A pair of four-time champions and the guy who ejected Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench are now eligible for the Hall of Fame.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the candidates for its class of 2022 on Tuesday with 13 first-time nominees added to the list. Among the new candidates are four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili, four-time WNBA champion Lindsay Whalen, four-time NBA All-Star Tom Chambers and controversial NBA referee Joey Crawford.
Meet the new nominees
After making his name playing for his native Argentina and as a professional in Italy, Ginobili joined the San Antonio Spurs in 2002 at 25 years old. He played his entire 16-season NBA career with the Spurs as a lynchpin of a perennial contender. He won four titles playing alongside Duncan and Tony Parker. He also won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in 2004.
After starring at the University of Minnesota where she helped raise the program to national prominence, Whalen played 15 seasons in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun and Minnesota Lynx. After six seasons and one All-Star appearance with the Sun, Whalen joined her home-state Lynx, where she made four more All-Star teams and anchored a dynasty that won four WNBA championships from 2011-17. She is currently the head coach at the University of Minnesota.
Chambers played 16 NBA seasons, most notably a five-year stint with the Phoenix Suns from 1998-93. He was a key member of the 1992-93 Suns team alongside Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson and Cedric Ceballos that lost in the NBA Finals to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. Chambers made four All-Star teams and was the MVP of the game in 1987.
Crawford was an NBA official from 1977 to 2016, where he officiated 2,561 regular season games and a record 344 playoff games. Fifty of those playoff games were in the Finals. He's perhaps best known for his enthusiastic foul calls and propensity to dish out technical fouls. In 2014, he ejected Duncan for laughing at a foul call while he was sitting on the bench.
That incident prompted then-commissioner David Stern to suspend him indefinitely.
The finalists for the Class of 2022 will be announced in February during the NBA's All-Star weekend.