Jackson a Hall of Fame finalist

Lauren Jackson’s status as Australia’s greatest player has been reinforced with her nomination as a finalist in the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.

Jackson, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, Michael Cooper, Ben Wallace, and Yolanda Griffith are among the finalists in the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class, announced on ESPN’s The Jump.

In many people’s minds, Jackson is the greatest Australian basketballer of all time.

Better than Andrew Bogut, Andrew Gaze and the future king, Ben Simmons.

Lauren Jackson has received another honour – a nomination as a finalist in the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class. Picture: Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

It seems like a big call to make, but the stats don’t lie.

Two WNBA championships with Seattle, three WNBA MVPs, four WNBL MVPs and two gold medals, three silvers and three bronze for the Opals.

It’s a personal tally that firmly places the girl from Albury in the record books as one of the greatest Australian basketballers.

Jackson is also a three-time WNBA scoring champion and seven-time WNBA All-Star. She also won Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.

Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo is determined to push through the coronavirus pandemic to appropriately honour basketball’s finest players.

“While our timeline of events over the past year has been adaptable and reimagined due to the global pandemic, we have never wavered in our commitment to renovating our beautiful museum and recognising the greats of the game who deserve to be immortalised there,” Colangelo said in a release.

Seattle Storm’s Lauren Jackson smiles as she is handed the 2010 WNBA Most Valuable Player trophy. Picture: AP Photo/Elaine ThompsonSource:AP

“Revealing the finalists for the Class of 2021 today is an exciting step towards honouring the men and women who have contributed greatly to the game we celebrate.”

Eleven-time championship winning Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell is a finalist in the Hall of Fame as well, but in this case as a coach.

Russell, who was inducted as a player in 1975, was the first black head coach in the NBA and led the Celtics to back-to-back championships in 1968 and 1969.

The Class of 2021 will be unveiled on May 16 and the enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for September.

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