It turns out that basketball’s highest accolade awaited them all.
Wallace, Wright, Bosh and Webber were among the 16 names announced Sunday as this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame dedication class, a group that also includes Paul Pierce, coaches Rick Adelman and Cotton Fitzsimmons, and the stars. from the WNBA Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson.
The class even includes someone who has been a Hall of Fame member for 46 years already: 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell, registered in 1975 as a player, was re-selected as a coach. Russell becomes the fifth Hall of Famer to be inducted as both player and coach, joining John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn.
“It’s not something you’ve ever dreamed of,” Wright said on the ESPN broadcast of the announcement. ” It’s really cool. “
Wright said he never even imagined when he began training that the Temple of Fame would even be a possibility, and he defended the candidacy of one of his Villanova predecessors – Rollie Massimino – for years.
“Jay is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had and one of the best people I’ve ever known,” said former Villanova goaltender Kyle Lowry, now with the Toronto Raptors, after had knowledge of Wright’s selection. “He treated me like a son and he helped me become the man I am today. She really is a special person. “
Toni Kukoc was selected by the International Hall of Fame committee, and Pearl Moore – a 4,000-point goalscorer in college, most coming to Francis Marion – was also among those selected for the induction.
Also selected: Former WNBA President Val Ackerman as a contributor, longtime director of the five-star basketball camp Howard Garfinkel as a contributor, Clarence “Fats” Jenkins – whose teams in the 1920s and 1930s starred. won what was called the Colorful Basketball World Championships in eight consecutive years – and four-time All-Star Bob Dandridge.
Of the 140 NBA and ABA players now enrolled in the Hall, none average less points than Wallace – who has managed 5.7 per game for his career. He’s never had a 30-point game as a pro; his regular-season high was 23 points, his playoff high was 29 points.
He wasn’t in the NBA for scoring. He has been defensive player of the year four times, making this end of the pitch his specialty.
“To have this type of trip, to have it end as it ends, it’s a great feeling,” Wallace said on the show.