When a Hall of Fame class includes arguably the greatest player of all time, arguably the greatest point guard in NBA history, arguably one of the best centers of his generation, arguably one of the greatest coaches in NBA history and arguably one of the best coaches of all time in women’s basketball, then it’s officially the greatest collection of inductees that will take the podium in Springfield, Mass.
Hard to argue against the selection of Michael Jordan, John Stockton, David Robinson, Jerry Sloan and C. Vivian Stringer – a star-studded list that make up the 2009 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.
Jordan, Stockton, Robinson and Sloan were all elected in their first year of consideration into the Hall of Fame, while Stringer has been named a finalist in prior years. To be elected, finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The class of 2009 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield on Sept. 10-12.
A closer look at the newest members of the Basketball Hall of Fame:
Michael Jordan – Player, is one of the most recognized figures in the sporting world. Jordan was selected as a unanimous collegiate All-American twice (1983, 1984) at the University of North Carolina where he won an NCAA Championship and received both Naismith and Wooden Award Honors. He went on to a storied NBA career with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards and was a 14-time NBA All-Star, a five-time NBA MVP, a six-time NBA Finals MVP, and won multiple All-NBA First Team honors while winning six NBA Championships. Jordan was also named NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1988) and was a nine-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team. The NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1985, Jordan was also named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team and won two Olympic Gold Medals including one with the original “Dream Team” in 1992 and one as a collegian in 1984.
David Robinson – Player, spent his entire NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, guiding them to two NBA Championships while being named to 10 NBA All-Star Teams, four All-NBA First Team Selections, one NBA League MVP and was selected to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team. Robinson also won two Olympic Gold Medals, including his participation on the legendary 1992 “Dream Team” and with the 1996 Gold Medal Olympic team. During Robinson’s college career at the U.S. Naval Academy, he earned Player of the Year, Naismith and Wooden Honors while leading the nation in rebounding and blocked shots.
Jerry Sloan – Coach, began his coaching career as an Assistant Coach with the Chicago Bulls before beginning his tremendous career with the Utah Jazz. He is the only coach in NBA history to win over 1,000 games with a single team while compiling a winning percentage of over .600. Sloan led the Jazz to two NBA Finals, 18 playoff appearances and is fourth on the NBA list of coaching victories. Sloan was also named as the Sporting News NBA Coach of the Year in 2004.
John Stockton – Player, spent his entire NBA career with the Utah Jazz, accumulating 15,806 assists and 3,265 steals – both NBA records at his retirement. He was named to 10 NBA All-Star teams and was selected as a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team while leading the Jazz to two NBA Finals. He was also named to the All-NBA First Teams in 1994 and 1995. Like Robinson, Stockton won two Olympic Gold Medals (1992, 1996) and was a member of the original “Dream Team.”
C. Vivian Stringer – Coach, has won more than 800 games in her career and currently ranks third on the women’s all-time career wins list. She is the first coach to lead three different schools to the NCAA Final Four including Cheyney State, the University of Iowa and Rutgers University where she is currently. Coach Stringer is also enshrined at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Note: The individual profiles were provided by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of basketball. The Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level worldwide – professional, collegiate, men and women.