UPDATE 7:00PM EST: The Boston Globe is reporting that Dennis Johnson, who should have been inducted years ago, is also among the class. (via FanHouse)
The Newark Star Ledger is reporting that Bobby Hurley Sr., Scottie Pippen, and Karl Malone will be announced as inductees to the Basketball Hall of Fame Monday during the NCAA Championship game.
Hurley, as only the third high school coach to be enshrined in the Hall, is quite a story, but as this is an NBA blog, let’s turn our attention to the other two.
It’s only fitting that Pippen enter the Hall a year after Jordan, having been known as Jordan’s number two for his entire career (and the results without MJ were less than memorable). Pippen’s place in history may be as the sidekick, but his performance was vital to the Bulls’ three championships. He was a top five defender for much of his career, and versatile in a way that Jordan himself never was. Since retiring, though, Pippen has made his fair share of interesting and questionable comments. His induction speech may have the same flavor as Jordan’s debacle.
Malone? Zero championships. That’s the mark many people will remember outside of Utah. But Malone was thought by many to go down as the greatest power forward of all time. Of course, then Tim Duncan showed up, and the 50% of the people that think Duncan is a power forward obviously bump Malone right on down. But Malone is unquestionably Hall-worthy. He was a brutalizer in the block, great from range, and if John Stockton is in, then it only makes sense that his pick and roll partner is in.
With Jordan, Pippen, Malone, and Stockton in the hall, alongside previous 2008 inductee Hakeem Olajuwon, the mid-90’s will be well represented in the Hall of Fame. Getcha flannel and Pearl Jam records ready!
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.