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Former Warriors Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond are among the eight finalists for enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced on Friday. In addition, former Warriors guard Sarunas Marciulionis was one of five Direct Elects announced on Friday, from the International Committee, and represents one of the initial members of the Class of 2014.
The other four Direct Elects include Bob Leonard, voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Nat Clifton from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Guy Rodgers from the Veterans Committee and David Stern from the contributor Direct Election Committee.
This year’s list includes six first-time finalists: three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning and 1994 Naismith, NABC Coach of the Year Nolan Richardson, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, two-time NCAA National Championship coach Gary Williams and Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s. Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, six-time AAU National Champion Coach Harley Redin and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond. The Class of 2014 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.
“We are proud to present a distinguished group of finalists for the Class of 2014 who have made huge strides in the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “Each finalist has made a difference to the game in their own way. It’s not going to be easy for the Honors Committee to select the final class members.”
TIM HARDAWAY [Player] - A 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Hardaway played 13 NBA seasons scoring a total of 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons. He is the 1990 recipient of the Jack McMahon Award for most inspirational player and a 1993 All-NBA Third Team member. He currently ranks thirteenth in NBA history with 7,095 career assists and 1,542 career three-point field goals. The Chicago, Ill. native was a member of the men’s basketball at the University of Texas at El Paso (1985-1989) and played in the NBA from 1989-2003. He is known for making his signature move – the “UTEP Two-step” – famous in 1989, the same year he was named WAC Player of the Year.
MITCH RICHMOND [Player] - A six-time NBA All-Star, Richmond is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist and won the 2002 NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. At the beginning of his NBA career he became a part of the Golden State Warriors’ famous “RUN TMC” attack. Richmond is the 1995 NBA All-Star Game MVP, the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year and a twotime All-NBA Third Team member (1996, 1998). He scored 20,497 points and averaged more than 21 points per game for ten consecuive seasons in the NBA. At Kansas State University, he averaged 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and was UPI, The Sporting News and USBWA Second Team All-America in 1988.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame media services contributed to this report