Chris Webber, Bill Fitch, Marques Johnson, Sidney Moncrief, Bobby Jones, Jack Sikma, Eddie Sutton, Ben Wallace and Teresa Weatherspoon are among the 13 finalists for enshrinement later this year into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Webber, part of Michigan’s Fab Five and a five-time NBA All-Star, was a finalist for the third consecutive season.
Fitch is a two-time NBA coach of the year who led Boston to the 1981 NBA championship. Johnson was a five-time NBA All-Star and an NCAA champion under John Wooden at UCLA. Jones was a four-time NBA All-Star, a huge part of Philadelphia’s 1983 NBA-title-winning team and the league’s sixth man award winner that season.
Moncrief was a two-time defensive player of the year and a prolific scorer.
Sikma was an All-Star in seven consecutive seasons, had a brilliant shooting touch and helped Seattle win the 1979 NBA title. Sutton is a College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and was the first coach to take four schools to the NCAA Tournament. Wallace was a massive part of the Detroit Pistons’ run to the 2004 NBA title and a four-time defensive player of the year. Weatherspoon was one of the first true stars of the WNBA, and a five-time All-Star. Westphal was a stellar player and coach, and won a title with the Celtics as a player in 1974.
Also selected as finalists were Leta Andrews, who won 1,416 games in more than 50 years on the sidelines; Hugh Evans, a referee in the NBA for 28 years; Barbara Stevens, the longtime coach at perennial Division II power Bentley and a winner of more than 1,000 games.
The Curt Gowdy Award winners for media contributions went to Marc Stein of The New York Times and retiring Los Angeles Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler.
The full Hall of Fame class will be selected at the NCAA men’s Final Four at Minneapolis in April.
Warriors guard Steph Curry says it’s been “really weird” staying in a downtown hotel in his hometown for the All-Star Weekend. It’s leaving him a “little out of sorts.”
When Curry usually visits Charlotte, North Carolina, he and his family stay at a home they once owned, located about 30 minutes from downtown. Or they stay at his parents’ place about 15 minutes away. But with traffic and so much going on this weekend he decided to stay downtown, close to the Spectrum Center.
Curry says family is starting to trickle in and “the real fun starts in a little while.”
He’s hosting a community service event Friday afternoon before making a 30-minute drive north to watch his alma mater, Davidson College, play against St. Joseph’s. He’s excited that the Wildcats will wear alternate black and yellow neon Under Armour jerseys and the same Curry 6 Coy Fish neon shoes that he’ll wear at Sunday night’s All-Star game, which he says “is going to be pretty cool.”
He did find time to stop at one of his local favorites for lunch — Bojangles chicken and biscuits. He jokingly says, “Probably got some crumbs in my teeth right now” while poking at his mouth.
Seth Curry has a bold prediction as to who will win the NBA 3-point contest on Saturday night.
“Me, me, I will,” Curry confidently told The Associated Press on Friday at the NBA’s Day of Service at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Curry will be competing in his first NBA 3-point contest against a solid field that includes older brother Stephen Curry, who won the event in 2015 and is third all-time in NBA history with 2,365 3-pointers made.
Seth Curry says, “I want to win it for myself and my family” saying it has been a goal of his to win the event since he watched his father Dell Curry compete in it at the 1992 All-Star game.
Stephen Curry sees the outcome a little differently. When he was asked who’s going to win, he responded, “Oh I am.”
Dallas rookie Luka Doncic said if he had to pick any five current international players to beat an American team of All-Stars the list would include Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dallas’ Kristaps Porzingis, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Miami’s Goran Dragic and — he added with a smile — himself.
Doncic got his first look at All-Star life Friday, when he was part of the Rising Stars practice and media session in the morning. He’ll play on the World Team against the U.S. in the Rising Stars game on Friday night.
Doncic says his adjustment to the NBA has gone better than expected after a very successful start to his career in which he is averaging 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game
Doncic said that “it went great from the beginning” and that having the trust of his teammates made the transition easier.
He said didn’t expect to have as much success as he’s had this season, adding “I’m surprised a little bit, too.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has opened the annual All-Star Technology Summit by touting the “smart jersey of the future.”
Silver used an app on a phone to change the number and name on the back of a jersey that was displayed on the side of the stage where he spoke, flipping it from a Kemba Walker model to a Stephen Curry model to a Michael Jordan model. Silver laid out what a fully customizable fan experience may look like in the NBA in 2038, right down to changing the name on the jersey those fans wear to games.
Silver’s address opened the summit, a platform for discussions about basketball’s future and the role of evolving technology.
The tech summit is in 20th year and draws hundreds of top league executives. Panels are scheduled on sports betting, disruptive technology, the relationship between athletes and technology, and ways to attract fans of the so-called Gen Z — the 2.5 billion people worldwide born between 1997 and 2010.