Mourning, Hardaway highlight 2014 Hall of Fame finalists
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway were among 10 finalists announced Friday for the Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2014.
Mourning, a seven-time NBA All-Star, appears on the final ballot for the first time. He will look to be inducted with his former teammate, Hardaway, who is a finalist for the second year in a row.
"Timmy and I are like brothers, we're joined at the hip," said Mourning at an interview following the announcement. "We kind of started that franchise (Miami) down there in '95 when Pat (Riley) was brought in by Mickey Arison. To know that we helped start that process in trying to win an NBA Championship is very special."
Mitch Richmond and Spencer Haywood also return to the ballot, with Kevin Johnson rounding out the player portion of the vote.
NCAA coaches Eddie Sutton, Gary Williams and Nolan Richardson were named finalists, along with longtime women's basketball coach Harley Redin and the Immaculata University women's basketball team, which won three consecutive AIAW basketball tournaments from 1972-74.
The 2014 Hall of Fame class will be announced at a news conference during the weekend of the 2014 NCAA Men's Final Four in North Texas from April 5-7.
A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies will take place Friday, August 8 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Mourning, in addition to his seven All-Star Game selections, won back-to-back NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards (1998-99, 1999-00) and helped the 2006 Miami Heat to the NBA title, making a comeback to the league after receiving a transplant to his ailing kidney. His career average of 2.8 blocks per game ranks sixth all-time over 16 seasons with Miami, Charlotte and New Jersey. Mourning was named to the NBA's All-Defensive First Team in 1999 and 2000 and also won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Hardaway was a five-time NBA All-Star during his 13-year career from 1989-90 through 2002-03 with Golden State, Miami, Dallas, Denver and Indiana. He averaged 17.7 points and ranks 13th in NBA history with 1,542 3-point field goals. An All-NBA First-Team selection in 1997, Hardaway was a member of the gold-medal winning 2000 U.S. Olympic team and was the 1989 WAC Player of the Year at UTEP.
Richmond was a six-time NBA All-Star and the league's top rookie in 1989. He also played for Sacramento, Washington and the Lakers in a 14-year career, winning an NBA title with Los Angeles in 2002, and averaged more than 21 points per game for 10 consecutive seasons.
Haywood was a four-time NBA All-Star and averaged over 20 points six times during his career. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1968 and was the ABA's top rookie in 1969 before moving on to the NBA the following year, winning an NBA title with the Lakers in 1980.
Johnson made three All-Star games while spending the majority of his 12-year career with the Phoenix Suns. He was drafted in 1987 by the Cleveland Cavaliers and played 52 games in Cleveland before being traded to Phoenix. Johnson was named the 1988-89 NBA's Most Improved Player and his career average of 9.1 assists per game ranks sixth all-time. After basketball, Johnson entered politics and has served as the mayor of Sacramento since 2008.
Sutton tallied an 806-329 record over 37 years of coaching, making stops at San Francisco, Creighton, Arkansas, and Kentucky before leaving his mark at his alma mater, Oklahoma State. He is one of eight coaches to have over 800 career wins and led his teams to nine regular season conference titles and eight conference tournament championships. Sutton guided his teams to 26 NCAA tournament appearances and made three Final Fours - two with Oklahoma State and one at Arkansas - throughout his career.
Williams led the 2002 Maryland Terrapins to a 32-4 overall record en route to the NCAA National Championship. He compiled a 668-380 record over 33 seasons with Maryland, American University, Boston College, and Ohio State. Williams made 17 NCAA tournaments, going 29-16 in March, with two Final Four appearances to go along with his lone title.
Richardson guided the Arkansas Razorbacks to two straight Final Fours and three overall. He coached the Razorbacks to the 1994 National Championship over Duke, and lost the 1995 title game to UCLA. Richardson broke racial barriers by becoming the first African American to coach a major university in the South, and the first African American head coach of the Southwest Conference - later renamed the Southeastern Conference. He totaled 509 wins and 207 losses over 22 years with Arkansas and Tulsa.
Redin was inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. Redin won his first 76 games as a coach at Wayland Baptist University to complete the school's 131-game winning streak in the 1950's. He compiled a 431-66 record in 18 years as coach of the Flying Queens and spent 27 years altogether coaching both men and women at Wayland Baptist. Redin was a pioneer for women's basketball and helped the game adopt several rule changes such as the 30- second clock and the five-player, full-court game.
Cathy Rush coached Immaculata's dynasty of the 1970's, putting together a 149-15 record over seven seasons at the University. The Mighty Macs won three straight titles from 1972-74, then lost in the final two straight years in the next two seasons before finishing third in Rush's final year in 1977. Immaculata became the only school ever to play in six consecutive Final Fours.
Also announced Friday were five directly-elected members of the Class of 2014. They include former NBA commissioner David Stern, voted in by the Contributor's Committee, Sarunas Marciulionis by the International Committee, Bob "Slick" Leonard by the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Guy Rodgers by the Veteran's Committee, and Nate "Sweetwater" Clifton by the African-American Pioneers Committee.
Stern was commissioner of the NBA for 30 years and helped launch NBA Cares, the league's global community outreach initiative that addresses important social issues such as education, youth and family development, and health and wellness. He also oversaw the birth of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and National Basketball Developmental League (NBDL).
"He is a very humble person, he wasn't sure he wanted that notoriety," current director of USA basketball Jerry Colangelo said. "At the end of the day, he's very excited."
This marks the fourth year of the direct elect process.
02/14 18:34:04 ET