NBA Hoops

Former NBA stars Hardaway, Ginobili among inductees enshrined to Basketball Hall of Fame

Former NBA stars Hardaway, Ginobili among inductees enshrined to Basketball Hall of Fame

Tim Hardaway took the stage and told a story of his early days in the NBA, when Golden State teammates Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin would often ask him the same question.

“They would ask me, `Tim, how great do you want to be?”‘ Hardaway said.

They have their answer. So does everyone else. He’s a basketball immortal.

Tim Hardaway, Manu Ginobili, Swin Cash, Bob Huggins, Del Harris, Lindsay Whalen, Marianne Stanley, Theresa Shank Grentz and George Karl all delivered their enshrinement addresses as new members of the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“A kid from the east side of Chicago made it all the way to Springfield, Massachusetts,” Hardaway said. “Incredible.”

Such was the theme throughout the night: how an honor that none of the new Hall members imagined has now come their way, each of them thanking those who helped them reached the pinnacle.

Ginobili was presented by Tim Duncan, already a Hall of Famer himself, and next year the third member of San Antonio’s legendary Big 3 of players โ€” Tony Parker โ€” will be eligible for selection.

“The Spurs were one big, strong, supportive family for me,” Ginobili said.

Someday, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will be in the Hall as well; the NBA’s all-time wins leader doesn’t want to be considered until his career is over. Ginobili reserved special tribute for him.

“Pop, what can I say? You’ve been so, so important for me and my family, on and off the court, that’ll I never be able to thank you enough,” Ginobili said, his voice cracking.

Cash โ€” an NCAA, WNBA and Olympic champion โ€” also paid tribute to her coach at UConn, Hall of Famer Geno Auriemma and her Huskies teammates, including the group that went 39-0 for her senior season in 2001-02.

“If anyone’s debating the greatest basketball team ever, ask about us,” said Cash, who now works in the front office of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Duncan and Ginobili weren’t the only teammates in the…

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