Boston Celtics

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On Tuesday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 14 finalists for the Class of 2021. Included in that group are Celtics legends Paul Pierce, who is in his first year of eligibility, and Bill Russell, who is already enshrined as a player but now has a chance to be inducted again as a coach.

Pierce, who was first nominated back in December, played 19 seasons in the NBA – 15 of those for the Boston Celtics. He’s the franchise’s second-leaded all-time scorer (behind John Havlicek), and has his number 34 retired by the team. A 10-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA player, and 2008 Finals MVP, he’s 16th in scoring in NBA history with 26,397 points.

Russell was already inducted as a player in 1975, and is now nominated as a coach. When Red Auerbach retired and named him player-coach before the 1966-1967 season, Russell became the first Black head coach in NBA history.

In eight seasons at the helm of the Celtics (1966-1969), Seattle SuperSonics (1973-1977), and Sacramento Kings (1987-1988), he compiled a 341-290 record. He won two rings with the Celtics in the player-coach role 1968 and 1969.

Rick Adelman, Chris Bosh, Michael Cooper, Jay Wright, Yolanda Griffith, Marianne Stanley, Leta Andrews, Tim Hardaway, Marques Johnson, Ben Wallace, and Chris Webber make up the remaining 12 finalists. The Class of 2021 is expected to be announced on May 16, with the enshrinement ceremony in September.

PHOTOS: Paul Pierce through the years

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at