On Saturday, April 1, 2023, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced members of the organization’s class of 2023. The headliners of the 2023 NBA Hall of Fame Inductees, as revealed, include five former NBA players. The other one is a retired WNBA player who currently coaches the Las Vegas Aces.
In this article however, we’ll take a look at all the six headliners of the 2023 class of the prestigious Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
2023 NBA Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is a retired German basketball player who played in the NBA for 21 seasons. He spent all these seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki is widely recognized as one of the greatest power forwards of all time.
He was a 14-time NBA All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA selection, and the NBA MVP in 2007. He also led the Mavericks to their first and only NBA championship in 2011. After the game, he was named the Finals MVP.
In his 21-year stay with the Mavericks, Nowitzki played a total of 1522 games and averaged 20.7 points, 7.5 total rebounds, and 2.4 assists.
Dwyane Wade has also made it onto the list. He is a retired player who played in the NBA for 16 seasons. He played in three different teams; the Miami Heats, the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A much deserved honor for the 3x NBA Champion 🖤
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 1, 2023
Wade was a 13-time NBA All-Star, an eight-time All-NBA selection, and a three-time NBA champion. He spent the majority of his career with the Miami Heat, where he won all three of his championships. He was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2006 finals.
Wade also won a gold medal as a member of the United States men’s basketball team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Over the course of his career, Wade played a total of 1054 games. In all these games, he averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 total rebounds and 5.4 assists.
Pau Gasol played in the league for 18 years. He is considered one of the greatest European players to ever played in the NBA. The LA Lakers which the Spanish last played for, retired his jersey on March 7, 2023. This was done to honor him for the significant contribution he made in Lakers’ success. Considering his achievement, his inclusion in the 2023 NBA Hall of Fame class is justified.
The two-time NBA champion was a six-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-Star Selection.
.@paugasol is headed to the Hall of Fame 🤩
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 1, 2023
He spent the majority of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won both of his championships.
In his entire career, Gasol averaged 17.0 points per game, 9.2 total rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He played a total of 1226 games.
The French-American player spent 18 seasons playing in the American league. He is considered one of the greatest point guards by analysts.
Parker was a four-time NBA champion and a six-time NBA All-Star. He was also named the MVP in the 2007 NBA finals. and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2007. Parker spent his entire NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, where he formed a dominant trio with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. There alliance was what helped the Spurs to win many championships.
Parker, in his 18-year career, played 1254 games. In all these games, he averaged 15.5 points per game, 2.7 total rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.
Gregg Popovich is the head coach of the Spurs since 1996. He is regarded as one of the most successful coaches in the NBA, and his inclusion in the 2023 NBA Hall of Fame Inductees is well-deserving.
It is under Popovich that the Spurs won their first NBA championship. The team subsequently won four more championships under his watch as head coach. It is also under him that Tony Parker played all his games in the league. And today, they are both being inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Such is life!
Popovich was named NBA Coach of the Year three times. He has also been the head coach of the United States men’s basketball team, leading them to a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In addition to his success on the court, Popovich is also known for his outspoken political and social views. He has been a vocal critic of former president Donald Trump who has been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office recently.
Popovich’s retirement from the NBA is currently not in sight, according to analysts.
Becky Hammon is the only female in the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. She is an American-Russian retired WNBA player who played in U.S and Russia.
She was the assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs from 2014 to 2022. This made her the second female coach in NBA history, after Lisa Boyer. Currently, she is in charge of the Las Vegas Aces.
Hammon played in the WNBA for 16 seasons, mostly with the San Antonio Silver Stars, where she was a six-time All-Star and named to the All-WNBA First Team twice. She also played internationally for several teams, including Russia, where she was granted citizenship and competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Her career in the WNBA saw her averaged 13.0 points per game, 2.5 total rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
Meanwhile, the other persons included in the class are: former North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano, former Purdue coach Gene Keady, former Texas A&M women’s coach Gary Blair, Amherst David Hixon, and Gene Bess.