Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh among 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame finalists
The finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame were announced Tuesday, with Paul Pierce and Chris Bosh headlining the group.
Bosh and Pierce will be joined by fellow finalists Tim Hardaway, Chris Webber, Michael Cooper, Ben Wallace, and Marques Johnson. Longtime Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings head coach Rick Adelman leads the coaching group, and is joined by Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, who led the C’s to a pair of championships in 1968 and 1969 as player-coach.
The full list of Hall of Fame finalists–which also includes WNBA stars Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson–can be found here.
“The Truth” ranks third in Celtics history in win shares behind Russell and Larry Bird. He was a 10-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection, and NBA Finals MVP in 2008. Interestingly, Pierce also ranks in the top 25 in NBA history in both win shares and value over replacement player. He should be a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Bosh narrowly missed the cut as a finalist in 2020, but it was just a matter of time before he got his just due. The former Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat star was an 11-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, and a guy who evolved from a dominant post scorer to a stretch-4 type and a terrific interior defender.
Cooper is another first-time finalist, but a guy who helped define the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty in the 1980s. Cooper was a terrific defender and, later in his career, solid perimeter shooter.
Webber and Hardaway are Hall of Fame finalists yet again, and both stand strong chances of being elected this time around. Ben Wallace’s chances are less clear, but the four-time Defensive Player of the Year has a decent case.
The Class of 2021 will officially be revealed on May 16.