Popovich, Nowitzki and Gasol nominated for Hall of Fame

Gregg Popovich has attended basketball Hall of Fame inductions so many times, always to support someone onstage.

Next year he could participate with another function.

Popovich, the NBA’s winningest coach and a former Hall of Fame inductee, is among the first-time inductees in the class of 2023.

The group also includes three international stars: the German Dirk Nowitzki, the French Tony Parker and the Spanish Pau Gasol. Dwyane Wade is also on the list.

The presence of all four in the nomination pool was expected, but Popovich was a surprise, since it had never been made clear when the Hall of Fame would consider him as a candidate.

“It’s going to be an incredible moment, I really am,” Nowitzki said. “It will be the best after everything that has happened in recent years, with the messages and tributes that have been paid to me, and now being together with the best of our sports.

The United States women’s team that competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics, as well as the 1982 Cheyney University team, the first from an all-African-American college to challenge for an NCAA title. Also included was coach Jim Larrañaga, from the University of Miami, who just got his 400th victory.

The new members in 2023 will be announced on April 1 during the Final Four — the definition of the United States college championship — in Houston. The exaltation ceremony will be between August 11 and 12 at the headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts.

It could be one of the most standout classes in history, particularly if Parker and Popovich go in together. Popovich has led San Antonio to five NBA championships, four with Parker at point guard. The other two stars of the so-called “Big 3” of the Spurs of that era — Tim Duncan and Argentine Manu Ginobili — are already members of the Hall of Fame.

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