Ginobili and Hardaway to headline Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2022
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – When Manu Ginobili reflects on the chances of an Argentinian child growing up to win four NBA titles and an Olympic gold medal, he seems amazed that this is actually the story of his sporting life.
“He’s one in tens of millions,” Ginobili said Saturday after an official announcement Saturday that he has now also been inducted into the Hall of Fame. “The chances are very, very slim and it happened to me. I don’t know what happened, but it was me.
“I happen to be an important part of two very iconic teams in these two decades of FIBA and NBA. Incredibly fortunate and fortunate to be part of these two.
Ginobili, five-time All-Star Tim Hardaway and decorated former coach George Karl were the household names in the NBA in the 2022 inductee class, the NCAA Final Four website announced Saturday from New Orleans.
🇬🇧 This is another thing you never expect when you start playing ball. Thank you to everyone who helped me on this trip! 🙏
🇦🇷Otra de las cosas que nunca soñás cuando empezás a picar la pelotita naranja! Gracias a todos los que me acompañaron en este camino! 🙏 https://t.co/S3K4ScZm6F
— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) April 2, 2022
— HOF Basketball (@Hoophall) April 2, 2022
This year, former WNBA champion and two-time national college champion Swin Cash was also selected; former NBA coach George Karl; Bob Huggins, longtime college coach, Lindsay Whalen, WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist; NCAA National Championship coach and former WNBA Coach of the Year Marianne Stanley and former NBA official Hugh Evans.
The class will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on September 10.
Ginobili, a two-time All-Star, spent his entire 16-year NBA career with San Antonio, which is one of the main reasons he’s now in the Hall of Fame. He also credited his long stint with an Argentina national team that is regularly among the best in the world.
“I was part of two incredible teams; if it wasn’t for being part of these two teams, I wouldn’t be here,” Ginobili said. “It’s not just about individual achievements. I never won a goalscoring championship, an MVP or even [All-NBA] First team. I am here because of my entourage, the players with whom I played, the coaches with whom I was coached [by] and organizations. I know I was very lucky.
But Ginobili left his mark on the game in the way he used lateral movement after recovering his dribble to get shots into the paint. It became known as “Eurostep”, as Ginobili had played for a EuroLeague championship-winning team in Bologna, Italy before joining the NBA.
“I never saw that I created anything or brought anything new. I just played the only way I thought possible,” Ginobili explained, discussing the challenge of trying to score against 7-footer Shaquille O’Neal early in his career.
“I wasn’t going to go through Shaq and dunk, I had to go around people,” Ginobili said. “That’s how I found my skills and my physical ability to get to the rim. I’ve done it since I can remember.
Hardaway played 15 NBA seasons from 1989 to 2003 with Golden State, Miami, Dallas, Denver and Indiana.
Karl played in the NBA for five seasons in San Antonio before coaching for 27 years, during which he won 1,175 games, placing him sixth all-time. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2013.
Huggins has over 900 NCAA wins in a college coaching career that began in 1977 and is currently in West Virginia.
Cash, who was previously inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, is currently a member of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans management. She won two NCAA national titles with Connecticut and a WNBA title with Detroit. She also worked as an executive at the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
Whalen is a five-time WNBA All-Star and a four-time champion. She is now the head coach of Minnesota, where she also played in college.
Stanley, who is currently the WNBA head coach with Indiana, has spent 45 years in coaching, including 22 at the college level with Old Dominion, Pennsylvania, Southern California, Stanford and California. She was WNBA Coach of the Year in 2022, when she was also inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Evans refereed more than 1,900 regular season games, as well as 170 playoff games, 35 NBA Finals games and four NBA All-Star games from 1973 to 2001. He also served as assistant supervisor of NBA officials for three years after having moved away from judicial officer.