Dirk, D-Wade among first-time Hall of Fame inductees

December 23, 2022

As of Wednesday, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame nominated Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade as two inaugural nominees.

For the class of 2023, additional newly eligible candidates include Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich, Pau Gasol, and the Olympic basketball team for the United States in 1976.

With the Dallas Mavericks for the entirety of his 21-year career, Nowitzki was selected for 14 All-Star games, was nominated for 12 All-NBA teams, and won one MVP award. The German, who stands 7 feet tall, changed the game with exceptional outside shooting for his height. The 50-40-90 club has 10 NBA players, including him.

After helping Dallas win its only championship in franchise history in 2011, Nowitzki was named Finals MVP.

After his selection as the fifth overall player in the legendary 2003 draft class, Wade spent most of his playing career with the Miami Heat. After the Heat’s first championship run in 2006, the 13-time All-Star was named Finals MVP. As one of the dominant Big Three, he added two more rings in South Beach.

Wade won his lone scoring championship in 2009 and was selected to the NBA All-Defensive team three times.

Although Gasol started his career with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers are where he made most of his outstanding contributions. During his seven years with the purple and gold, the Spaniard was selected as an All-Star three times and contributed significantly to two championship campaigns.

He continued to be a productive player into his mid-30s, and during his brief tenure with the Chicago Bulls, he was selected to two more All-Star games.

One of the greatest European players in history was Parker. For nearly 20 years, the Frenchman served as the floor general for the San Antonio Spurs. He was the first player born in Europe to be named Finals MVP and won four championships with the team.

In terms of assists and points, Parker is fourth all-time in San Antonio. Ten players from the team’s past have had their numbers retired, and he is one of them.

As the Spurs’ bench boss, Popovich is in his 27th season. He has won Coach of the Year recognition three times and led the team to five NBA championships.

A group of current and former NBA head coaches and the National Basketball Coaches Association named Popovich one of the top 15 coaches in league history in February. A month later, the 73-year-old passed Don Nelson to hold the record for most victories in a regular season.

At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, women’s basketball made its Olympic debut. Nancy Lieberman was the star player for the American team, which Hall of Famer Billie Moore led. The U. S. Soviet Union came in second place that year.