On Friday, Sept. 7 in Symphony Hall at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. 13 National Basketball Association legends became immortalized when they were inducted as basketball greats. The inductees included Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Lefty Driesell, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Dino Radja, Charlie Scott, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and basketball pioneers Rod Thorn, Ora Mae Washington and Rick Welts.
Of the above mentioned names, Allen, Kidd, Nash, Thompson and Washington are perhaps the most notable people elected into the hall this past weeked, with each person making a lasting contribution to the game of basketball.
Allen finished his career as the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers with 2,973 makes. The sharpshooter shot the three ball at 40 percent during his time in the league and averaged 18.9 points per game on his way to 10 All-Star appearances. Allen was a two-time NBA champion, in 2008 with the Boston Celtics and in 2013 with the Miami Heat.
Kidd and Nash are considered two of the top point guards of all-time. Kidd ranks second all-time in NBA history in steals and assists. He averaged 12.6 points and 8.7 assists per game for his career and was a 10 time All-Star as one of the league’s most well rounded players. Kidd helped lead the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship as they upset the heavily favored Miami Heat.
Nash, known for his adept craftiness and incredible passes, hung up the shoes as the third leading assist man in NBA History. He held averages of 14.3 points and 8.5 assists per game in his day and was an eight time All-Star. Perhaps the most unlikely of back-to-back MVP award winners, Nash took home the league’s Most Valuable Player trophy in both 2005 and 2006 for his career years with the Phoenix Suns.
Thompson is unquestionably one of the best players ever to grace an NBA floor. The athletic big was the first draft pick in Women’s National Basketball Association history as she began a career that would lead to nine All-Star appearances and four WNBA championships. With career averages of 15.1 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per contest, Thompson paved the way for all the WNBA stars we see on the court today.
Last, but certainly not least, Washington pioneered the advancement of women’s basketball. She led her teams to 11 straight Women’s Colored Basketball Championships from 1932-1942. She was elected to the Temple Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.