The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame will officially welcome the Class of 2021 when they are inducted on Saturday, Sept. 11 in Springfield, MA.
This class is star-studded across the board and is headlined by five players in Chris Bosh, Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson, Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace and Chris Webber, while Rick Adelman and Bill Russell will be inducted for their achievements as coaches.
In preparation for their enshrinement, NBA.com has taken time to look back on each of their storied careers, weaving their narratives with the overarching stories of the leagues in which they were able to make an indelible impact.
Below, find all you need to know about the upcoming Hall of Fame ceremonies, complete with stories on each member of the Class of 2021.
When will the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall enshrine the Class of 2021?
Enshrinement Weekend begins on Friday, Sept. 10, as the class will be introduced at an official press conference, followed by a tip-off celebration and awards gala, which is when the class will be presented with their Hall of Fame jackets.
The Class of 2021 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony is set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:00 p.m. ET, with coverage of the Red Carpet Show beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBA TV Canada.
Who are the members of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2021?
In addition to the seven members inducted by the North American Committee, there will be a total of 16 people inducted as part of the Class of 2021. Below, find a list of the inductees, as well as links to more stories about their influence on the game.
North American Committee
- Rick Adelman
McGregor: The poetic element of Adelman entering Hall with Webber
"Stylistically, the usage of passing big men was just one of a few ways in which Adelman's teams were ahead of their time. 2001 rounded out a three-year span in which Adelman's Kings led the league in scoring, as they averaged 101.7 points per game while playing at the league's second-highest pace at 94.4 possessions per game.
"The Kings would run you and run up the score, which is part of the reason why they were so scary. That wasn't possible without Adelman or Webber."
- Chris Bosh
Rafferty: Remembering Bosh's time with the Raptors
"Bosh led the Raptors to a 47-35 record in the 2006-07 season, which was tied for the best record in franchise history at the time and earned the first of seven division titles for Toronto. In addition to being voted All-NBA Second Team, Bosh finished in seventh place in MVP voting behind Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, LeBron and Tracy McGrady."
MORE: NBA.com's favourite moments from Bosh's career | Bosh reflects on how time in Toronto shaped Hall of Fame journey
- Paul Pierce
Irving: Pierce was at his best when the stakes were highest
"According to Stathead, from 1996 to 2017 (the year "clutch" data became available to the year of Pierce's last game), there were only three players who knocked down more shots in the clutch than Pierce. Their names? Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
When you change the criteria to raise the stakes a little, tallying go-ahead field goals with five or fewer seconds remaining, Pierce still ranks fourth, this time behind Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony and Bryant."
MORE: NBA.com's favourite moments from Pierce's career
- Bill Russell (as coach)
McGregor: Russell's historic success as league's first Black head coach paved way for others
"Over the next two seasons, however, Russell compiled a 102-62 regular season record while leading Boston to back-to-back NBA titles in 1968 and 1969. After defeating the Lakers in seven games in the 1969 Finals, Russell would step away from the game, both as a player and a coach, but his mark had been made.
"With the first Black coach in league history winning two titles in three years - while serving as his team's defensive anchor, no less - the barrier had been broken for others to follow suit."
- Ben Wallace
Kidané: Wallace has a hall of fame journey like no other
"When Ben Wallace puts on that jacket in Springfield in September, he will go down as the first undrafted player ever to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Getting to the Hall of Fame is one thing, but to do so after being overlooked early in his career is a testament to the grind Wallace put in over his 16-year career.
"Standing at 6-foot-9, playing center in an era of 'true' big men, Wallace played way above his size, using his physicality, defensive instincts and 240 pounds of muscle to mix it with the league's best bigs on his way to winning four Defensive Player of the Year awards (2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006)."
MORE: NBA.com's favourite moments from Wallace's career
- Chris Webber
McGregor: The poetic element of Webber entering Hall with Adelman
"From 2000 to 2004, the Kings compiled a 230-98 (.701) record, advancing past the first round of the playoffs in each season…
"Webber's stretch from 1998-2003 is where he truly lived up to the billing of being a former No. 1 overall pick. With averages of 24.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists, he earned an All-NBA Selection in each season and was an All-Star each year."
MORE: NBA.com's favourite moments from Webber's career
- Jay Wright
Irving: Wright's impact is felt well beyond NCAA
"It's no coincidence that regardless of the situation they're placed in or the franchise they're drafted to, Wright's guys find a way to produce in the NBA, with his fingerprints all over the league.
And the culture he has built at Villanova goes beyond on-court production, with his mantra "Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat," ringing true every year, where former players make a stop to visit their school during road trips to Philadelphia, or in the offseason when they return back to campus to work out with and mentor the school's current players."
- Yolanda Griffith
McGregor: Griffith's path to all-time greatness and the Hall of Fame
"Griffith would go on to record a double-double in 17 of the 29 games in which she appeared, finishing her first-ever WNBA season with averages of 18.8 points, a league-leading 11.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.9 blocks per contest, all while shooting 54.1 percent from the field.
"In a year where dozens of veterans from the ABL joined the W, Griffith was named the league's Newcomer of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player. She was far from a rookie, but that's not bad for your first year of WNBA service."
- Lauren Jackson
Kidané: Jackson's most legendary career moments
"There's no mistaking it, Lauren Jackson is the GOAT of Australian basketball.
"The 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer's resume speaks for itself with two WNBA championships, three WNBA Most Valuable Player of the Year awards, three scoring titles and a Defensive Player of the Year award, not to mention her illustrious international career, winning three Olympic silver medals and a bronze with the Australian Opals during the team's most successful period."
MORE: Jackson's incredible Hall of Fame resume
- Val Ackerman
- Howard Garfinkel
- Cotton Fitzsimmons
- Bob Dandridge
- Toni Kukoc
Rafferty: Kukoc's game-winner should be more than a footnote in NBA history
"Everyone knows of Kukoč's game-winner against the Knicks in Game 3 of the 1994 NBA Playoffs because of how Scottie Pippen reacted to the play not being drawn up for him, which is a shame because it was a big-time shot from a player who became an integral part of Chicago's second three-peat of the decade."
- Pearl Moore
Early African American Pioneers
- Clarence Fats Jenkins
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.