David Stern is gully. He disses Barack Obama's basketball skills unprovoked, delays the come-up of talented high school basketball players, and reacts to boos like an elderly Triple H with a D-Generation X mindset (he was probably doing this everywhere on his last day). He's also resided over the NBA as its visibility grew internationally and domestically as Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson ruled. So including him into the Hall of Fame is no hard decision. The former commissioner has been voted in by Hall of Fame’s Contributor Direct Election Committee.
Of course, Stern isn't going to be the lone member of this year's Hall of Fame. Here are the finalists:
- Tim Hardaway: of UTEP 2-Step fame, five-time All-Star who was a member of Golden State's feared Run-TMC
- Mitch Richmond: the Run-TMC member who's not of UTEP 2-Step fame, but was a six-time All-Star
- Alonzo Mourning: got destroyed by Grant Hill, but is a seven-time All-Star, so it's cool
- Kevin Johnson: three-time All-Star turned savior of the Sacramento Kings by keeping them in town as mayor
- Spencer Haywood: four-time All-Star
- Gary Williams: coached two NCAA championship-winning teams
- Eddie Sutton: won coach of the year four times
- Nolan Richardson: ran the "40 minutes of hell" at Arkansas, an up-tempo, highly pressurized style of play unpleasant for opposing teams. Won a national championship in 1994.
Those elected directly into the Hall of Fame include: Lithuania star Sarunas Marciulionis, former Temple star Guy Rodgers, former Knicks player Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton (one of the first African-Americans to play in the NBA), former Pacer Bob Leonard by the ABA committee, Golden State veteran Al Attles, Phoenix sportswriter Joe Gilmartin, and broadcaster John Andariese—NBC's first color commentator. This class will be enshrined in August.