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Though All-Star Weekend is primarily known as a celebration of the NBA’s current and fledgling stars, the three-day event also recognizes some of the league’s most influential figures from the past.
On Saturday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 13 finalists for the 2018 class. This year’s list featured eight athletes: two-time NBA champion Ray Allen, seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, 10-time NBA All-Star Jason Kidd, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year Chris Webber, four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson, and Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith.
Other finalists include three coaches: Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Baylor's Kim Mulkey. Referee Hugh Evans and the 1954-58 Wayland Baptist University women’s basketball team are also on the 2018 ballot.
“To be named a Finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible distinction and we are proud to honor those who have made a tremendous impact on the game over the years,” Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, told NBA.com. “The Honors Committee now has the challenging task of selecting this year’s Enshrinees, which we look forward to announcing at the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio.”
Each candidate must receive 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. This year’s honorees will be announced March 31 prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four.