Pierce, who was nominated for the first time, spent 15 of his 19 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning the championship and final MVP in 2008. He is a ten-time All-Star and is second only to John Havlicek in his Celtics career.
Bosch was first named to the 2020 class, but was not named a finalist. His playing career was abruptly cut short in 2016 after 13 seasons due to a blood clot problem. Bosh, an 11-time world champion, two-time NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist, will officially retire as a member of the Miami Heat in 2019.
Webber, the No. 1 pick in 1993, was a five-time All-Star in 17 NBA seasons and a major figure in Michigan’s Fab Five, whose legacy changed college basketball for more than two decades.
Cooper spent 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Showtime era, winning five championships. He was named NBA Player of the Year in 1987 and was selected to the All-Conference team five times. After finishing his playing career, he coached the Los Angeles Sparks, winning two championships and was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2000.
Jackson is one of the most decorated players, as she won the WNBLP MVP award four times and the WNBA MVP award three times. She was a three-time WNBA scoring champion and seven-time WNBA All-Star. She won the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year award and was named WNBA Finals Player of the Year in 2010 when she led the Seattle Storm to the championship.
Wallace, one of the greatest defenders in NBA history, is a four-time All-Star. He won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Wallace scored just 5.7 points per game and was one of two players (the other was Dikembe Mutombo) to receive the defender of the year award four times.
Griffith, an eight-time WNBA All-Star, won the 2005 WNBA Championship and was named Finals MVP with the Sacramento Monarchs.
Five-time All-Star Mark Johnson and five-time All-Star Tim Hardaway are also finalists.
This year’s finalists also include Coach Rick Adelman, the ninth winningest coach in NBA history; Villanova coach Jay Wright, two-time NCAA champion; Coach Marianne Stanley, who led Old Dominion to the NCAA title in 1985; Coach Leta Andrews, the winningest college coach in NBA history, male or female.
NBA legend Bill Russell is also a finalist, but in this case as a coach. Russell, who was drafted as a player in 1975, was the first black head coach in the NBA, leading the Celtics to consecutive championships in 1968 and 1969.
Notable nominees who were not part of the Class of 2021: Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Becky Hammon and Swin Cash.
The entire class of 2021 will be the 16th. May presented.
The Class of 2021 will be presented in September in Springfield, Massachusetts. The 2020 ceremony – for a group of All-Stars led by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett – has been moved from the 13th to the 15th. May moved to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connor.