AP Photo/Louis Lanzano
Train NBA guards Tim Hardaway and Manu Ginobiliform WNBA forward Swing Cashtrain NBA coach George Karl and West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins will reportedly be among those inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the news, which will be officially announced Saturday.
Ginobili was elected on the first ballot after a 16-year NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs. His candidacy is among the most unique in history, given Ginobili spent the majority of his career playing a sixth-man role. His two All-Star selections rank among the lowest in history for a Basketball Hall of Famer of the modern era.
That said, Ginobili’s brilliance on the international level bolstered his candidacy to the point he was a near-lock from the moment he retired. Serving as the best player and emotional leader of Argentina’s international team, Ginobili led his country to a gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and a bronze four years later. Argentina remains the only country other than the United States to win gold since the Olympics began allowing pro players to compete in 1992.
“A beast. His competitive spirit is second to none and he never gives in and plays with a whole lot of passion, and that passion comes pouring out,” former teammate Patty Mills said of Ginobili, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News.
Hardaway played for the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers over the course of 14 seasons. The catalyst of the Warriors’ Run-TMC teams, he averaged 17.7 points and 8.2 assists over the course of his career, making five All-Star teams and earning five All-NBA selections.
Hardaway will join former Warriors teammates Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond in the Hall. It’s likely he would have been inducted sooner if he were not for anti-gay comments he made in a 2007 interview with Dan Le Batard.
“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known,” Hardaway said during the interview. “I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”
Hardaway has since apologized and worked as an advocate for LGBTQ rights.
“I hurt a lot of people’s feelings and it came off the wrong way and it was really bad of me to say that,” Hardaway told HoopsHype in 2019. “Since then, I’ve turned a wrong into a right. My parents used to always tell me, ‘If you do something wrong, look it in the eye. Don’t back down from it and be scared of it. Go make it right and make people understand that you made a mistake.’ And that’s what I did. I’m trying to do what’s right, supporting gay people and transgender people.”
Cash captured three championships and was named to four All-Star teams over the course of her WNBA career with the Detroit Shock, Seattle Storm, Chicago Sky, Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty. She also helped lead the United States to gold medals in the 2004 and 2012 Summer Games and was a fixture in the NBA’s now-defunct Shooting Stars Challenge, winning the event four times.
In addition to her professional accolades, Cash won two championships and was the 2002 NCAA Tournament Most Oustanding Player while at UConn.
Karl and Huggins are, in some ways, mirror images of one another at different levels of the sport. Both have had massive regular-season success, with Karl ranking sixth on the NBA’s all-time coaching victories list (1,175) and Huggins ranking eighth among Division I men’s college coaches (844).
Their postseason success has not always followed, with Karl making only one trip to the NBA Finals in his coaching career and Huggins reaching the Final Four only twice, never making it to a national championship game.
Both known for their demanding styles, Karl and Huggins rarely made friends among opposing coaches—and sometimes within their own locker rooms—but their success at multiple stops is unquestioned.