The 2019 NBA Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Friday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m. EST with many notable names being enshrined with the highest honor a professional basketball player can receive. Perhaps the two biggest names being named to the Hall are two centers, Vlade Divac and Jack Sikma, that helped “redefine the post position in the NBA,” per a story by Pat Eaton-Robb on Boston 25 News. The two players were presented with orange jackets on Thursday in advance of Friday’s ceremony.
“We showed we could play from different positions on the floor and do different things,” Divac said during the annual Hall of Fame media scrum according to Eaton-Robb’s story. “I was always happiest when I was passing, making my teammates better. I’m glad we could contribute to basketball in that way.”
Though Divac’s career numbers aren’t eye-popping per Basketball Reference – 11.8 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, 3.1 assists per game, 1.4 blocks per game and 1.1 steals per game – that sort of do-everything big man was fairly uncommon when Divac broke into the league in the late 1980s and during his peak in the 1990s.
Jack Sikma, a 6-foot-11 center that played 14 seasons in the NBA – 9 with the Seattle Supersonics and 5 with the Milwaukee Bucks – was a seven-time All-Star and produced similarly striking all-around numbers to Divac per Basketball Reference: 15.6 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, 1.0 steals per game and 0.9 blocks per contest.
Both players ushered in a new era of multi-faceted big men, which continues unabated in today’s NBA as players such as Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic and Karl-Anthony Towns are helping to redefine the position further still, following the groundwork laid by Divac and Sikma.