Historic New Class


Bosh, Pierce, Russell Among 16 Names Enshrined in Basketball’s Hall of Fame

Over the weekend, the NBA paid tribute to the newest Basketball Hall of Fame class.

It was a class that included the likes of Chris Webber, Paul Pierce, Bill Russell, and former Toronto Raptors superstar Chris Bosh. The historic 16-person class also paid tribute to inductees Jay Wright, Ben Wallace, Rick Adelman, and Yolanda Griffith.

Pierce, who watched nine other teams pass on him on Draft day was able to enter the Hall alongside the greatest Celtic ever in Russell, who was inducted for a second time – this time as a coach.

“I appreciate that. Thank you for passing on me. It added fuel to my fire,” Pierce said during his induction speech in Springfield, Massachusetts. “To this day, I don’t understand how I slipped to No. 10. But you know, everything happened for a reason. Going to the Celtics, I’m grateful.”

Meanwhile, Bosh’ career ended against his wishes as a blood clot health problem forced him into retirement in his early 30’s. Still, Bosh was able to make an incredible impact on two franchises at different stages of their own development – the rebuilding Toronto Raptors and the championship focused Miami Heat.

During his emotional Hall of Fame speech, Bosh paid homage to the late Kobe Bryant who played a pivotal role in his overall growth as a player both on and off the court.

“I wanted to establish myself as a young leader on the team,” Explained Bosh as he began his evolution into a superstar as a member of the upstart Raptors. “The goal was to be the first one at breakfast. When I get there, Kobe’s already there with ice packs on his knees, drenched in sweat. It took me a minute to figure it out but this guy wasn’t only awake before me. He’d already worked out. He’d played in the Finals just days earlier and I’d been off for months and I was still exhausted.”

“That dedication only days after falling short of an NBA championship. That taught me something I’ve never forgotten. Legends aren’t defined by their successes, they’re defined by how they bounce back from their failures.”

The 2021 class was unquestionably a group that could be defined by those very words. Yes, there were plenty success throughout each of their legendary careers, but it was the way each one has bounced back from failures that sees them all enshrined for eternity in the Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to the newest Hall of Fame class!


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