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Billups, Hamilton, Wallace Among Naismith Basketball Hall-Of-Fame Nominees

Should these Pistons be Hall-of-Famers?

December 21, 2018 - 11:26 pm
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (97.1 The Ticket) -- On the 127th birthday of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall-of-Fame announced its list of official nominees for enshrinement, including a handful of former Pistons.

More than 100 players, coaches, broadcasters and other influencers received official nominations for the Hall-of-Fame across seven different "Direct-Elect" categories.

Two groups of Screening Committees will now comb through the nominees to come up with a group of official candidates that will then be voted on by the Honors Committee. Nominees must receive at least seven of nine votes from the Screening Committees to advance to the Honors Committee, where it takes 18 of 24 votes to become enshrines. Up to one nominee from the seven Direct-Elect committees can be elected directly.

Among this year's nominees are a handful of "Goin' To Work" era Pistons, including Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Ben Wallace. The trio led the Pistons to a world championship in 2004 and another NBA Finals appearance in 2005. The Pistons went to six straight Eastern Conference Finals with Billups, Hamilton and Wallace at the core of the team.

Billups won the 2004 Finals MVP, averaging 21 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game during the finals. He averaged 16.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 6.2 APG during his eight seasons with the Pistons.

Also nominated for the 2019 class was "Trader Jack" McCloskey, the Pistons general manager that helped build the Bad Boys teams that won back-to-back titles in the 1988-89 and '89-'90 seasons.

One of the players McCloskey traded for, Mark Aguirre, is also a nominee for the '19 class.

Other nominees with Michigan ties include former Michigan Wolverine and "Fab Five" member Chris Webber, as well as his coach, Steve Fisher. Webber played two seasons in Ann Arbor, with his team finishing as National Runners-Up in back-to-back seasons.

He became infamous for receiving a technical foul after calling a timeout against North Carolina in the 1993 National Championship Game when his team didn't have any. He also alienated the fan base when he was caught up in an improper benefits scandal with U of M athletic Ed Martin, ultimately leading to the vacating of numerous wins and awards, though he reconciled with Michigan and its fans this past fall.

Webber went on to become a No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick and played in the league for 15 seasons, including one year with the Pistons at the end of his career. 

Fisher took over for Bill Frieder right before the 1989 NCAA Tournament and took the Wolverines all the way for a national title. He coached Michigan through the 1996-97 season until he was implicated in an improper benefits scandal.

Fisher went on to coach 18 seasons at San Diego State, where he took the Aztecs to eight NCAA Tournaments, two Sweet 16s and four Mountain West Tournament titles. The court at SDSU's Viejas Arena was renamed Steve Fisher Court in 2015.

Official finalists for the 2019 class will be announced during NBA All-Star weekend on Feb. 15 in Charlotte and the enshrinement ceremony will be next September.

What do you think, do any of these nominees have a chance to be enshrined?