Everything there is to know about the Hall of Fame

Canadian professor James Naismith designed the rules of basketball upon his arrival in the United States and held the first game in the history of the sport in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He did it while teaching at the International YMCA Training School.

Naismith, a physicist in the field of science and a coach by definition in sports, was the mentor of the program at the University of Kansas. Basketball was made an Olympic sport for the first time at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and Naismith lived until 1939 to witness the realization of a dream that would be a once-in-a-lifetime gift to future generations.

Here is the main reason why the Hall of Fame is located on these lands.

Located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue, the building named after the game’s creator is the largest and most accomplished basketball archive in the world. An Alexandrian library of this sport, full of iconic items including books, shirts, balls and other symbolic objects that have honored individuals and teams throughout history.

However, this space was not the first to be created for the purposes. There were two previous positions, all of them in Springfield. In 1959, Lee Williams, athletic director of Colby College, began the journey of envisioning a memorial space without a physical location. And there he traced the first roadmap. In any case, it was not until 1968, prior to the 18th NBA All-Star Game, that the first facility for the Hall of Fame was inaugurated. It was at Springfield College, with four stars induced for the occasion.

The demand for fans grew at geometric speed and it was necessary to find a new location, something that happened in 1985 after receiving almost 700,000 visitors a year. Thus, a new space was opened next to the Connecticut River in Springfield, where women who contributed to the development of basketball throughout the world were honored for the first time.

The Hall of Fame facility moved into the current space two decades ago. The space, of almost 7,500 square meters, has an original architectural construction in the shape of a metallic ball that lights up at night. It has gastronomic shops inside, a basketball court, exhibition halls, cinemas and other spaces of interest that attract visitors from around the world.

Is it the only Hall of Fame in existence? Absolutely. There is one for collegiate basketball in Kansas City, another for women’s basketball in Knoxville, Tennessee, and another for international basketball (FIBA) in Madrid.

THE HALL OF FAME ELECTION CRITERIA

The Basketball Hall of Fame is judiciously said to be the most comprehensive of all American sports. The reason is that it is not limited to the NBA or the United States, but includes international talent that contributed from all over the world.

The first important point to know is that to be considered for induction by a selection committee, the player, coach, or referee must have been retired for at least three full seasons. This is the reason, for example, why Manu Ginobili was able to enter the Class of 2022.

This changed in December 2017, because in 2015 it was four years and originally five. In the case of coaches, they are eligible three seasons after retirement, they must be at least 60 years old and have 25 years of full-time service in College or higher. Unlike other Halls of Fame, sportswriters are also elected as full members.

The bar to be selected is high: only those who are voted with a minimum of 75 or 80% of the existing votes can arrive and sports and non-sports factors influence to belong. Now, who chooses and how? There are different types of Committees. In any case, there is a halo of mystery about the names that compose them, because unlike other Halls of Fame, the names remain private.

“It’s just the way we do it, because we prefer to protect those who vote and are involved in the process. That eliminates a lot of things that can happen, such as influencing voters,” says Jerry Colangelo in an article published by Baxter Holmes. for ESPN.

There are about 40 or 50 people who participate in the voting process. The nine members of the North American screening committee discuss and decide names of no more than 10 eligible.

Each candidate must receive at least seven votes to make the final cut, Baxter adds in his ESPN.com article. He is then mailed to the 24-member honor committee in the second week of March. Members receive that list, mark yes or no on each candidate, then mail their ballots to the room. Those final ballots are then counted by a lawyer and finally shredded “so there’s no paper trail to go back and somehow find that some people voted somehow, again, to protect the process,” says John Doleva, CEO of the Hall of Fame since 2001.

It is always about having a balance: men, women, players, coaches, referees. And the chosen ones are announced at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April.

In addition to the North American Screening Committee, there are seven members of the Women’s Screening Committee, another seven members of the International Screening Committee and another seven members of the Veterans Screening Committee, understanding veterans to be those individuals who finished their career 35 years before being selected.

NUMBERS AND CURIOSITIES OF THE HALL OF FAME

Since 1959 to this time, more than 400 celebrities have been inducted into the Springfield Basketball Hall of Fame. In this historical journey, players, coaches, referees, managers, journalists and influential personalities in men’s and women’s branches have been honored.

Five were inducted as players first and as coaches later. John Wooden (1960 and 1973), Lenny Wilkens (1989, 1998 and 2010), Bill Sharman (1976 and 2004), Tom Heinsohn (1986 and 2015), and the recently deceased Bill Russell (1975 and 2021).

John McLendon entered first in 1979 as a contributor and then as a coach in 2016. He is the only one in history to achieve this.

Among the most recognized players, Julius Erving stands out in 1993, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1995, Larry Bird in 1998, Magic Johnson in 2002 (with the inauguration of the recent building), Hakeem Olajuwon in 2008, Michael Jordan in 2009, Shaquille O’ Neal in 2016 and Tim Duncan in 2020, among many other geniuses who have shone in the world of basketball.

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Everything there is to know about the Hall of Fame