The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame unveiled the list of eligible candidates to be inducted in 2023, and it featured a star-studded lineup of first-time nominees.
Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, and the 1976 United States women's Olympic basketball team were all included in the lengthy list of potential honorees.
Wade, Nowitzki, Gasol and Parker were some of the best players of their era. Each of them were selected to multiple All-Star Games and led their respective teams to NBA championships.
As a longtime member of the Miami Heat, Wade won three titles and was named NBA Finals MVP in 2006. The 13-time All-Star was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic men's basketball team in 2008 as well.
Nowitzki played his entire 21-year career with the Dallas Mavericks and carried the team to its lone NBA championship in 2011. The Germany native became the first European-born player to win NBA MVP in 2007. He retired with the sixth-most points in NBA history with 31,560.
Gasol burst onto the scene when he was named 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, but his best years came as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. The six-time All-Star won two NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 while playing alongside the late Kobe Bryant. He also enjoyed an acclaimed international career while playing for his home country Spain.
Popovich coached the San Antonio Spurs to five NBA titles, leading Hall of Famers David Robinson, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginóbili during his tenure. Parker was a member of the famed Big Three along with Duncan and Ginóbili, winning four titles during his career along with NBA Finals MVP in 2007.
The 1976 U.S. women's national team won the silver medal, but it established a legacy that went beyond the court after competing in the first-ever women's Olympic basketball team competition.
The finalists for the Class of 2023 will be announced during NBA All-Star Weekend on Friday, Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. ET. The entire class will then be revealed during the NCAA Final Four on Saturday, April 1 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
The 2023 enshrinement weekend will begin with the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala on Aug. 11. The enshrinement ceremony will be on the following day.