This year’s NBA Hall of Famers included amazing players who’ve dominated the court, coaches and executives who make major contributions in other ways. Each of these individuals are legends in their own right.
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Historically, eight Utah Jazz players and two coaches have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame:
- John Stockton (2009)
- Karl Malone (2010)
- Pete Maravich (1987)
- Walt Bellamy (1993)
- Gail Goodrich (1996)
- Adrian Dantley (2008)
- Bernard King (2013)
- Spencer Haywood (2015)
- Elgin Baylor (1977)
- Jerry Sloan (2009)
While none of this year’s inductees have ties to the Utah Jazz, we applaud each of these individuals for the mark they have made on the sport, and their continuing impact on basketball at all levels of play.
Here’s a look at the NBA Hall of Fame Class of 2018:
Ray Allen — Allen has a number of amazing accomplishments under his belt. He was part of two NBA Championship teams — the Boston Celtics (2008) and the Miami Heat (2013). He currently holds the record for 3-point goals made (2,973). He was also named an NBA All-Star 10 times and was part of the 2000 Olympic gold medal team.
Grant Hill — Hill played in the NBA for 19 years and was named one of the 50 Top College Players of All Time by ESPN. He was chosen as an NBA All-Star seven times and received the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times. He was named the NBA Co-Rookie of the Year with Jason Kidd in 1995. During his college career, he helped lead Duke to two NCAA Championships. He was the third overall pick in the 1994 draft. He was the eighth player in Duke history to have his jersey (No. 33) retired.
Maurice “Mo” Cheeks — Cheeks has made a successful career both as a player and a coach. Drafted in 1978 to the Philadelphia 76ers, the team went on to win the NBA Championship in 1983. He played for the 76ers for over a decade before playing for the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and New Jersey Nets. He was named an NBA All-Star and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times. He’s fifth on the NBA career leaders list for steals. He’s currently an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Steve Nash — An eight-time NBA All-Star, Nash holds the record for highest career free throw percentage. He was the 15th overall pick for the 1996 NBA Draft. He was named NBA Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006 and was awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2007. While in college, he was named WCC Player of the Year twice. Nash has been a consultant for the Golden State Warriors during their 2017 and 2018 championship wins.
Jason Kidd — Kidd was drafted as the second overall pick in 1994 by the Dallas Mavericks. He’s a 10-time NBA All-Star and was named NBA Co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill in 1995. He is ranked second in most career assists and steals. He received the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2012 and 2013, as well as the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year award in 2007. Kidd is currently the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Dino Radja — While Radja had a four-year career in the NBA as part of the Boston Celtics, the Croatian player has had a phenomenal career in the EuroLeague, leading Jugoplastika to two European League titles. He is also a two-time Greek League champion, a three-time Yugoslav League champion, and a two-time Croatian League champion.
Charlie Scott — Scott was a three-time NBA All-Star and two-time ABA All-Star. He was part of the Boston Celtics’ 1976 NBA Championship team. He was named the ABA Rookie of the year in 1971. In college, he was the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1970 and was the first African American scholarship athlete at the University of North Carolina.
Tina Thompson —Thompson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 WNBA Draft, and was drafted by the Houston Comets. Thompson went on to help the Comets to four WNBA Championships. She was named a WNBA All-Star nine times and was the WNBA All-Star Game MVP in 2000. In 2011, she was named as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time. She is currently the head coach for the University of Virginia women’s basketball team.
Ora Mae Washington — Washington started her basketball career in the 1930s as part of a YMCA-sponsored team, the Hornets. She went on to play for the Philadelphia Tribune from 1932-1942. She was part of 11-straight Women’s Colored Basketball Championship teams and is considered one of the greatest female athletes of her time. She was also a dominant tennis player. She died in 1971. She was elected into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Katie Smith — Smith was a two-time WNBA (Detroit Shock) and ABL (Columbus Quest) champion. She was named WNBA Finals MVP in 2008. In 2011, Smith became the third player in the WNBA to score 6,000 points in her career. She was also a member of the U.S. National Team, and is a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Charles “Lefty” Driesell — Driesell is the first NCAA coach to win more than 100 games at four different schools. He also led four different schools to NCAA tournament berths. He led Maryland the NIT title in 1972 and was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 1975 and 1980.
Rod Thorn — Thorn has worn many hats in the professional basketball world for over 50 years. He played in the NBA from 1963 to 1971, then transitioned into coaching. In 1978 he became the general manager of the Chicago Bulls, and as a driving force behind the team’s selection of Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA draft. He’s served as the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and President of Basketball Operations. He was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2002.
Rick Welts — Welts is the current president and COO of the Golden State Warriors. He is the mastermind of the NBA All-Star Weekend, as well as the marketing campaign for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics “Dream Team.” He also helped in launching the WNBA.