Paul Pierce, Bill Russell among Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Finalists

On Tuesday, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced 14 finalists for the 2021 Hoop Class, including two Boston Celtics legends, Paul Pierce and Bill Russell (as head coach). A 10-time All-Star, NBA champion, and Finals MVP, Paul Pierce bled Celtics green during his 15-year stint in Boston, helping end a 22-year Finals drought for Boston back in 2007-08. For Pierce, this marks his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.

When looking at the Celtics record books, Pierce’s name is all over the place: second all-time in points, third all-time in games played, and first all-time in 3-point field goals, just to name a few. Pierce had his No. 34 jersey retired by the Celtics in 2018, becoming the 22nd Celtic in history to receive the honor.

Russell, inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1975, also had a successful career as a head coach, winning back-to-back championships with the Celtics in 1968 and 1969. Russell also became the first African American head coach in the NBA in 1966.

Following his stint with the Celtics as head coach, Russell went on to coach the Seattle SuperSonics and Sacramento Kings.

Pierce and Russell are joined by seven other first-time finalists including, two-time NBA champion and 11-time NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, NBA champion and five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Michael Cooper, ninth-winningest coach in NBA history Rick Adelman, two-time NCAA national champion Villanova coach Jay Wright, seven-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith, seven-time WNBA All-Star and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson, and NCAA national champion and WNBA Coach of the Year Marianne Stanley.

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The five previous finalists include the all-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, five-time NBA All-Star and NCAA Champion Marques Johnson, five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber, and four-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Published: 2021-03-09 23:00:21

Tags: #Paul #Pierce #Bill #Russell #among #Hall #Fame #Class #Finalists

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