Divac, Moncrief, Sikma top Hall of Fame class
The longest active streak of missing the NBA playoffs belongs to Sacramento, where general manager Vlade Divac has been trying to return the Kings to the league’s elite over the last four seasons.
Back when the slickpassing Serbian big man was in the paint, the Kings had quite the run. For his impact on the NBA as one of the pioneering Eastern Europeans, Divac was announced Saturday as one of the 12 honorees in the 2019 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
“We created something special there, the first day of training camp that led us,” said Divac, who played for Sacramento during 1998-2004, with a peak in 2002 when the Kings lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. “For six years, we were the most exciting team in the league and really played basketball the right way.”
The class will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Sept. 6. Selected this year with Divac were NBA players Carl Braun, Chuck Cooper, Bobby Jones, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma and Paul Westphal, NBA coach Bill Fitch, NBA contributor Al Attles, WNBA player Teresa Weatherspoon, the 1957-59 teams from Tennessee A&I and the Wayland Baptist University program.
Divac, who was elected directly by the international committee, played 16 years in the NBA, including eight with the Lakers. The 7-foot-1 Divac had his jersey retired by the Kings after helping them start a streak of eight straight postseason appearances upon his arrival. They never advanced past the conference finals, a surge that coincided with the Lakers dynasty of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.