The 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame inducted a new class with NBA, WNBA and International stars being enshrined into basketball immortality.
2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Class
The 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame highlighted the difference between basketball hall of fame as compared to others in North America. The other major sports (Football, Baseball and Hockey) are made up of players from the NFL, MFB and NHL respectively. The Basketball Hall of Fame is a better representation of the game’s history because it includes players from all corners of the globe.
The 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame is the perfect representation of that inclusive model. This year’s class included Charles Cooper who was the first African-American drafted into the NBA. Former Sacramento King Vlade Divac who was one of the players to show fans in the United States that Europeans could be successful in the NBA. He is in for his combination of NBA success with his impressive resume on the international stage. He has won the FIBA World Cup twice to go along with two Silver medals at the Olympics.
There was also a WNBA legend in this class with Teresa Weatherspoon among those honored in this 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame class. When the WNBA first started, Weatherspoon was one of the league’s star players. She was a 2-time Defensive Player of the Year, in the league’s first two seasons. She was also a gold medalist for the national team having won it at the 1988 Olympics.
Weatherspoon Gave the Best Speech
With every class, there is always one speech that stands out more than others. For the 2019 Basketball Ball Hall of Fame class, that moment belonged to Teresa Weatherspoon.
Her speech epitomizes what it means to be inducted into such a special place. After everything she has accomplished, the game has chosen to remember her name. That above all of the stats and even championships is something that is hard to put into words.
In a time where the inequality between WNBA salaries and their NBA counterparts, this is a nice reminder that there are some places in the sport where men and women are truly equals. There is a separate hall of fame for women’s players which is still necessary but this honor is on a different level because of it’s all inclusive nature.
The Rest of the 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame
Fomer Phoenix Suns guard and head coach Paul Westphal was also inducted. He was a four time All Star for the Suns. Not only did he lead the Suns to the NBA Finals as a player, he managed to do it again as a coach. Although he was not able to win in either case, he is an all time great for that organization.
The other inductees on the night included:
- Carl Braun: A former Knicks coach in the 50’s who was a 5 time all star
- Bobby Jones: One of the greatest defensive players in NBA history. He was named First Team All Defense an incredible eight consecutive times. He won an NBA title with the Philadelphia 76ers. Jones was a 5 time all star
- Jack Sikma: Sikma was an NBA champion with the Seattle Supersonics. H was a 7 time all star
- Sidney Moncrief: The two-time Defensive Player of the year is one of the Milwaukee Bucks all time great players. He made it to 5 consecutive all star games.
- Al Attles: Spent 23 years as a member of the Warriors both in Phildalephia and then later when they moved to Golden State. He won a championship with the Warriors in 1975.