The 2014 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class has taken shape with the announcement of five direct elect members and group of 10 finalists. David Stern, Sarunas Marciulionis, Bob Leonard, Nat Clifton, and Guy Rodgers were all elected to be directly inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, Kevin Johnson, Mitch Richmond, Eddie Sutton, Immaculata University, Spencer Haywood, Harley Redin, Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams round out the 10 finalists who could join the class. Inductees will be announced during the NCAA Final Four.
Stern headlines the group of direct elects, joining the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame just weeks after stepping down as the NBA's commissioner. Sarunas Marciulionis played nine seasons in the NBA and was one of the league's first European players. He also won a gold medal with the Soviet Union during the 1988 Summer Olympics. Bob "Slick" Leonard coached the ABA Pacers to multiple championships and is in his 29th year as a broadcaster for the Indiana Pacers.
Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton served in the United States Army during World War II before returning to play basketball for the New York Rens. He was the second African-American player to sign a contract in the NBA, playing for the New York Knicks for seven seasons. Guy Rodgers spent 14 seasons in the NBA and averaged over 10 assists per game three times. He also held the single-game assist record for over a decade, tied with Bob Cousy with 28 assists.