The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday announced the eight finalists for the 2018 class, including three former Phoenix Suns.
Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd highlight the group from a Phoenix perspective, while Ray Allen, Katie Smith and Tina Thompson round out the list of newcomers. Returning finalists such as Maurice Cheeks and Chris Webber will also be considered. Former Suns’ president Jerry Colangelo is the chairman of the Hall.
The 2018 class will be announced in San Antonio in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
As a member of the Suns, Hill averaged 12.1 points, 2.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 35 percent from 3-point range. He played five seasons in Phoenix, and was a part of the 2010 squad that made a surprise appearance in the Western Conference Finals.
Kidd also played five seasons in Phoenix, averaging 14.4 points, 9.7 assists and 6.4 rebounds, in addition to 2.1 steals per game. He was an All-Star in three of his five Suns seasons, an All-NBAer first-teamer three times, and an All-Defensive player three times.
Nash was a Sun for 10 seasons altogether, scoring 14.4 points per game to with 9.4 assists and a lifetime 40/50/90 split with the team. He was the MVP in 2005 and 2006. He led the Suns to the West Finals three times.
All three were also distinguished college players, and have gone on to new careers in basketball.
Hill co-hosts Real Stuff and does commentary for Turner. Nash is a consultant for the Golden State Warriors (and the idol of just about every guard to come out since he won the MVP). Kidd won a title after leaving Phoenix, then coached the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks before being let go this season by the Bucks.
Eight former Suns currently represent the team at the Hall: Gail Goodrich, Connie Hawkins, Gus Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Ralph Sampson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Colangelo.
Three more could join them this March.