The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 2019 inductees Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Final Four in Minneapolis.
Leading the way are two of the most tenacious defenders of the 1970s and ’80s, Sidney Moncrief and Bobby Jones. They’re joined by Jack Sikma, a seven-time All-Star and Paul Westphal, a five-time All-Star who later enjoyed a lengthy coaching career in the NBA and college ranks.
Other inductees are Al Attles, Carl Braun, Chuck Cooper, Vlade Divac, Bill Fitch, and Teresa Weatherspoon. The new members will be inducted into the hall in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Sept. 7.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2019 👏 pic.twitter.com/3Ui9IcM90c
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 6, 2019
Among players who didn’t make the cut are Chris Webber, Ben Wallace, Marques Johnson and Tim Hardaway.
Here’s a look at the new hall of fame members.
— Al Attles: The 82-year-old Attles played 11 seasons in the NBA, all with the Warriors, before coaching the Warriors for 14 seasons, including their 1974-75 NBA championship season. He earned induction into the hall as a contributor, according to ESPN.
— Carl Braun joined the Knicks during the NBA’s second season in 1947-48 and played 12 of his 13 seasons for the team, averaging 13.5 points per game. The five-time All-Star died in 2010 at age 82.
— Chuck Cooper: Cooper became one of the first African-American NBA players in 1950, and was the first one to be drafted, when the Celtics chose him in the second round that year. An All-American at Duquesne, he played six seasons, averaging 6.7 ppg. Cooper, who died in 1984 at age 57, earned induction from the hall of fame’s Early African-American Pioneers Committee.
— Vlade Divac: The 51-year-old Divac was selected by the hall’s International Committee, according to ESPN. The 7-1 Serbian, now the general manager of the Sacramento Kings, averaged 11.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in an eight-season career that included stops with the Lakers, Hornets and Kings.
— Bill Fitch: Fitch coached more than 40 seasons in the college and pro ranks, including 25 years in the NBA, where he compiled a 944-1,106 mark and guided the Celtics to the 1981 NBA title. Now 86, Fitch won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award twice.
— Bobby Jones: An All-American at North Carolina, Jones, 67, earned All-Star honors five times in the ABA and NBA and was selected to an All-Defensive team 11 times in his 12 pro seasons. The 6-9 Jones, who averaged 12.1 points per game in his career, won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in 1983 as a member of the NBA champion Philadelphia 76ers.
— Sidney Moncrief: The 6-3 Moncrief, 61, helped lead Arkansas to the Final Four in 1978 and earned first-team All-American honors before going fifth overall in the 1979 NBA Draft to the Bucks. He was a five-time All-Star in his 11 NBA seasons, averaging 15.6 points per game. Moncrief earned two Defensive Player of the Year awards and was a five-time All-Defensive Team choice.
— Jack Sikma: The 6-11 center was a seven-time NBA All-Star with the Seattle Supersonics (15.6 points, 9.8 rebounds per game) and helped the team to the NBA title in 1979. The 63-year-old Sikma has served as an NBA assistant in recent years.
— Paul Westphal: Westphal, 68, was a five-time All-Star guard who helped the Celtics to the 1974 NBA championship and led the Suns to the NBA Finals two years later. He was a five-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA first team three times. The 6-4 Westphal, who averaged 15.6 ppg in 12 seasons, later won 318 games as an NBA coach, leading the Suns to the NBA Finals in 1993. He also coached in Seattle, Sacramento and five seasons at Pepperdine.
— Teresa Weatherspoon: An All-American at Louisiana Tech, Weatherspoon, 53, is regarded as one of the best players in WNBA history. In eight seasons, seven of those with the New York Liberty, she averaged 5 points per game and led the league in assists three times.