The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has added more elite talent. The 2021 class brought in Paul Pierce, Chris Webber, Chris Bosh, Ben Wallace, Toni Kukoc, and more.
During his induction, Paul Pierce would highlight those who passed on him during his draft.
“I appreciate that. Thank you for passing on me. It added fuel to my fire,” Pierce said, according to ESPN. “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.”
During the event Bill Russell was inducted as a coach, becoming the fifth person to receive honors for both coach and player.
“Bill Russell, perhaps more than anyone else, knows what it takes to win and what it takes to lead,” Obama said in a video. “As tall as Bill Russell stands, his example and his legacy rise far, far higher.”
Chris Bosh was celebrated by LeBron James, Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade, his HEATles homies.
“After finally making it to the mountaintop with so much more to do, in my mind, so much more work to do, it all stopped,” Bosh said. “I eventually came to realize that we all have it in our power to make the most out of every day despite what happens, to turn setbacks into strengths.”
Additional inductees included WNBA legend Lauren Jackson, Villanova coach Jay Wright, head coach Rick Adelman, and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yolanda Griffith.