Chris Webber, Paul Pierce elected to Hall of Fame

·3-min read
Pistons' Webber pulls down a rebound during second quarter in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals basketball series in Cleveland

Chris Webber, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh and Ben Wallace were among those announced on Sunday as members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.

Also Bill Russell, Rick Adelman and Jay Wright were elected as coaches, Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson were selected as WNBA representatives and Chicago Bulls great Toni Kukoc was an International Committee selection.

Webber, 48, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft after his college career at Michigan, where he was a member of the "Fab Five." The 6-foot-9 forward played 15 seasons in the NBA with five teams and was a five-time All-Star.

Eligible for induction since 2013, Webber averaged 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 831 career games with the Golden State Warriors, Washington Bullets/Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons.

Pierce, a 10-time All-Star and the No. 2 scorer in Boston Celtics history, was in his first year of eligibility. The 6-foot-7 swingman was the MVP of Boston's 2008 Finals victory against the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

Pierce, 43, was drafted 10th overall by the Celtics in 1998 and played 19 seasons with Boston, the Brooklyn Nets, Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 1,343 games and knocked down 2,143 3-pointers.

Bosh, 37, was an 11-time All-Star who saw his career cut short by life-threatening blood clots. He left the Miami Heat during the 2015-16 regular season and never returned.

Bosh was averaging 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds at the time and had earned his 11th straight All-Star nod. In 893 games with the Toronto Raptors and Heat, Bosh averaged 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds, winning two titles with the Heat.

Wallace, a four-time All-Star and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has been eligible for induction since 2016. The 6-foot-9 center/forward led the league in rebounding twice and won a championship with the Pistons in 2003-04.

Wallace, 46, was undrafted out of Virginia Union in 1996 and went on to play 1,088 games with the Bullets/Wizards, Orlando Magic, Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 5.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.0 blocks for his career.

Kukoc, 52, was a vital part of the Chicago Bulls' run of three championships from 1996-98 and was named Sixth Man of the Year following the 1995-96 season.

The Croatian also had a storied international career, winning three Euroleague titles, multiple gold medals in European championships and silver medals at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.

Russell, 87, who was inducted as a player in 1975, was the first Black coach in NBA history, taking over for Boston Celtics legend Red Auerbach. He won a title as player-coach in just his second season at the helm in 1967-68. He repeated that feat in his third season, earning his 11th championship as a player.

Russell finished with a career coaching record of 341-290, which included four seasons with Seattle and a 58-game stint with Sacramento.

The enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11 in Springfield, Mass.

--Field Level Media

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