Di­vac, Mon­crief, Sikma top Hall of Fame class

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY DAVE CAMP­BELL

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.

Vlade Di­vac

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.