We’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out the full list of luminaries marked for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s class of 2018, but it looks like the group will be led by three of the last generation’s most electrifying playmakers.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, 11-time All-Star Jason Kidd and seven-time All-Star Grant Hill “have been notified that each will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.” All three made their first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot when finalists were announced during All-Star Weekend last month, made possible by a shift in Hall policy announced in December that sped up the process for potential honorees to come up for consideration.
In years past, prospective inductees needed to be retired for five full years to be eligible. Now, you can hit the ballot after three years, allowing Nash (who last played in 2014) to join Kidd and Hill (who last played in 2013) in this year’s player pool. And, once they got there, they proved to be no-brainer selections.
Related: See Jason Kidd through his career:
Jason Kidd through the years
Jason Kidd through the years
MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 03: Head coach Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at the Bradley Center on January 3, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Denver Nuggest guard Chauncey Billups, (4), tries to steal the ball from Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd (32) during the second period of NBA action February 7. Phoenix beat Denver 115-108.
Jason Kidd (5), point guard for the U.S. Men's Olympic basketball team, drives to the hoop past Canadian national team point guard Steve Nash (7) during their exhibition game at Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, August 31, 2000. The two teams have been practicing together on the island of Maui for several days and came to Oahu to play this exhibition game in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. REUTERS/Anthony P.
USA men's olympic basketball player Jason Kidd (L) and women's olympic basketball player Nikki McCray smile as they pose together as the two teams were exchange courts during practice. REUTERS/Adrees A.
USA basketball player Jason Kidd holds his baby Brynden to kiss his gold medal after a presentation ceremony at the Olympic Games in Sydney October 1, 2000. USA beat France 85-75 in the men's final basketball match on Sunday to win the gold medal.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson (R) and the Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd battle for a loose ball during third quarter NBA action in Philadelphia, February 18, 2001.
Phoenix Suns Jason Kidd looks at the scoreboard during a timeout in the third quarter, April 25, 2001, after the Sacramento Kings took a 30 point lead in Sacramento.
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd (5) watches his three point shot over
Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway in the first period of their NBA
game, February 6, 2002 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East
Rutherford, New Jersey. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd kisses his fingertips prior to
shooting a foul shot in the first half action in Game 4 of the NBA
Eastern Conference semi-finals at the Charlotte Coliseum, May 12, 2002.
Kidd's right eyebrown is bandaged from a head-to-head collision in game
three. REUTERS/Robert Padgett
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd holds up the NBA Eastern Conference
Championship trophy after the Nets defeated the Boston Celtics 96-88 in
Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston May 31, 2002 to win
the series four games to two. The Nets now advance to the NBA Finals.
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd (C) talks with his teammates in the
closing minutes of Game 3 of the NBA finals against the Los Angeles
Lakers at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New
Jersey, June 9, 2002. The Lakers defeated the Nets 106-103 to take a
3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. REUTERS/Mike Blake
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd watches his team play the New Orleans
Hornets from the bench in the first quarter of their NBA game in East
Rutherford, New Jersey, January 31, 2003. Kidd missed the first game of
his career in New Jersey with a groin injury as he joined Richard
Jefferson, Rodney Rogers and Dikembe Mutombo on the bench of the injury
plagued Nets. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd (5) gestures before shooting a free
throw against the Detroit Pistons in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of
the NBA Eastern Conference Finals at the Continental Airlines Arena in
East Rutherford, New Jersey, May 24, 2003. REUTERS/Mike Segar
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) and New Jersey Nets guard
Jason Kidd (5) strike an identical pose while watching foul shots
during the fourth quarter in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in East
Rutherford, New Jersey, June 11, 2003. REUTERS/Mike Segar
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd (R) and coach Lawrence Frank shout instructions to their team against the Milwaukee Bucks, April 6, 2004 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Kidd, who missed nine games with a bone bruise in his left knee, was activated Tuesday night by the Nets. He scored nine in the Nets' 103-98 loss to the Bucks. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS/GN
The New Jersey Nets Jason Kidd looks around during a stoppage in play in the third quarter of their NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Massachusetts November 29, 2006. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)
New Jersey Nets Jason Kidd (L) takes the ball past Toronto Raptors' Jose Calderon during game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series in East Rutherford, New Jersey May 4, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
Team USA's Kobe Bryant (R) and Jason Kidd talk on the bench as their team faced Team Puerto Rico in the FIBA Americas regional qualifying basketball tournament to decide two berths for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in Las Vegas, Nevada August 28, 2007. . REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES)
(L-R) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, guard Jason Kidd, forward Antoine Wright and forward Malik Allen are pictured at a news conference announcing their trade to the Mavericks from the New Jersey Nets in Dallas, Texas February 19, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd looks up at the clock during their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles March 2, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd (2) is watched by Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (R) in the second quarter during Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff in Los Angeles, California May 4, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (L) holds the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP trophy as Jason Kidd holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy
after their team defeated the Miami Heat to win Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Miami, June 12, 2011. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd and an unidentified guest arrive at the 2011 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 13, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ENTERTAINMENT BASKETBALL)
New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd (L) and forward Carmelo Anthony walk back on to the court after a time out against the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, November 18, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd looks on against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second quarter of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, February 1, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Former NBA basketball player Jason Kidd (R) poses for photographers with Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King at a news conference naming Kidd as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team in Brooklyn, New York, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Brooklyn Net's head coach Jason Kidd laughs during a news conference in Brooklyn, New York July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Jan 27, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd reacts during the first half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on from the sideline against the Utah Jazz during their game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 25, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
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Nash led the NBA in total assists six times in an eight-year span between 2004 and 2012 as the pilot of the run-and-gun Phoenix Suns, whose “Seven Seconds or Less” attack helped revolutionize offense in the NBA. He stands as one of only 13 players in league history to win multiple MVP awards, joining Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Bob Pettit and Karl Malone, as well as three others — Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Stephen Curry — certain to earn enshrinement as soon as they’re eligible.
Marked for superstardom after a pair of NCAA titles at Duke, Hill was a prototypical do-everything swingman for the Detroit Pistons and an All-Star selection in five of his first six NBA seasons before injuries began to derail his career in 2000. But despite spending the bulk of the next four seasons on the shelf, Hill persevered, making the difficult mid-career adjustment from former star to roleplayer and fashioning a dynamite second act as a complementary player in Orlando and Phoenix.
Few players in recent NBA history have been better able to control all facets of a game than Kidd, a regular among the league leaders on both the assists and steals lists. Kidd made nine All-Defensive Team appearances, earned six All-NBA selections and led the league in assists five times, helping transform the late-’90s Phoenix Suns and early-2000s New Jersey Nets into perennial playoff squads. Like Kidd, he too made a late-career adjustment, developing into a reliable 3-point shooter and steady hand on the ball to help lead the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship. He left the court in 2013 and moved right to the bench as a head coach, first for the Brooklyn Nets, and then for the Milwaukee Bucks, before being fired earlier this year.
Wojnarowski also reported that Maurice Cheeks, a four-time All-Star during a 15-year NBA career spent mostly with the Philadelphia 76ers, will join Nash, Kidd and Hill in this summer’s Hall class. Cheeks, a defensive stalwart in the backcourt who played point guard on the Sixers team that won it all in 1983, has followed his stellar playing career with years of impressive work on the bench, with head coaching stints in Portland, Philadelphia and Detroit, as well as multiple tenures as an assistant coach, including his current placement alongside Billy Donovan in Oklahoma City.
Nash, Kidd, Hill, Cheeks and the rest of the finalists from the North American and Women’s Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will join enshrinees from the “direct-elect” Early African-American Pioneers, International, Contributors and Veterans Committees will be officially announced on Saturday at a press conference in San Antonio prior to the NCAA Men’s Championship game. The Class of 2018 will be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., during the weekend of Sept. 6-8, 2018.