- / Sport
Issued on: 01/04/2023 - 20:48
Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Dwyane Wade and San Antonio Spurs manager Gregg Popovich volition beryllium ushered into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame aboriginal this year, the enactment confirmed connected Saturday.
The star-studded people of 2023, who volition beryllium enshrined astatine a ceremonial successful August, besides see trailblazing WNBA subordinate and manager Becky Hammon, the Hall of Fame announced.
German prima Nowitzki, erstwhile Los Angeles Lakers Spanish ace Gasol and France's Parker are 3 of the astir palmy planetary stars ever to grace the NBA.
Parker won 4 NBA championships during the Spurs' ascendant reign betwixt 2003 and 2014, portion Gasol was a cardinal portion of the Lakers squad that won back-to-back titles successful 2009 and 2010.
Nowitzki, who is sixth connected the NBA's all-time scoring database with 31,560 points, was named NBA Most Valuable Player successful 2007 and Finals MVP 4 years aboriginal aft helping the Dallas Mavericks triumph the title.
Reacting to Saturday's announcement, Nowitzki paid tribute to planetary players who had paved the mode for his procreation successful the NBA.
"I deliberation determination were a fewer guys who blazed the mode for america a small bit," Nowitzki said. "And past the adjacent question came with Pau, Tony and myself. And if we assistance to marque the crippled genuinely planetary and assistance immoderate kids on the mode that's evidently genuinely humbling for each of us."
Barcelona-born Gasol, meanwhile, recalled however watching the US 'Dream Team' astatine the 1992 Olympics staged successful his hometown had helped animate his basketball journey.
"I ever had successful caput the effect that the 'Dream Team '92' had connected my beingness and however hoops and sports tin impact and animate kids' lives, truthful I conscionable wanted to bash that," Gasol told ESPN.
The 6ft 2in (1.88m) gangly Parker reflected however radical had doubted his quality to beryllium palmy successful the NBA owed to his height.
"Growing up the NBA imagination was precise acold away," Parker said.
"When I was telling radical my imagination they were each laughing astatine maine saying 'You're excessively small, you're excessively skinny, you volition ne'er marque it successful the NBA'. Now I'm the 1 laughing."
Wade was a three-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat successful 2006, 2012 and 2013 and won finals MVP successful 2006.
The 41-year-old, who retired from the NBA successful 2019, besides won Olympic golden with the United States successful the 2008 Beijing Games.
The 74-year-old Popovich, meanwhile, is 1 of the NBA's elder statesmen, 1 of lone 5 NBA coaches successful past to person won 5 championships.
'Out of assemblage experience'
Popovich besides led the United States to golden successful the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics successful 2021.
"Those of america who've ended up successful this presumption -- it's incredible," Popovich said successful a recorded connection connected ESPN connected Saturday.
"It's an honor, and thing that 1 does not deliberation astir erstwhile going done your years successful this game. It's an awesome thought to deliberation astir each the players that I've had the grant to coach, who are the ones who won the games.
"I beryllium present amongst radical who I've ever been successful awe of myself. So to beryllium successful this concern is benignant of an retired of assemblage experience."
Nowitzki, Wade, Parker, Gasol and Popovich are each being inducted into the hoops pantheon astatine the archetypal attempt, a rarity nether the Hall of Fame's eligibility rules which reflects their stellar achievements successful the sport.
Joining Popovich successful the Hall of Fame volition beryllium erstwhile adjunct Hammon.
Hammon is simply a six-time All-Star and coached the Las Vegas Aces to the WNBA Finals crown successful 2022. The 46-year-old was besides Popovich's adjunct manager successful San Antonio from 2014 -- the archetypal woman adjunct manager successful the NBA.
She remains the lone pistillate to instrumentality complaint of an NBA squad during a regular play crippled aft stepping successful erstwhile Popovich was ejected during a clash with the Lakers successful 2020.
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