SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - AUG. 13, 2010 -- Dreams were the theme Friday morning at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as the largest collection of current and incoming Hall of Famers ever assembled at one time were presented to the media as a prelude to their formal enshrinement Friday night.
"It's a dream I could have never dreamed," WNBA great Cynthia Cooper said of her selection to the Hall of Fame, "but it came true."
High school coaching legend Bob Hurley, Sr., echoed the feeling after being introduced moments later.
"Dreams come true," Hurley said.
This year’s class of inductees also includes Dr. Jerry Buss, Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen, along with two celebrated teams: the 1960 US Men’s Olympic team and the 1992 US Men’s Olympic team, known as the “Dream Team.” The Class of 2010 also includes three legendary players: Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson and international star Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira, all of whom will be honored posthumously.
Malone and Pippen were members of the 1992 "Dream Team," along with Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley.
We had fun every day," Barkley said of the experience in Barcelona. "There were no egos."
Jerry West, speaking for the members of the 1960 Olympic team that won a gold medal in Rome, said the experience was a singular moment in his lifetime.
"It's so gratifying to share this with my teammates," West said of the squad that included Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas and Walt Bellamy. "The greatest thrill of my life was to win a gold medal."
The enshrinement ceremony will take place at 7 PM (ET) at Springfield Symphony Hall and will be televised by NBA TV.
More on this year’s class:
JERRY BUSS – Contributor, has owned the Los Angeles Lakers since 1979, building one of the most successful organizations in the history of professional sports. The Lakers have won 10 NBA championships and 17 Western Conference titles during his tenure.
CYNTHIA COOPER – Player, is a champion in every sense of the word. She led the University of Southern California to two NCAA titles. As a member of the Houston Comets, she won four WNBA Championships and was named WNBA Finals MVP time. Cooper won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1988 to go along with two FIBA Women’s World Championship Gold Medals.
ROBERT “Bob” HURLEY, Sr. – Coach, has since compiled over 900 wins at St. Anthony’s High School in New Jersey while leading the team to 25 State Parochial Championships and three USA Today National Championships (1989, 1996, 2008). Hurley was twice named National Coach of the Year by USA Today (1989, 1996).
DENNIS JOHNSON – Player, who died on Feb. 22, 2007, was one of basketball’s toughest defenders, earning nine consecutive NBA All-Defensive team honors during his 14-year professional career. He was a major part of three NBA championship teams and won MVP honors at the 1979 Finals as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. He finished his NBA career with the Boston Celtics (1983-90), winning NBA championship rings in 1984 and 1986.
GUS JOHNSON – Player, was a five-time NBA All-Star (1965, ‘68-71) and a two-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive team (1970 and ’71). Johnson helped lead the Baltimore Bullets to five playoff appearances in nine seasons, including the 1971 NBA Finals. He played 10 years in the NBA, scored 9,944 points (17.1 ppg) and grabbed 7,379 rebounds (12.7 rpg). Johnson also played for the Phoenix Suns (1972-73) and was a member of the 1973 ABA Champion Indiana Pacers. (Born: Dec. 13,1938; Died: April 29,1987)
KARL MALONE – Player, was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (1997, ’99) and a 14-time NBA All-Star for the Utah Jazz. He was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996 and ranks second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 36,928 points. Malone was selected as an All-NBA first team forward from 1989-99 and was named to the league’s All-Defensive first team from 1997-99. He won two Olympic gold medals, competing as a member of the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team” and the 1996 USA Olympic champions. Malone played collegiately at Louisiana Tech from 1981-1985. He finished his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2003-04.
MACIEL “UBIRATAN” PEREIRA – Player, was known as “The King” in his native Brazil. He earned a gold medal at the 1963 World Championship, a silver medal at the 1970 World Championship and a bronze medal at the 1964 Olympic Games. Closer to home, he won five South American Championships and 11 titles in the São Paulo League in Brazil. He played in three Olympic Games for Brazil and was inducted as a player to the FIBA Hall of Fame in September, 2009. He was awarded the FIBA “Order of Merit” honor. (Born: Jan.18,1944; Died: July 17, 2002).
SCOTTIE PIPPEN – Player, was a seven-time NBA All-Star (1990, 1992-97) and a member of six NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls (1991-93, 1996-98). He was a three-time All-NBA first team honoree and was voted to the NBA All-Defensive first team from 1992-99, along with two stints on the All-Defensive second team. Pippen won two Olympic gold medals as he was a member of the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team” and returned to help lead the USA to gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He won NBA All-Star MVP honors in 1994. Pippen also played with the Houston Rockets (1998-99) and Portland Trail Blazers (1999-2003). He is a native of Hamburg, Arkansas and played collegiately at the University of Central Arkansas (1983-87).
1960 USA OLYMPIC TEAM – Team, compiled an 8-0 record at the Rome Olympic Games and won its games by an average margin of 42.4 points. Ten players went on to play in the NBA and six team members have been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, including coaches Pete Newell and Dutch Lonborg. The Hall of Fame players from the ’60 team are Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. Lucas and Robertson led the team in scoring with 17.0 ppg as the team averaged 101.9 ppg while holding its opponents to 59.5 ppg, a 42.4 point margin of victory. The 1960 team was inducted into the USA Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.
1992 USA OLYMPIC TEAM known as “The Dream Team” – Team, compiled an 8-0 record at the Barcelona Olympic Games with an average margin of victory of 43.8. Coached by a Hall of Famer, the late Chuck Daly, the “Dream Team” was the first team made up primarily of NBA players, eligible to compete in international basketball for the first time because of the change of FIBA rules in 1989. Eight players from the team have been enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and two more (Malone and Pippen) are in the Class of 2010. The prior inductees include Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, and John Stockton. Hall of Fame coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Lenny Wilkens assisted Daly, while Chris Mullin, a 2010 Hall of Fame finalist, and college standout Christian Laettner of Duke University completed the roster. The ’92 Dream team was inducted into the USA Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009.