Chris Webber had been a snubbed time and time again for entry into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. His wait ended on Sunday.
Webber will join Villanova coach Jay Wright, NBA greats Ben Wallace and Bosh and 12 others as part of the 2021 inductees class.READ MORE: State Sen. Wiener's Recovery Incentives Act Would Pay Meth Addicts to Stay Sober
The group also includes Paul Pierce, coaches Rick Adelman and Cotton Fitzsimmons, and WNBA stars Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson.
The class even includes someone who has been a Hall of Famer for 46 years already: The 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell, enshrined in 1975 as a player, has been selected again as a coach. Russell becomes the fifth Hall of Famer who will be inducted as both a player and a coach, joining John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn.
âItâs not anything you ever even dream of,â Wright said on the ESPN broadcast of the announcement. âItâs pretty cool.â
Wright said he never even imagined when he started coaching that the Hall of Fame would be even a possibility, and heâs championed the candidacy of one of his Villanova predecessors â Rollie Massimino â for years.
âJay is one of the best coaches Iâve ever had, and one of the best people Iâve ever known,â said former Villanova guard Kyle Lowry, now with the Toronto Raptors, after he got word about Wrightâs selection. âHe treated me like a son, and he helped me become the man I am today. He is truly a special person.âREAD MORE: Notorious Norteño Gang Member 'Lil Rhino' Sentenced For Carrying Out Jailhouse Attacks
Toni Kukoc was selected by the Hall of Fameâs international committee, and Pearl Moore â a 4,000-point scorer in college, most of them coming at Francis Marion â was among those selected for induction as well.
Also selected: former WNBA President Val Ackerman as a contributor, longtime director of Five-Star Basketball Camp Howard Garfinkel as a contributor, Clarence âFatsâ Jenkins â whose teams in the 1920s and 1930s won what was called the Colored Basketball World Championships in eight consecutive years â and four-time All-Star Bob Dandridge.
Of the now 140 players from the NBA and ABA that are enshrined in the Hall, none of them averaged fewer points than Wallace â who managed 5.7 per game for his career. He never had a 30-point game as a pro; his regular-season high was 23 points, his playoff high was 29 points.
He wasnât in the NBA for scoring. He was a four-time defensive player of the year, making that end of the floor his specialty.
âTo have that type of journey, to have it end the way itâs ending, itâs an awesome feeling,â Wallace said on the broadcast.MORE NEWS: Santa Rosa Lawmaker Proposes Plan For City-Sanctioned Sideshows
The class will be enshrined on Sept. 11.