Kings Legends Chris Webber, Rick Adelman Headline Electees Into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Today, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Sacramento Kings legends Chris Webber and Rick Adelman, plus Sacramento Monarchs legend Yolanda Griffith and NBA legend and former Kings Head Coach Bill Russell have been elected as part of the 18-member class of 2021. Webber becomes the 16th player in franchise history and the third during the Sacramento-era to earn a Hall of Fame induction. Adelman becomes the second head coach in franchise history and the first during the Sacramento-era to achieve the honors.
“We are incredibly proud that four integral individuals in our organization’s history are being honored in the 2021 Hall of Fame class,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “Each of them earned a special place in the Kings family and in the hearts of our community, leaving an eternal impact on our franchise that inspires across generations. Congratulations, Chris, Rick, Yolanda and Bill on this prestigious recognition.”
A five-time NBA All-Star (1997, 2000-2003), Webber led the winningest teams in the Sacramento-era, working with Adelman to carry the Kings to the NBA Playoffs for six straight seasons (1998-99 – 2003-04), back-to-back Pacific Division titles (2001-02, 2002-03), a franchise record 61 regular season wins (2001-02) and a trip to the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals. His NBA career spanned 15 seasons with the Golden State Warriors (1993-94, 2007-08), Washington Wizards (1994-98), Sacramento Kings (1998-99 – 2004-05), Philadelphia 76ers (2005-2007) and Detroit Pistons (2007). Webber’s Kings jersey was retired by the team on February 6, 2009 and hangs eternally in the rafters at Golden 1 Center among fellow franchise greats.
During his seven seasons in Sacramento, Webber accrued averages of 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.51 steals and 1.47 blocks per game in 377 games with the Kings. On January 5, 2001, Webber recorded 51 points (ranking second in Sacramento-era) and set a Sacramento-era single-game record of 26 rebounds versus Indiana.
Webber graces the franchise record book across numerous categories during the Sacramento-era, ranking second in rebounds (4,006), second in field goals made (3,691), third in blocked shots (553), fourth in points scored (8,843) and free throws attempted (2,034), fifth in assists (1,791), steals (568) and minutes played, (14,627) and sixth in free throws made (1,406). In franchise history, Webber ranks fifth in blocked shots, seventh in steals and field goals attempted (7,807), along with eighth in rebounds and field goals made. While with the Kings, Webber earned All-NBA First Team honors in 2001, was named to the All-NBA Second Team on three occasions (1999, 2002, 2003) and to the All-NBA Third Team in 2000. Webber led the NBA in rebounds per game during his first season in Sacramento (1998-99) and triple-doubles (1999-00). He averaged more than 20 points per game for nine consecutive seasons (1994-2003).
Webber’s NBA career began in 1993 as the first overall draft selection by the Orlando Magic and he was named the 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year with the Golden State Warriors. Webber also earned 1993-94 NBA All-Rookie First Team honors. In 1998, the Kings acquired Webber from the Washington Wizards and his tenure in Sacramento began. Throughout his career, Webber ranked among the Top 10 in the NBA in points per game (1997-98, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03), total points scored (1999-00, 2000-01), rebounds per game (1996-97, 1998-99, 1999,00, 2000-01 and 2005-06), field goal percentage (1993-94) and field goals made (1997-98, 1999-00, 2000-01).
Before entering the NBA, Webber was a member of the iconic “Fab Five,” leading University of Michigan to Final Four appearances in 1992 and 1993. He was a Unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1993. As a high school phenom at Detroit Country Day School, he was named the McDonald’s All-American Game MVP, Michigan’s Mr. Basketball, and the Naismith Prep Player of the Year in 1991.
As the winningest coach in franchise history, Adelman guided the Kings to eight consecutive playoff appearances (1998-99 – 2005-06). Adelman also directed five straight seasons in which the Kings won 50 games or more (2000-01 – 2004-05). Adelman recorded his 700th career win with a 112-93 victory over Portland at ARCO Arena on March 22, 2005. He became the winningest coach in franchise history on March 19, 2004 when Sacramento defeated the Pacers, 94-92, in Indiana. Across eight seasons with the Kings, Adelman posted an overall record of 395-229 (.633) and a 34-35 (.493) record in the NBA Playoffs.
Owning a lifetime NBA record of 1,042-749 (.582) with Portland (1988-89 – 1993-94), Golden State (1995-97), Sacramento (1998-99 – 2005-06), Houston (2007-08 – 2010-11) and Minnesota (2011-12 – 2013-14), Adelman is the ninth winningest coach in NBA history. He was the fourth coach in NBA history to win 60 or more games in a season with two different teams. Adelman was also named NBA Coach of the Month five times.
In each of his eight seasons as the Kings skipper, Sacramento finished with a record above the .500 mark. The Kings’ climb to a franchise-record 61 wins during the 2001-02 campaign marked a 34-win improvement over a four-year span, which was the highest jump among NBA teams at the time. While with Sacramento, Adelman coached the West Team in the NBA All-Star Game on two occasions (2001 and 2003).
Drafted by the Monarchs as the second overall selection in the 1999 WNBA Draft, Griffith led the Monarchs to the WNBA Championship in 2005 while being named to the All-WNBA First Team and WNBA All-Defensive First Team the same season. Griffith earned WNBA All-Star honors seven times (1999-2001, 2003, 2005-07) and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2000, 2004).
In 1999, Griffith earned WNBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, while leading the league in field goals, rebounds, offensive rebounds and steals per game. Griffith became a member of the WNBA’s All-Decade Team in 2006 and the Top 20 Players in the league’s 20-year history in 2016.
Russell, known throughout basketball circles as the greatest champion in NBA history with 11 titles, served as one of the first Kings head coaches in the Sacramento-era, directing the team during the 1987-88 season. On April 16, 1966, Russell made history by becoming the first Black head coach in the NBA when he assumed duties for Red Auerbach with the Boston Celtics.
As an NBA head coach, Russell posted an overall record of 341-290 in the regular season and 34-27 in the playoffs. Originally enshrined as a player in 1975, Russell becomes the fifth Hall of Fame member who will be inducted as both a player and a coach.
Rounding out the Class of 2021 are Val Ackerman, Chris Bosh, Michael Cooper, Bob Dandridge, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Howard Garfinkel, Lauren Jackson, Clarence Jenkins, Toni Kukoc, Pearl Moore, Paul Pierce, Marianne Stanley, Ben Wallace and Jay Wright.
The enshrinement ceremony is scheduled to take place on September 11, 2021 in Springfield, Massachusetts.