CHARLOTTE - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame kicked off All-Star Weekend Friday, naming 13 finalists for the Class of 2019 at Spectrum Center.
The nominees included Chris Webber, a five-time NBA All-Star and first-team All-American at Michigan; Jack Sikma, who played for the Seattle SuperSonics and Milwaukee Bucks; Bucks guard Sidney Moncrief; former Pistons and Bulls “eraser” Ben Wallace; women’s coaches Leta Andrews and Barbara Stevens; women’s basketball player Teresa Weatherspoon; referee Hugh Evans; former NBA coach Bill Fitch; former college coach Eddie Sutton; five-time NBA All-Star point forward Marques Johnson; former Celtics and Suns guard and head coach Paul Westphal; and former 76ers forward Bobby Jones.
“It’s the biggest honor in basketball just to be considered,” Westphal said.
Moncrief, who anchored his game in defense, said, “It’s really nice attention is starting to get focused on players that defend.”
The Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be announced live April 6 at the Final Four in Minneapolis.
Moncrief was coached by Sutton in college and was teammates with Sikma and Johnson in Milwaukee.
The Hall also honored lifetime achievement award winners and recognized Curt Gowdy Media Award winners at a press conference Friday evening.
The 2019 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award recipients were Del Harris, an NBA coach for 35 years and 1995 NBA Coach of the Year, and Harry Glickman, one of the co-founders of the Portland Trail Blazers. Glickman pursued a pro basketball franchise for several years until the expansion franchise was awarded to Portland in 1970.
Broadcaster Ralph Lawler, the voice of the Clippers for more than 40 years and 3,100 games, and sportswriter Marc Stein were honored with the Gowdy Award.
Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo announced the second phase of a refurbished Hall of Fame would be completed in 2020.
—Field Level Media