Vince Carter and Chauncey Billups are among the finalists named for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2024, the NBA announced Friday.
Michael Cooper, Walter Davis, Bo Ryan and Charles Smith were also among the North American Committee finalists along with Carter, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and Portland Trail Blazers coach Billups, a five-time NBA All-Star. NBA.
The Women’s Committee’s list of finalists consists of two names: Seimone Augustus, an eight-time WNBA All-Star, and Marian Washington, who coached the University of Kansas women’s basketball team for 31 seasons.
Other finalists include Dick Barnett and Harley Redin (Veterans Committee); Michele Timms (International Committee); and Doug Collins, Herb Simon and Jerry West (Contributors Committee).
“Being named a finalist for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2024 is a testament to the highest achievements in sports,” Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame President Jerry Colangelo said in a statement. “It is an honor that reflects not only individual greatness but also the lasting impact on the game itself.
“From the strategic brilliance of the coaches to the unparalleled skills of the players and the influential roles of a coach/broadcaster, an esteemed owner and a dynasty-building executive, each finalist embodies the pinnacle of basketball excellence. “Its inclusion underscores the diverse contributions that have shaped and enriched the sport, making this recognition truly exceptional.”
To be included in the class of 2024, finalists must be voted on by the Honors Committee. The class will be announced at the NCAA Men’s Final Four on April 6 in Phoenix and will be enshrined in Springfield, Massachusetts, on August 16-17.
Who stands out?
Carter scored more points in a season for two different teams (Nets, Raptors), but I remember him as the best dunker in NBA history. He, too, aged gracefully, playing 22 seasons and contributing down the stretch.
Billups was point guard on the last championship team without a player in the top five. He was a dominant and consistent influence on the last great Pistons teams. He was fantastic when he hit a 3-pointer and the Detroit public address announcer yelled, “Chaunceeeeeey BBB-BILLUPS.”
Cooper was never an All-Star, but he was the defensive lynchpin of the flashy Showtime Lakers.
Davis, who died in November, is the Suns’ all-time leading scorer, a gold medalist in 1976 with Team USA and Rookie of the Year in 1978. He was also at the center of one of the biggest scandals of drugs in NBA history. During the 1986-87 season, Davis’ All-Star campaign, he testified before a grand jury in Maricopa County (Ariz.) against several Suns teammates, who were ultimately raised in cocaine-related chargesso Davis could avoid prosecution.
Doug Collins was Michael Jordan’s first and last NBA coach, and enjoyed a long and successful career as a broadcaster for several networks, including calling several US gold medals at the Olympics. The last part is appropriate because he was the best player on the 1972 U.S. team that was robbed of the gold medal. Doug was a great player in his own right, but his nomination is for coaching and broadcasting.
Augustus is one of the greatest college players, USA players and WNBA players of all time. She reached three Final Fours and was player of the year, won three Olympic gold medals and won four WNBA titles during her illustrious career. — Joe Vardon, senior NBA writer
West is not only one of the greatest players of all time, but also one of its greatest executives. He helped build the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s and then brought Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to Los Angeles in the 1990s. West also had a successful career with the Grizzlies and was an important advisor on the dynastic team. Golden State Warriors. — Mike Vorkunov, NBA writer
(Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)