On Friday, a select group of players will receive a special honor. This group will enter the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Earlier this year, the NBA announced the 2019 Basketball Hall of Fame draft class. The class features players such as former Lakers/Kings center Vlade Divac, Bucks/Hawks guard Sidney Moncrief and Sonics/Bucks center Jack Sikma.
Divac was a 16-year veteran in the NBA. He was the 26th pick of the 1989 draft when the Lakers selected him. He played seven seasons with the Lakers before he was involved in a trade that brought Kobe Bryant to the Lakers. The Lakers traded Divac to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for the draft rights of Kobe Bryant (the 13th pick of the 1996 draft). He played with the Hornets for two seasons before signing with the Sacramento Kings.
Divac played with the Kings as they were a playoff team from 1999 to 2004. He played with a Kings team that consisted of players such as Chris Webber and Mike Bibby. Divac played six seasons with the Kings before finishing his career with the Lakers (for a brief second stint).
Moncrief was a 12-year veteran that played for the Bucks and Hawks. He was an NBA All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year. He was the fifth pick of the 1979 draft when the Bucks selected him. Moncrief played 10 seasons with the Bucks before finishing his career with the Hawks.
Sikma was a 14-year veteran who spent most of his career with the Sonics. He won a championship with them in 1979 and was a seven-time NBA All-Star during that time. After several years with the Sonics, he went on to play for the Bucks until the end of his career. Sikma was a skilled, sharpshooting big man who paved the way for the “Stretch 5.”
The class also features former NBA players Al Attles, Carl Braun, Chuck Cooper, Bobby Jones and Paul Westphal. As always, the inductees features coaches, NBA players and teams as well. The other inductees include Liberty/Sparks guard Teresa Weatherspoon, NBA head coach Bill Fitch, the Tennessee A&I men’s teams from 1957-59 and the Wayland Baptist University women’s team.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame features some of the best players and coaches in basketball history. This year’s class joins the ranks of several other classes before them. Friday will be a special day, and the inductees should feel honored. This is a special class and deserved to be recognized.
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