CLEVELAND, OH – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star 2022, six extraordinary players, four exceptional coaches and one world-class referee as finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2022.
This year’s list includes two first-time finalists: two-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili and five-time WNBA All-Star, three-time WNBA Champion, and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsay Whalen.
MICHAEL COOPER [Player] – Cooper is a five-time NBA Champion with the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) and is best known for his defensive contributions to an offensively gifted team. He earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors five times (1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988) and was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1987. In 1986, he collected the J. Walter Kennedy Citizen Award for outstanding service in his community. He played one season for Virtus Roma, where he received the Italian All-Star Game MVP in 1991. As a collegiate athlete at the University of New Mexico, Cooper was named a USBWA First Team All-American.
TIM HARDAWAY [Player] – A 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Hardaway played 13 NBA seasons scoring a total of 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons. He is the 1990 recipient of the Jack McMahon Award for most inspirational player and a 1997 All-NBA First Team selection. He currently ranks 18th in NBA history with 7,095 career assists. The Chicago native was a member of the men’s basketball team at the University of Texas at El Paso (1985-1989) and is known for making his signature move – the “UTEP Two-step” – famous in 1989, the same year he was named WAC Player of the Year.
MARQUES JOHNSON [Player] – Johnson is a five-time NBA All-Star (1979-81, 1983, 1986) and a member of the 1978 NBA All-Rookie First Team and the 1979 All-NBA First Team. He was also named the NBA Comeback Player of the Year in 1986. In 11 NBA seasons, he averaged 20.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. As a student-athlete at UCLA under the direction of Hall of Famer John Wooden, Johnson was a member of an NCAA national championship team (1975). In 1977, he was named Pac-8 Player of the Year and the consensus National Collegiate Player of the Year. Johnson has been inducted into the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (2013).
BOB HUGGINS [Coach] – Huggins has been coaching in the collegiate ranks for 45 years, including the last 15 as the head coach at West Virginia University. Over the course of his career, Huggins has led his teams to 25 NCAA Tournament berths, including nine appearances in the Sweet Sixteen (1992, 1993, 1996, 200, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2017, 2018), four trips to the Elite Eight (1992, 1993, 1996, 2010), and two appearances in the NCAA Final Four (1992, 2010). In 16 years as the head coach at the University of Cincinnati (1989-2005), Huggins led the Bearcats to eight Conference USA regular season championships (1996-2002, 2004), four Conference USA Tournament championships (1996, 1998, 2002, 2004), was a three-time Conference USA Coach of the Year (1998-2000) and was honored as the Conference USA Coach of the Decade in 2005. On the national level, he a was tabbed as the Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000 and the ESPN.com National Coach of the Year in 2002.
GEORGE KARL [Coach] – Karl spent 27 seasons as a head coach in the NBA, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers (1984-1986), Golden State Warriors (1986-88), Seattle Supersonics (1992-1998), Milwaukee Bucks (1998-2003), Denver Nuggets (2005-2013) and Sacramento Kings (2015-2016). During his career, he guided five different franchises to a total of 22 playoff appearances, led the Supersonics to the NBA Finals (1996), was named the NBA Coach of the Year (2013), and was called upon to be an All-Star Game head coach four times (1994, 1996, 1998, 2010). Karl owns a lifetime coaching record of 1,175-824 (.588), ranking sixth all-time in NBA career wins and posted 12 seasons of 50+ victories and three seasons of 60-plus.
Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans, five-time NBA champion and five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Michael Cooper, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, consensus National Collegiate Player of the Year Marques Johnson, two-time NCAA National Coach of the Year Bob Huggins, the NBA’s sixth-winningest coach of all-time George Karl, the all-time winningest high school coach, Leta Andrews, four-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Swin Cash, and NCAA national champion and WNBA Coach of the Year Marianne Stanley.
“It is a tremendous honor to be named a Finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame and we’re elated to recognize the achievements by these outstanding men and women who have left a lasting impact on the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “A heart-felt congratulations goes out to the finalists and their families and we very much look forward to revealing the Class of 2022 at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans this April.”
HUGH EVANS [Referee] – Evans served as an NBA Official for 28 consecutive years (1973-2001), tallying over 1,900 regular-season games, 170 playoff games, 35 NBA Finals games and four NBA All-Star Games. Following his on-court officiating career, Evans worked as the NBA Assistant Supervisor of Officials (2001-03). He is a recipient of the Each One Teach One Community Service Award and is enshrined in the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the North Carolina A&T Hall of Fame.
MANU GINOBILI [Player] – Ginobili is a two-time NBA All-Star (2005, 2011) and four-time NBA Champion with the San Antonio Spurs (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014). Over his 16-year NBA career, all with the Spurs, the Argentine guard amassed 14,043 points, 4,001 assists, 3,697 rebounds and 1,392 steals and was honored with the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2008, as well as twice being named to the All-NBA Third Team (2008, 2011). On the international stage, Ginobili helped deliver the first and only Gold Medal in the country’s basketball history at the 2004 Olympics, as well as the bronze at the 2008 games. He joins Bill Bradley as the only two players to have won a EuroLeague title (2001), an NBA championship and an Olympic Gold Medal.