The NBA announced today in an official release the 10 newest members to be enshrined this Aug. 7-9 as the Hall of Fame class of 2014 inductees. The announcement included the just-retired former commissioner, David Stern, seven-time all-star for the Hornets and Heat Alonzo Mourning, and four-time all-star, sharpshooting Warriors and Kings wing, Mitch Richmond.
Other nominees include Nate “Sweetwater” Clifton, the first African-American to sign a contract with the NBA (and part of the holy trinity to break the color barrier); four-time 1960s NBA all-star Guy Rodgers; college coaches, Gary Williams (Maryland) and Nolan Richardson (Arkansas); former ABA coach Bob “Slick” Leonard; AIAW women’s champs ((1972-74) Immaculata University, and former NBA player and Lithuanian star Sarunas Marciulionis.
Stern, Mourning and Richmond highlight the 2014 class. Here’s what the NBA wrote as part of their official release:
Stern served as NBA Commissioner from 1984 until 2014, was Executive Vice-President of the NBA from 1980-84 and was part of the NBA General Counsel from 1978-80. Stern oversaw more than 30 years of NBA development and expansion across all fields — financially, exposure, image and more. During his tenure, the league expanded from 23 to 30 teams and television revenue increased from $10 million per year to approximately $900 million per year. Stern implemented several rule changes to improve the game, instituted the age limit for NBA Draft entries, the NBA Draft Lottery and managed the relocation of six franchises. He oversaw the launch of the NBA Developmental League, NBA/WNBA Cares and Basketball Without Borders. Stern has made himself known as a huge force in making the NBA one of the most popular sports leagues in the world.
Mourning was a seven-time NBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002) and a member of the Miami Heat NBA Championship team in 2006. He is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000) and a two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member (1999, 2000). He led the NBA in blocked shots (1998-99, 1999-2000) and blocks per game (1998-99, 1999-2000) and earned an NBA All Rookie Team recognition in 1993. The Chesapeake, Virginia native attended Georgetown University (1988-1992) and played in the NBA from 1993 until 2008 and is the all-time leader in blocks for the Miami Heat with 1,625.
A six-time NBA All-Star, Richmond is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist and won the 2002 NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. At the beginning of his NBA career he became a part of the Golden State Warriors’ famous “RUN TMC” attack. Richmond is the 1995 NBA All-Star Game MVP, the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-NBA Third Team member (1996, 1998). He scored 20,497 points and averaged more than 21 points per game for ten consecuive seasons in the NBA. At Kansas State University, he averaged 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and was UPI, The Sporting News and USBWA Second Team All-America in 1988.
Before becoming a four-time NBA All-Star (1963, 1964, 1966, 1967), Rodgers led Temple University to the NCAA Final Four (1956, 1958), was a unanimous First Team All-American (1958) and was part of the NCAA All-Tournament Team (1958). He scored 1,767 career points (19.6 ppg), which was the best in Temple history. In his 12 NBA seasons he compiled 10,415 points (11.7 ppg) and 6,917 assists (7.7 apg). He led the NBA in assists in 1963 (10.6 apg) and in 1967 (11.2 apg). Rodgers has MVP recognitions from the Big Five (1956, 1957, 1958), the College All-Stars Globetrotters Tour (1958) and the Holiday Festival (1957). He is an enshrinee in the Big Five Hall of Fame as well. Rodgers passed away February 19, 2001.
NATE “SWEETWATER” Clifton
Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton is known for being the second piece in the NBA’s first Big Three as the first African American to sign an NBA contract. He joins Chuck Cooper and Earl Lloyd in what many call basketball’s version of the Holy Trinity. Clifton recorded 5,444 points (10.0 ppg) and 4,469 rebounds (8.2 rpg) in eight NBA seasons. Having had experience with the Harlem Globetrotters, Clifton reveled in the spotlight and shined at the 1957 NBA All-Star game, where he recorded eight points, eleven rebounds and three assists. He also shares the single-game record for field goals with 21 at Xavier. Clifton passed away on August 31, 1990 and is an enshrinee in the Black Athletes Hall of Fame.
Marciulionis hails from Kaunas, Lithuania as the first Soviet player in the NBA. He earned four Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year awards (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991) and was MVP of the European Championships in 1995. In his seven NBA seasons, Marciulionis averaged 12.8 points and 1.3 steals per game. A principal figure in developing basketball in Lithuania, he founded the North European Basketball League and served as the first commissioner and founded the Lithuanian Basketball League and served as the first president in 1993. Marciulionis resurrected the Lithuanian national team in the early 1990’s and led the movement to participate in the 1992 Olympic games.
What do you think of the selections?
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