Magic Johnson: The 2020 Hall of Fame class is the great…

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Mark Berman: Rudy Tomjanovich on ESPN: pic.twitter.com/64HgyPJzAR

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Some may double-take when they realize Hardaway isn’t in, as one of the league’s most decorated and feared players during the ’90s, but he isn’t and doesn’t feel like his time will ever come. “It would be great, solidify my career,” Hardaway said in a candid conversation with Yahoo Sports. “[But] I’m not gonna beg for nothing. I've never begged for nothing in my life.”
He was a five-time All-Star, making the All-NBA Second Team three times, and the first and third teams once each. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Stan Van Gundy told Yahoo Sports. “There’s a few guys who haven’t gotten in yet but will get in … but the only guys who haven’t gotten in are Tim, Ben Wallace and Kevin Johnson. Five times, All-NBA? Top 15 in the NBA and for Tim, top 10? That’s really high-level stuff. That’s being the best of the best for long periods of time and that’s generally what they look at. How were you in your era?”
Chris Bosh: How to Deal With Dissapointment I’m not gonna lie and I’ll get right to it, I’m disappointed I won’t be in the HOF this year, especially with this amazing class of players I have looked up to throughout my career. BUT sometimes things don’t work out the way you want, and you HAVE to move on. You can’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself or blaming other people.

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To keep the list short this time, the direct-elect categories that send one person each straight to the Hall – no finalist round for them – have been suspended. That includes the men’s and women’s veterans committees, the early African-American committee and the contributor committee. The exception this year is the international committee, which still will select a Hall of Famer to be announced with the actual Class of 2020 at the NCAA men’s Final Four April 4 in Atlanta. Said Colangelo: “Because of the enormity, even before Kobe’s death, we think Kobe and Duncan and Garnett bring to [this] … we’ve never had a class that strong at the top. And then with Kobe’s death, it added more focus.”
The upside of waiting? Not to get “lost in the shuffle,” as Colangelo described it. “Sad as it all is, we have to deal with that,” Colangelo said. “And life does go on in the world of basketball and the Hall of Fame. We don’t want to take away from the people here who are prospective inductees.” Asked if the 2020 ceremony in Springfield might be different as well from recent editions, the Hall chairman said: “Let’s put it this way: There’s a great sensitivity as a result, and so that leads to probably a little bit different than in the past. But it’s going to be done the right way.”
In one of the most anticipated Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame classes in years, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan headline the finalists up for induction in August. The finalists were announced on Friday at NBA All-Star Weekend, and Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo said they kept the class small this year because of the magnitude of the players who are expected to reach the Hall. Colangelo said that was the plan before Kobe Bryant’s death.
Chris Bosh will not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Bosh, 35, was not one of the eight finalists named Friday at All-Star Weekend in Chicago for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Bosh still has time to get into the Hall of Fame and he’s expected to get inducted at some point, but 2020 marked the first year he was eligible for consideration after his playing career came to an end in 2016.
Shams Charania: Kobe Bryant will be a first-ballot enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020. "Expected to be arguably the most epic class ever with Kobe, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett," HOF chairman Jerry Colangelo says. "Kobe will be honored the way he should be."
Durant, one of the best players in NBA history, says Williams is a Hall of Famer: “I mean Lou Will’s probably the No. 1 guy. I feel like he’s a Hall of Famer,” Durant told Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the Knuckle Heads Podcast. “Yeah, I feel like he’s of those guys that is a culture-changer as far as like setting the lane for NBA players, you know? Being that undersized, 6’2, 6’3.”
Gary Washburn: 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame Class could include: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett & Gregg Popovich. Pop would have already been elected but refused consideration. He apparently told HOF he would accept consideration once Duncan was eligible. Well... #Spurs #Celtics #Lakers
Metta, who made the NBA all-defensive team 4 times and was an All-American in college, said it's not just him who believe he's one of the best ever ... some of the best ever believe it too. "When you get Reggie Miller saying, 'He's the best defender ever.' You get Kobe saying, 'He's the best defender ever on the wing.' Michael Jordan [praised me] early on in my career, it's documented." Despite all that love, Metta says people don't want him enshrined ... and he knows why. "A lot of people don't wanna see me in that Hall of Fame. I never really was afraid to speak my mind. I never submitted to being that corporate person. I never gave a f*ck. So, It's gonna be hard to get in."
TMZ Sports spoke with future Hall of Famer Lou Williams on Tuesday night ... and yeah, you read that correctly ... 'cause the L.A. Clippers star says he's deserving of a spot in Springfield!!! We spoke with the 2-time Sixth Man of the Year award winner at the Ethika pop-up shop in L.A. on Tuesday night ... and asked if he's done enough to join the game's best players in the Hall if he's named the league's best bench player again. "Yeah, I've seen guys in the Hall of Fame with less. I've put the work in," the 14-year NBA veteran tells us.
Vlade Divac got the Hall call Saturday as the international committee’s selection for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. Is it only a matter of time for Toni Kukoc? “I definitely think he deserves it,” longtime teammate and Class of 2010 Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen said. “He was a huge piece for us. You look at the game today, teams have the Big Three now. Toni was a part of that puzzle for us. He was productive and deserves a lot of credit for our success.”
Kukoc, who was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017, has been a finalist for enshrinement in Springfield, Mass., twice. “I’ve seen some things go on in the Hall of Fame that really have been a little bit shocking,” Pippen said. “I’ve seen some guys get in where I think Toni and Ron (Harper) definitely had a lot better career than those guys. I think they’re getting a little bit of a knock-back because they were part of a team with me and Michael (Jordan). But those guys are winners. “It was a great journey to play my career alongside Toni, even though he came over as one of the enemies. We grew together and had a lot of success and a lot of fun.”

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Adrian Wojnarowski: Three prominent finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2019 -- Marques Johnson, Ben Wallace and Chris Webber – were not selected for enshrinement, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Via the International Committee, Vlade Divac has been chosen for induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2019, sources tell ESPN. He’s one of seven NBA players with 13K points, 9K rebounds, 3K assists and 1,500 blocks. Divac had a storied FIBA career.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sidney Moncrief has been elected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019, sources tell ESPN. A formal announcement will come Saturday in Minneapolis. Moncrief was a five-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA guard with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Bobby Jones has been selected for enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2019, sources tell ESPN. As a forward, he was NBA All-Defensive first-team eight times with the 76ers, and twice ABA All-Defensive first-team. Formal announcement on Saturday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Paul Westphal has been elected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2019, sources tell ESPN. Westphal was a 5-time All-Star and 4-time All-NBA guard. As a coach, he was 318-279 (.532) with a trip to NBA Finals and two conference semifinals with Suns.
Mark Berman: ICYMI: NBA sources: Former @Houston Rockets, @Marc D'Amico , @Cleveland Cavaliers, @Brooklyn Nets and @LAClippers Coach Bill Fitch will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Fitch led Boston to the NBA championship in 1981 and the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1986.
Jack Sikma, who in 1979 helped lead the Seattle SuperSonics to their only NBA championship, has been selected for induction to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA., a source told Sportspress Northwest. The official announcement will be made at 9 a.m. Saturday PT (ESPN2) in Minneapolis, site of the Final Four.
Mark Berman: NBA sources: Former #Rockets, Celtics, Cavaliers, Nets and Clippers Coach Bill Fitch will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The 2019 Hall of Fame class will be announced at the upcoming NCAA Men’s Final Four in Minneapolis. “Sidney was the epitome of a professional basketball player, in all aspects,’’ Buckner said. “He was skilled, intelligent, courteous, respectful, played at a high level and played every night at a high level. I don’t think there’s any question he was as good a two-way player that I’ve played with. Sidney was a basketball player – period. “I really hope Sidney does get into the Hall. He was really great for the game and he’s a terrific human being.’’
Ben Wallace didn’t expect to take a call Friday that he was one of the finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "I'm still trying to soak it all in, take it all in," Wallace said Saturday, a day after the announcement. "It's definitely nerve-wracking, exciting, not really knowing. There are a lot of players still on that waiting list who haven't had that opportunity to get this far. So, I'm just thankful and grateful and just enjoying this moment right now."
Wallace hopes to be inducted but will also enjoy the position he's in now. "I understand how the process works," he said. "I'm not jumping too far ahead of myself or starting to write speeches or anything like that. I'm just taking it one step at a time. It's exciting to be nominated as one of the finalists, and I can only imagine what type of feeling I actually would have if I were to get in."
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend, that the “Voice of the Clippers,” Ralph Lawler, alongside longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein, is a 2019 Curt Gowdy Media Award recipient. Lawler will be acknowledged for his contributions to basketball media during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement events Sept. 5-7 in Springfield, Massachusetts – the birthplace of basketball.
“I can hardly believe this is happening. Never in my wildest dreams did I dare to imagine that my career would culminate with this ultimate honor,” said Lawler. “My wife and I are thrilled and humbled to be joining the elite group that preceded me with the Curt Gowdy Award. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a reality.”
Mark Berman: Bill Fitch is a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He got the word from @Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle: "I talked to Rick a little while ago.He told me about it.I told him getting into the Hall of Fame,I suppose,means more to the people I've been around.."
Jonathan Feigen: Fitch on Rudy Tomjanovich not being a finalist: "I'm sure he'll get in. I gave him his first coaching job. He and Carroll (Dawson) were my assistant. I figure Carroll ought to get both of us in. He'll get in."
Tim Reynolds: Ralph Lawler of the Clippers is the Curt Gowdy enshrinee for electronic media. “Ralph has been a pioneer in his field, and we have been fortunate to hear him for 40 years. His love for the game and this team are on display every night,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
John Stockton, Karl Malone and Jerry Sloan could get some Utah Jazz company in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame if the stars and votes align correctly. Jazz greats Ron Boone and Mark Eaton have both been honored as eligible candidates for Hall of Fame recognition for the first time. Boone and Eaton are among a group that includes a few other local ties. Utah native and legendary coach Dick Motta, ex-Utah Stars player Willie Wise, who was on the 1971 ABA championship team, and Jennifer Azzi, formerly of the Utah Starzz in the WNBA, are also on the ballot.
Among the other notable nominees: Sloan’s old friend Johnny “Red” Kerr, Del Harris, Curt Gowdy, Marv Albert, Jim Valvano, Billy Packer, Vlade Divac, Toni Kukoc, the 1936 U.S. Olympic team, Chris Webber, Tim Hardaway, Rip Hamilton, Dale Ellis, Marcus Camby, Muggsy Bogues, Chauncey Billups, Mark Aguirre, Jack Sikma, Ben Wallace, Sidney Moncrief, Bobby Jones, Kevin Johnson, Rudy Tomjanovich, George Karl, Bob Huggins, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Bill Fitch, Rick Adelman, Rollie Massimino and Gene Keady.
Mark Berman: Jeff Van Gundy is "stunned" and "shocked" that Rudy Tomjanovich, a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, doesn't get elected to the Hall again: "Everything he's done in coaching says elite..I just don't get it."

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Storyline: Hall of Fame Selections
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September 22, 2021 | 2:15 am EDT Update

Damian Lillard held back from trade demand by loyalty to Portland, past statements?

There are many who believed then and continue to insist now that Damian Lillard was about ready to ask out; a source with knowledge of the situation believes Lillard is held back by both his loyalty to Portland and an unwillingness to go back on things he’s already said about sticking things out. He ultimately decided to give this another go, and Lillard has been provided roster upgrades and had a big voice in the coaching search. He may still ask out down the road, but only time will tell how long this honeymoon lasts.
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It is clear Simmons wants out though and when you consider that alongside his poor form in the playoffs, the Sixers have little leverage to work with and the offers have reflected that. “The Sixers are yet to find a deal they are willing to do,” Wojnarowski said. “They want Ben Simmons in camp, they want to see his trade value improve and then find a deal out in the marketplace but right now they are going to do it with him on the sidelines because his intention now is to not play another game for that organisation.

Many in Philadelphia expecting Ben Simmons to show up?

The Sixers are expecting at least some sort of absence to open the preseason, sources say, though most are convinced he will eventually show up, citing a lack of precedent for extended holdouts in the NBA. There has been some public debate over whether the Sixers would fine him for such a move in the midst of trying to work through all this, though it seems pretty black-and-white on Philly’s end.
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It almost goes without saying that bridge-building would need to be done between Simmons and Doc Rivers. The head coach tried to walk back the despair he showed after Game 7 during exit interviews the very next day, and his defenses of Simmons far outnumber his one high-profile shoulder shrug. Even still, getting the two to connect during the offseason has been close to impossible, sources say. Ultimately, this is in Simmons’ hands. Rivers would tell you himself that he regrets letting his guard down during Simmons’ lowest moment as a professional. Some missteps are just harder to come back from than others.