Wade, Nowitzki, Pop headline 2023 Hall of Fame nominees

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday the list of eligible candidates for the Class of 2023, and man, there are some big names, including first-time nominees Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich, Dwyane Wade, and the 1976 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team.

Finalists from the North American and Women’s committee for the Class of 2023 will be announced on Friday, February 17, at 5:30 p.m. ET in Salt Lake City, Utah, during NBA All-Star Weekend.

The entire Class of 2023, including those selected by the direct-elect committees, will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, April 1, in a nationally televised broadcast at 11:00 a.m. EST.

Enshrinement weekend will begin on Friday, August 11, with the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala, followed by the Enshrinement ceremony on Saturday, August 12, at Springfield’s historic Symphony Hall.

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Pop: ‘Pau Gasol is an exceptional individual and the ultimate professional’

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they had reached a buyout agreement with Pau Gasol, and according to ESPN, Gasol is expected to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Currently, Milwaukee has the best record in basketball, and with the addition of Gasol, the Bucks add more size off the bench.

Interestingly enough, Gasol could battle his brother, Marc, who was recently acquired by the Raptors, at some point in the playoffs.

Gasol, 38, originally signed with the Spurs on July 14, 2016 and appeared in a total of 168 games with San Antonio, averaging 10.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 22.4 minutes. In 27 games, Gasol is averaging 4.2 points and 4.7 rebounds.

“Pau Gasol is an exceptional individual and the ultimate professional,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. “We are grateful for his contributions on the court, in the locker room and in our community.”

The 18-year NBA veteran and two-time champion is a four-time All-NBA selection and six-time All-Star. In 1,223 career NBA games (1,150 starts), Gasol has averaged 17.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.59 blocks in 33.5 minutes.

Gasol is one of four players in NBA history to record over 20,000 points, 11,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists and 1,500 blocks in his career, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.