Herb Simon
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Herb Simon Named Finalist for Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 16, 2024) – The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced today at NBA All-Star Weekend 2024 the selection of 14 Finalists from the following committees: North American, Women’s, Men’s Veterans, Women’s Veterans, International, and Contributors. 

The Finalists will then be put forward to the Honors Committee to be considered for election as members of the Class of 2024. The new class will be announced in Phoenix on April 6 at the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

North American Committee Finalists (in alphabetical order):

  • Chauncey Billups
  • Vince Carter
  • Michael Cooper
  • Walter Davis
  • Bo Ryan
  • Charles Smith

Women's Committee Finalists:

  • Seimone Augustus
  • Marian Washington

Men’s Veteran Committee Finalist:

  • Dick Barnett

Women's Veteran Committee Finalist:

  • Harley Redin

International Committee Finalist:

  • Michele Timms

Contributors Committee Finalists:

  • Doug Collins
  • Herb Simon
  • Jerry West

"Being named a Finalist for the Class of 2024 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is a testament to the highest echelons of achievement in the sport,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. “It's an honor that reflects not only individual greatness but also the long-lasting impact on the game itself. From the strategic brilliance of coaches to the unmatched abilities of players and the influential roles of a coach/broadcaster, an esteemed owner, and a dynasty-building executive, each Finalist embodies the pinnacle of basketball excellence. Their inclusion underscores the diverse contributions that have shaped and enriched the sport, making this recognition truly exceptional."

The Class of 2024 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass., on August 16-17. VIP packages for the 2024 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend are now available. Single-event tickets will go on sale on April 6, following the 2024 Class Announcement. For more information, visit hoophall.com/events/enshrinement-2024/.

For the latest news and updates, follow @hoophall on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

North American Committee Finalists:

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS [Player] – Nicknamed "Mr. Big Shot" for his ability to deliver crucial plays in pivotal moments, Billups was a five-time NBA All-Star and the 2004 Finals MVP after leading the Detroit Pistons to their third NBA championship. During his 17-year career, Billups’ averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 assists per game, while his  89.4  free throw percentage is sixth best in NBA/ABA history. Billups was drafted third overall in 1997 by the Boston Celtics after earning Second Team All-American honors at Colorado. He is the current head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.

VINCE CARTER [Player] – Renowned for his high-flying dunks, the former North Carolina standout was an eight-time All-Star in his 22 NBA seasons (1998-2020). Carter, who won the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, was named the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year and is the only player in NBA history to play in four different decades. Carter averaged 16.7 points per game (21.3 as a starter) and also played a pivotal role in the success of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, clinching a gold medal with the U.S. Men's Basketball Team. He currently holds the single-season franchise scoring record for the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors.

MICHAEL COOPER [Player]  Cooper was named to eight NBA All-Defensive Teams, taking home First-Team accolades five times and winning Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1987. The former third-round draft pick (60th overall) out of the University of New Mexico spent his entire 12-year NBA career (1978-90) with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships while routinely matching up with the opponent’s top shooter. Following his playing career, Cooper entered the coaching ranks and earned WNBA Coach of the Year accolades in 2000 with the Los Angeles Sparks before winning back-to-back WNBA titles in 2001-02.

WALTER DAVIS [Player]  The all-time leading scorer in Phoenix Suns’ history was a six-time All-Star (1978-81, ‘84, ‘87) during his 15-year NBA career with the Suns (1977-88), Denver Nuggets (1988-92) and Portland Trail Blazers (1991). Before Phoenix chose Davis with the fifth pick in the 1977 draft, the standout player from North Carolina won a gold medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics. He then averaged 24.2 points per game in his first NBA season and was named the 1978 Rookie of the Year. The late Davis had his No. 6 retired by the Suns, and in 2004, he was enshrined in the team's Ring of Honor.

BO RYAN [Coach] – Ryan went 747-233 (.762) in 32 seasons as a collegiate head coach with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (1984-89), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1999-2001) and University of Wisconsin (2001-15), including a 364-130 (.737) ledger in 14-plus seasons in Madison. Ryan, honored four times as the Big Ten Coach of the Year, led Wisconsin to unprecedented success, clinching four Big Ten regular-season titles, winning three Big Ten tournament championships, and making back-to-back Final Four appearances (2014-15). The four-time Division III champion (1991, ‘95, ‘98-99) was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

CHARLES SMITH [Coach] – Smith is Louisiana's all-time winningest high school head coach, surpassing the previous mark of 1,071 in 2020. With eight state championships to his name, Smith’s coaching tenure at Peabody Magnet High School began in 1985 after starting as a math teacher in 1975. He guided the Warhorses to a pair of perfect seasons, going 41-0 in 2004 and 2010 and earning national top-five rankings. Smith, ESPN’s National Coach of the Year in 2010, was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2019 and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2021. In addition, Smith served as a head coach at the McDonald’s All-American game in 2020.

Women’s Committee Finalists:

SEIMONE AUGUSTUS [Player]  Augustus, who was selected first overall in the 2006 WNBA Draft, was a four-time champion and eight-time All-Star during her 15-year WNBA career (2006-2020). The cornerstone player for the Minnesota Lynx, where she spent 14 of her 15 seasons, averaged 15.4 points per game and was named the 2006 Rookie of the Year and 2011 Finals MVP. At LSU, Augustus led the Tigers to three straight Final Four appearances and won the Naismith College Player of the Year and Wooden Awards in back-to-back campaigns (2005-06).

MARIAN WASHINGTON [Coach] – Washington led the University of Kansas women’s basketball team for 31 seasons (1973-2004) and recorded a school-record 560 wins. The Jayhawks made 11 NCAA tournament appearances under her guidance, including two trips to the Sweet 16 (1996, ‘97). Washington, who also served as Kansas’ director for women’s athletics from 1974-79, was named her conference’s Coach of the Year on three occasions (Big Eight: 1992, ’96; Big 12: 1997). She was a pioneer on the international stage, becoming one of the first two African American women to compete in basketball internationally at the 1971 World Championships and the first black woman to coach a United States team in international play at the 1982 R. William Jones Cup. Washington, who was the first female president of the Black Coaches Association, was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Men’s Veteran Committee Finalist:

DICK BARNETT [Player] – Barnett first gained prominence at Tennessee A&I University, where he led the Tigers to three straight NAIA national championships (1957-59), the first historically black school to claim a men’s basketball title. The “Skull” played 14 NBA seasons with the Syracuse Nationals (1959-61), Los Angeles Lakers (1962-65) and New York Knicks (1965-73), winning a pair of titles in the Big Apple (1970, ‘73) and making his lone All-Star team in 1968. The Knicks retired his No. 12, and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame honored his 1957–59 Tigers squad in 2019.

Women’s Veteran Committee Finalists:

HARLEY REDIN [Coach] – Redin went 431-66 in 18 seasons leading Wayland Baptist’s women’s basketball program and captured six AAU National Championships. He coached the Flying Queens to two undefeated women’s seasons (1956, ‘57), 17 top-five finishes, and went 110-2 during his first four campaigns at Wayland Baptist. Redin also coached the Women’s U.S. National Team in 1959, the 1971 Pan-American Games, and the 1963 World Tournament in Peru. He was the recipient of the Jostens-Berenson Service Award by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for his lifetime of service to women’s basketball in 1992, inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, and honored with the Naismith Award for Outstanding Contribution to the game of women’s basketball in 2000.

International Committee Finalist:

MICHELE TIMMS [Player]  A trailblazer in Australian women’s basketball, Timms became well-known as one of the best point guards in the world, representing the Australian national team throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Timms won a pair of Olympic medals with the Opals, winning bronze in 1996 and silver in 2000, and was the first Australian, male or female, to play professional basketball internationally when she suited up for Lotus München in Germany. In addition, Timms spent five seasons with the Phoenix Mercury, guiding the team to a berth in the 1998 WNBA Finals and earning an All-Star selection in 1999. The Sport Australia Hall of Fame inducted her in 2003, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2016. The Mercury retired her No. 7 jersey in 2002.

Contributor Committee Finalists:

DOUG COLLINS [Coach/broadcaster]  Collins' versatile career in basketball is marked by significant achievements in roles ranging from player to coach to broadcaster, underscoring his wide-ranging impact on the sport. Following an NBA career where he was a four-time All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers, he transitioned into coaching and accumulated over 400 wins with the Chicago Bulls (1986-89), Detroit Pistons (1995-98), Washington Wizards (2001-03) and 76ers (2010-13). Collins, who coached Hall of Famer Michael Jordan in both Chicago and Washington, also served as an analyst for various NBA-related broadcasts for CBS, NBC, TNT, TBS, and ABC/ESPN, along with working for NBC at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

HERB SIMON [Owner] – Simon, the longest-tenured governor in the history of the NBA, purchased the Indiana Pacers, along with his late brother Mel, back in 1983. Under Simon’s stewardship, the Pacers won numerous Central Division titles and made the franchise’s first NBA Finals in 2000. Throughout his ownership period, the Pacers have been home to legendary players like Jermaine O’Neal, Rik Smits, and Reggie Miller (Class of 2012). Beyond ownership, Simon's influence extends deeply into the heart of the Pacers’ organization, shaping its identity and impact both on and off the court through his philanthropic endeavors and civic engagement.

JERRY WEST [Executive] – Enshrined as a player in 1980, West then went on to establish himself off the court as one of the most successful executives in the sport’s history. West played a pivotal role as the architect of a pair of Los Angeles Lakers’ dynasties during the 1980s and 2000s, drafting key players like Magic Johnson and James Worthy, acquiring Kobe Bryant, signing free agent Shaquille O'Neal, and hiring head coach Phil Jackson. He totaled eight NBA championships in Los Angeles (1980, ‘82, ‘85, ‘87-88, 2000-02) and was named Executive of the Year twice (1995, 2004). Following his time in the Lakers’ front office (1979-2000), West served as GM of the Memphis Grizzlies from 2002-07 before earning two additional NBA championships as an executive with the Golden State Warriors (2015, ‘17).