CB1, CWebb, The Truth and Big Ben Headline 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class

Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, Paul Pierce and Ben Wallace were all inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

These four players were influential in shaping today’s modern NBA.

You have two highly skilled big men (Bosh/Webber) and  one highly skilled playmaking wing (Pierce).

There’s also Ben Wallace who was seemingly too small for his role, but defied all odds to become an NBA champion.

These transcending players all helped pave the way for today’s stars.

Chris Bosh

Most of us remember Chris Bosh from his time in South Beach as one-third of “The Heatles.” He was the glue guy on a Super Team Led by Lebron James and Dwyane Wade.

They went to four straight NBA Finals, winning two.

Bosh’s rebound and subsequent kickout to Ray Allen for the game-tying three in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals is unforgettable.

A shot which for all intents and purposes took momentum from the Spurs and saved LeBron’s legacy.

The Heat rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to win their second consecutive NBA title.

Bosh was a great player prior to arriving in Miami and being relegated to a stretch 5 who strictly shot threes.

He was a 25 point and 10 rebound a night guy as he led the young upstart Toronto Raptors to a couple playoff appearances.

He abruptly retired in 2015 after doctors found blood clots in his lungs.

 

Chris Webber

Chris Webber, was the No.1 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft after his two-year collegiate career, where he led the “Fab Five” to the NCAA title game as a true freshman and sophomore.

The 6-foot-9 forward played 15 seasons in the NBA with five teams and was a five-time All-Star.

For some reason it took 8 years for Webber to be inducted.

Charles Barkley was adamant for years that Webber belonged in the Hall.

Webber averaged 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists in 831 career games with the Golden State Warriors, Washington Bullets/Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and his hometown Detroit Pistons.

 

Paul “The Truth” Pierce

Paul Pierce, a 10-time All-Star and No.2 scorer in Boston Celtics history, gets in on his first year of eligibility.

The 6-foot-7 swingman was the MVP of Boston’s 2008 NBA Finals victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Pierce, was drafted 10th overall by the Celtics in 1998, and played 19 seasons with Boston, the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers.

The forward averaged 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.3 steals in 1,343 career games.

He’s also ninth all-time in made threes with (2,143).

Ben Wallace aka “Big Ben,” is the most unheralded of this quartet. Undrafted out of Virginia Union in 1996, his game and physical play did plenty of talking on the hardwood.

A four-time All-Star and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has been eligible for induction since 2016.

The 6-foot-9 center/forward is a four-time All-Star and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.  Wallace led the league in rebounding and won a championship with the Pistons in 2003-04.

The other 12 inductees include:

Rick Adelman (NBA Coach/Blazers/Kings), Jay Wright (Villanova Head Coach), Bill Russell (As A Coach/Already In As A Player), Yolanda Griffith (WNBA Champion/MVP), Lauren Jackson (WNBA Champion/MVP), Toni Kukoc (NBA Champion/International Superstar), Val Ackerman (Contributor), Bobby Dandridge (Player), Cotton Fitzsimmons (Contributor/Coach), Howard Garfinkel (Contrirbutor), Clarence “Fats” Jenkins (Player), Pearl Moore (Player).