Book those reservations now. Former Miami Heat stars Chris Bosh and Tim Hardaway are headliners on the exclusive shortlist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2021 will be named on May 16, according to an NBA press release, and includes 14 total finalists: Bosh, Hardaway, Rick Adelman, Paul Pierce, Michael Cooper, Bill Russell, Jay Wright, Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson, Marianne Stanley, Leta Andrews, Marques Johnson, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber. If you’re wondering why Russell’s name appears, it’s a legit question. The legendary Boston Celtics center is already in as a player and seeking to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame’s coaches’ wing.
Bosh sometimes gets overlooked across the NBA landscape as the third option on Miami’s Big 3 championship teams. It’s a bit unfair considering the 6-foot-11 big man was an 11-time All-Star who secured two titles in South Beach. He averaged 19.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 block in 13 professional seasons.
Bosh ranks among Heat franchise leaders in several key categories, including minutes played (13,121, 10th), rebounds (2,816, 7th), points (6,914, 5th), points per game (18.0, 5th), blocks (332, 7th). Miami retired his No. 1 jersey on March 26, 2019.
“I don’t win my championships in Miami without him,” LeBron James said in 2019, via Bleacher Report. “What he meant to that team, all those years that he was down there in Miami — when I was there, my four years, and even a couple of years when I was gone — he’s just a true definition of what a professional is all about.”
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Tim Hardaway Not Going to Beg For Honor
Tim Hardaway was first named a finalist for the Hall of Fame in 2017, but there is a feeling around the league that he’ll never get in. It’s not due to a lack of credentials, more because of the ever-changing evolution of the sport. Hardaway’s best skills — hustling for loose balls, playing tenacious defense, unselfishly passing to teammates — aren’t the main metrics for greatness anymore.
“It would be great, solidify my career,” Hardaway told Yahoo! Sports about getting in. “[But] I’m not gonna beg for nothing. I’ve never begged for nothing in my life.”
The 6-foot, 190-pound guard from Chicago averaged 17.7 points and 8.2 assists during a 15-year career. Hardaway, a five-time All-Star, enjoyed dominant stops with the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers but never won a championship.
He ranks high among Heat franchise leaders in several key categories: assists (2,867, 2nd), steals (541, 6th), points (6,335, 8th), points per game (17.3, 6th). Miami retired his No. 10 jersey on Oct. 28, 2009.
Some believe voters are holding his inflammatory homophobic comments from 2007 against him. Hardaway has apologized multiple times and even became an advocate for the LGBTQ community.
Happy Anniversary, Dwyane Wade
Speaking of Miami Heat legends … happy anniversary, Dwyane Wade! The future Hall of Famer got a special shoutout from the organization on Twitter as they celebrated one of his historic games from 12 years ago.
Wade stole the ball from Chicago Bulls guard John Salmons with three seconds left in double overtime and then drilled a running three-pointer. Final score: Heat 130, Bulls 127 on March 9, 2009. And it wasn’t the only amazing shot Wade made in that game.
He nailed a three-pointer at the end of the first half, then another one in the final 11.5 seconds of regulation to send it to overtime. He finished with 48 points and 12 assists in nearly 50 minutes, shooting 15-for-21 from the field. Wade was a leading candidate for NBA MVP honors that year when he averaged 30.2 points per game, tops in the league.
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