6 New Eligible Candidates For 2022 Hall of Fame Class Announced

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Being named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is quite an honor for anyone that was or is involved in the game. Only the best of the best can be enshrined there and there and on Tuesday, there were six new first-time eligible members announced—including some former NBA favorites.

Headlining the group is Manu Ginobili, who spent his entire 16-season NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs. He is one of the best international players in NBA history, earning two All-Star nods and twice being named to an All-NBA team.

The Argentina native was also named to the All-Rookie team, won the Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2007-08 season and helped the Spurs win four NBA titles. His No. 20 was also retired by San Antonio.

Internationally, Ginobili was just as successful. His No. 5 jersey was retired by the CABB. He was excellent in EuroLeague, Italian League and was MVP of the 2004 Olympic Summer Tournament playing for Argentina when his country won the gold medal.

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In his career with the Spurs, Ginobili averaged 13.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. In the postseason he was just as good, averaging 14 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals.

Joining Ginobili as a first-time candidate is Tom Chambers, who spent his career with the San Diego Clippers, Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers.

Chambers had his most productive seasons with the Suns, with whom he made three of his four All-Star appearances. He averaged at least 16.2 points per game the first 11 seasons of his career before he transitioned into a role off the bench.

David Hixon, who was head coach of Amherst College for 42 years is also eligible. He helped turn Amherst into one of the best basketball programs in the nation and was inducted as a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

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Fellow head coach Gary Blair is also up for nomination. Blair was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

He has coached for 32 seasons collegiately and counting, recording a losing season only once in his career. His teams reached postseason play 28 times, including 23 NCAA Tournament berths with Final Four appearances in 1998 and 2011. In 2011, he led his Texas A&M Aggies to the national title.

He is currently coaching at Texas A&M, where he has been coaching since 2003. Before that, he was the head coach at Stephen F. Austin and Arkansas. He has a record of 838-333 in his career, good for a .716 winning percentage.

Current Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen is also on the ballot for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. She has compiled a record of 45-39 thus far coaching her alma mater, where her No. 13 jersey was retired.

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Whalen owns multiple records at Minnesota, which helped lead to her being selected No. 4 overall in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Connecticut Sun. She spent the first six seasons of her career with the Sun before landing with Minnesota Lynx, where a dynasty ensued.

Minnesota won the WNBA championship four times with Whalen on the team, alternating every year starting in 2011 through 2017. Each season in that stretch, the Lynx finished as a top-two seed.

The final first-time eligible candidate for the 2022 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is referee Joey Crawford. Crawford worked for the NBA from 1977-2016, officiating every NBA Finals from 1986-2015. The only year he missed was 2007 because of a suspension.

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Crawford is one of six people to referee at least 2,000 NBA games. He may be most remembered for the incident he had with Tim Duncan in 2007 when he ejected Duncan, who was on the bench. It was that incident that led to the suspension that snapped his streak of referring in 21 consecutive NBA Finals.

Crawford ended his career in 2016 because of medical issues. During his tenure, he refereed 2,561 regular-season games, 374 playoff games, 50 NBA Finals games and three All-Star games. The 374 playoff games refereed are the most ever for a referee.

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