Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class had to wait for their enshrinement ceremony. That’s going to get resolved on Saturday, when a loaded class headlined by the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett gets forever immortalized in Springfield. But as a separate issue, we still don’t know the players, coaches, and other individuals who will make up the 2021 group.
That is slated to change on Saturday, as the 2021 class will be announced at the museum. According to multiple reports, we know two of the players who are expected to make up the list. Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated brings word that Ben Wallace is headed to Springfield, while Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports that Paul Pierce will unsurprisingly be inducted.
Wallace and Pierce were two of the best players of the ’00s, although their impacts were most frequently felt on opposite ends of the floor. Wallace is one of the greatest defensive players of all-time, a four-time Defensive Player of the Year who anchored the fearsome defense that the Detroit Pistons rode to an NBA championship in 2004. The first undrafted player to get inducted, Wallace played for the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers in his career before eventually returning to the Pistons and retiring in 2012.
Pierce, meanwhile, was an offensive maestro during his career, earning 10 All-Star nods and winning NBA Finals MVP with the Boston Celtics in 2008. While he suited up for a number of other teams — the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers — towards the end of his career, Pierce is one of the greatest Celtics of all-time, owning a number of team records from his 15 years with the franchise.