The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2023 is stacked. Recent NBA stars Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Tony Parker are among the finalists who have been elected into the Hall of Fame. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has also been elected, as has WNBA legend Becky Hammon, according to ESPN. An official announcement revealing the full class is expected to come this weekend during the NCAA Final Four.
Wade retired from the NBA in 2019 after a 16-year career that included three championships with the Miami Heat and 13 All-Star appearances. He’s widely considered to be one of the top two guards, and most clutch players, of all time. In addition to his tenure with the Heat, Wade also spent time as a member of the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nowitzki also retired from the league in 2019 after spending two decades with the Dallas Mavericks. He led the Mavs to their lone NBA title in 2011 and established himself as one of the best power forwards of all time in the process. He also help to revolutionize the game by being a floor-spacing big man before that was in vogue.
Gasol last played in the NBA in 2019 after a career that spanned nearly two decades and included stops in Memphis, L.A., Chicago, San Antonio and Milwaukee. Gasol won two titles in L.A. alongside Kobe Bryant, and he recently had his number retired by the Lakers. He also made six All-Star teams and had a decorated international career. At his peak, he was one of the most consistently productive players in the NBA.
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Then there’s the Spurs. Popovich is the NBA’s all-time winningest coach, and he has been running things in San Antonio since 1995. He’s led the Spurs to five championships and he also has a gold medal after serving as the head coach for Team USA at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. One of Popovich’s star pupils was Tony Parker, who played under him in San Antonio for 17 seasons. Parker won four championships in San Antonio and he was named Finals MVP in 2007.
Becky Hammon also has Spurs ties, as she served as an assistant under Popovich from 2014-22, though that’s just a portion of her impressive resume. Hammon, who currently serves as the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces, is a six-time WNBA All-Star and she led the league in assists in 2007.
All of these individuals are very well-deserving of enshrinement, and the Hall-of-Fame will be improved with their inclusion.