Springfield will open its doors to three more NBA basketball stars when the Basketball Hall of Fame adds Chris Webber, Paul Pierce, and Ben Wallace to its 2021 induction class.
Webber bubbled the Basketball Hall of Fame for the past eight years before finally earning his nod after being eligible since 2013.
|Basketball Hall of Fame – Class of 2021|
- Chris Webber
- Paul Pierce
- Ben Wallace
|Basketball Hall of Fame – Class of 2020|
- Kobe Bryant
- Tim Duncan
- Kevin Garnett
The Basketball Hall of Fame finally hosted its induction for the Class of 2020 in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday. The induction was postponed last year due to the pandemic. The Class of 2020 includes Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, gave the induction speech for her late husband.
C-Webb Finally In
Webber first made a name for himself as one of the premier high school players in the nation from Detroit Country Day School in the late 1980s. He headed to Michigan in 1991 as a member of the Fab Five. Webber was a part of the NCAA’s top recruiting class along with Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. The Fab Five advanced to the March Madness championship game in 1993, but lost to North Carolina.
Webber left Michigan after his sophomore season at Ann Arbor. In 1993, he went pro and became the #1 pick in the NBA Draft. He was the second sophomore picked first in NBA history behind Magic Johnson (1979). The Orlando Magic picked Webber but then traded him to the Golden State Warriors for Penny Hardaway and a trio of first-round draft picks.
Webber won the 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year after a sensational first season with the Warriors. He averaged 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
Over his 15-year career, Webber played for five different teams, including the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, and Warriors.
Webber was a five-time All-Star with the Sacramento Kings, who retired his #4 jersey.
10-Time All-Star Paul Pierce Earns Nod
The Boston Celtics drafted Pierce out of Kansas with the 10th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. He went pro after his junior year with the Jayhawks.
Pierce played for four teams during his sensational 19-year career, including 15 seasons with the Celtics. He finished out the twilight of his career with the LA Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and Washington Wizards.
Pierce led the Celtics to a championship in 2008. He also won the NBA Finals MVP during their title run.
Pierce was a 10-time NBA All-Star with the Celtics. He’s currently ranked #16 on the NBA all-time scoring list. The sharpshooting Pierce won the 2010 NBA 3-Point Shooting Contest.
Big Bad Ben Wallace
It’s great to see the Basketball Hall of Fame recognize a blue-collar player like Wallace, who loved to play defense and rebound during his 15-year career in the NBA. He went undrafted out of Virginia Union, but paid his dues with five different ballclubs, including two stints with the Detroit Pistons.
Wallace tallied only 5.7 points per game, but averaged 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He didn’t care about scoring points, but did all the necessary dirty work to help his team win. He led the Detroit Pistons to an NBA championship in 2004.
Wallace won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times. He’s also a two-time NBA rebounding leader, and led the NBA in blocks for one season. Wallace had his #3 jersey retired by the Pistons.