Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Reggie Miller, a five-time NBA All-Star, heads the list of 12 finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame, a year after being eliminated in his first time on the ballot.
Miller made 2,560 3-pointers during his 17-year career with the Indiana Pacers. He held the career 3-point record until being passed by the Boston Celtics’ Ray Allen last season. Miller also won an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. in 1996.
“It is an honor to be included on this year’s ballot for induction into the Hall of Fame,” Miller said in a statement. “I have great appreciation and respect for the players and coaches that stand with me and I wish everyone the best of luck.”
Other finalists are players Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and Katrina McClain; coaches Bill Fitch, Dick Motta, Don Nelson and Rick Pitino; referee Hank Nichols; and the All American Red Heads, a female traveling exhibition team that played from 1936 to 1986.
The finalists were announced in a release on the website of the hall, based in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Cheeks, a four-time All-Star, helped the Philadelphia 76ers to a title during the 1982-83 season. He was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team four times, and is fifth on the career list with 2,310 steals and 10th with 7,392 assists. Cheeks also had coaching stints with the 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers.
King, a four-time All-Star who played parts of a 15-year NBA career with the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks, was the 1981 NBA Comeback Player of the Year. He averaged over 22 points per game, including 34.8 points during the 1984 playoffs with the Knicks.
Sampson, a 7-foot-4 center who played at the University of Virginia, was named college basketball’s National Player of the Year three times. He was NBA Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star.
Nelson had the most victories of any coach in NBA history, 1,335; was one of two people named Coach of the Year three times; and led the U.S. to the 1994 world championship. As a player, he won five titles with the Boston Celtics between 1966 and 1976.
Fitch was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 1976 and 1980 and led the Celtics to the league title in 1981. He ranks eighth in NBA history with 944 wins over 25 seasons. Motta had a career 935-1,017 NBA coaching record, leading the Washington Bullets to the 1978 title.
Pitino is the only coach in men’s history to lead three schools to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Final Four, with Providence College, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. He won the national title with Kentucky in 1996.
McClain was the 1987 women’s National Player of the Year at the University of Georgia and won Olympic gold medals with the U.S. team in 1988 and 1996.
The 2012 class will be announced April 2 in New Orleans prior the men’s college basketball championship game.
To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at firstname.lastname@example.org.