A stellar 2020 Hall of Fame class – and one made incomplete by Jack McCloskey’s absence

Jack McCloskey
Jack McCloskey came to the Pistons in 1979 and, step by step, built the Bad Boys into the two-time champions they would become a decade later.
Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
by Keith Langlois
Web Editor

The 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame draft class is being touted as one of the greatest ever. No arguments here. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant head the list and that’s about as good a trio as you’ll get.

Extraordinary at the top, the 2020 Hall class is nevertheless incomplete. It joins all the other draft classes that exclude Jack McCloskey, the architect of the Bad Boys. Not only did McCloskey acquire every single building block of the 1989 and ’90 championship Pistons, masterfully working the draft and trade avenues in the era that preceded meaningful free agency, he drafted the man who succeeded him and built the 2004 championship team, Joe Dumars.

McCloskey died in June 2017 at 91 after suffering from Alzheimer’s. A basketball lifer who was a Navy hero of World War II, he came to the Pistons after a long career in coaching at both the college and NBA levels in 1979.

Here’s a story posted on Pistons.com earlier that year, when McCloskey’s battle with Alzheimer’s became public, that remains relevant today.

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