Hall of Fame’s 2011 class includes two former Spurs

A pair of former Spurs are headed to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Though their time in silver and black was relatively brief, Artis Gilmore and Dennis Rodman made marks as Spurs that can’t be overlooked by team historians.

Hall of Fame officials announced 10 new inductees, including the two former Spurs, at a ceremony on Monday afternoon in Houston. The class will be formally inducted in ceremonies in Springfield, Mass., in August.

A 7-foot-2 center from Jacksonville, Gilmore played for the Spurs near the end of his 15-year professional career. He amassed 3,671 rebounds and blocked 700 shots in five seasons (1982-87) with the Spurs, No. 3 all-time in the franchise’s NBA history in both categories.

Rodman, a defensive-minded power forward and rebounding specialist, played only two seasons for the Spurs but established team records that may never be broken. His single-season average of 17.3 rebounds in 1993-94 is No. 1 in Spurs history.

Former Spurs general manager Bob Bass brought both Gilmore and Rodman to the Spurs via trade.

“The reason we made the trade with Chicago (for Gilmore in July 1982) was because we couldn’t get past the Lakers and (Kareem) Abdul-Jabbar,” Bass said. “Artis did a great job defending Jabbar, but we made that deal, and wouldn’t you know it, the Lakers got Magic Johnson in the draft, and we still couldn’t get past them.”

Rodman, Bass said, was brought to the Spurs because Robinson bore too much of the team’s rebounding load.

“We were 20-something in the league in rebounding,” he said, “but when we put him with David, we were one of the best in the league.”

Gilmore became the first player elected by a new Hall of Fame committee convened specifically to recognize the American Basketball Association. He played his entire ABA career with the Kentucky Colonels, helping them win the ABA title in 1975, when he was MVP of the league’s playoffs.

When the Colonels were disbanded after the amalgamation of the ABA into the NBA in 1976, Gilmore joined the Chicago Bulls. He was traded to the Spurs in July 1982. He was a six-time NBA All-Star, representing the Spurs three times.

Spurs Hall of Famer George Gervin played three seasons with Gilmore, nicknamed “The A-Train,” and recalled him as both a defensive force and a good friend.

“Artis was the most dominant big man in ABA history and the greatest shot blocker who ever played in the ABA,” Gervin said. “I know, because he blocked quite a few of my shots. What I remember most about Artis is what a great teammate he was.”

Other future inductees announced on Monday: former Warriors star Chris Mullin, one of the NBA’s all-time great shooters and a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team; former Trail Blazers center Arvydas Sabonis, one of the most dominant big men in international basketball history; Olympic gold medalist and women’s star Teresa Edwards; former Harlem Globetrotters star Reece “Goose” Tatum; former Celtics swingman Tom “Satch” Sanders; Tex Winter, innovator of the triangle offense; Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer; and Herb Magee, longtime coach at Philadelphia College of Textile Sciences, now Philadelphia University, and widely known as “the Shot Doctor.”

Hall of Fame Class of 2011

Teresa Edwards: First U.S. basketball player to participate in five Olympics, winning four gold medals and a bronze.

Artis Gilmore: Played five seasons with the Spurs. … Five-time All-Star in the ABA, six-time in the NBA. … 24,941 points ranks 20th all-time, 16,330 rebounds ranks fifth.

Herb Magee: Has won 922 games in 44 seasons at Division II Philadelphia University, the career leader for wins at the same institution for any level of college basketball.

Chris Mullin: Five-time NBA All-Star. … Two-time Olympic gold medalist and 17-season NBA veteran.

Dennis Rodman: Played two seasons with the Spurs. … Won three NBA titles with the Bulls and two with the Pistons. … Seven-time rebounding champ, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time All-Defensive first team.

Arvydas Sabonis: Center from Lithuania was considered one of the top international players in the world and played for the Portland Trail Blazers from 1995-2003.

Tom “Satch” Sanders: Elected as a contributor, played for the Boston Celtics from 1961-69 and later coached the Celtics and Harvard University. … Helped form several NBA player-development programs.

Reece “Goose” Tatum: Original clown prince of the Harlem Globetrotters. … Died in 1967.

Tara VanDerveer: Led Stanford to two national women’s championships and has an 826-198 record over a 32-year career.

Tex Winter: Coached in college and the pros from 1947-2006 and won nine NBA titles as an assistant. … Is considered an innovator of the triangle offense, which both the Bulls and Lakers used under Winter and Phil Jackson to claim league titles.

Source: Bloomberg News, basketball-reference.com

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