Phil Jackson, Roy Williams highlight 2007 Hall class
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Phil Jackson and Roy Williams are among the
seven newest members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame,
Jackson, a coach of nine NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls and Los
Angeles Lakers, and Williams, who guided North Carolina to the 2005 NCAA
crown, are joined in this year’s class by the 1966 NCAA champion Texas Western
team, four-time WNBA championship coach Van Chancellor, referee Mendy Rudolph
and international coaches Pedro Ferrandiz and Mirko Novosel.
The Class of 2007 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield,
Massachusetts during the weekend of September 6-8.
Jackson won six NBA titles with the Bulls and three with the Lakers, tying him
with Red Auerbach for the most NBA crowns as a coach. The North Dakota native
was also the fastest coach to win 900 games following a professional career
that saw him play for the Knicks and Nets. He was a member of the New York’s
NBA title team in 1973.
“The recognition by the Basketball Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor for a
coach,” Jackson said in a statement. “I’ve been blessed to have coached in
various leagues and cities over 25 years, but the opportunity to coach two
talented NBA franchises, the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, to
championships, says it all. I’m accepting the honor with full recognition of
those players, coaching staffs and personnel that brought excellence to those
Williams has led Kansas and North Carolina to a total of five Final Fours.
After taking the Jayhawks to national championship games in 1991 and ’93, he
finally won it all with his alma mater at North Carolina two years ago. The
Asheville, North Carolina native was an assistant to Dean Smith at North
Carolina before taking over at Kansas in 1988.
“I didn’t know what to say,” Williams said when he took the call. “I can never
remember a time when Roy Williams was speechless, but I was extremely
The 1966 Texas Western team was coached by Hall of Famer Don Haskins and
became the first team in NCAA history to win a title with five starting
African-American players. The squad was regarded by many as a key to
integration and increased equality in college athletics.
Chancellor, previously a finalist for induction the last two years, guided the
Houston Comets to four straight WNBA titles from 1997-2000 and won 439 games
as the head coach at Ole Miss from 1978-1997. The Louisville, Mississippi
native also coached the United States women’s basketball team to a gold medal
at the 2004 Olympics and posted a 38-0 record in international competition.
Rudolph was among the greatest NBA officials of all-time, selected to referee
eight NBA All-Star Games and at least one NBA Finals game for 22 consecutive
seasons. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native officiated 2,112 NBA games in
his career — a record at the time of his retirement — and wrote the NBA
Official’s Manual and Case Book. He passed away in 1979 at the age of 53.
Ferrandiz, a native of Alicante, Spain, compiled an overall record of 437-90
while leading Real Madrid to a record 12 Spanish League titles. A Hall
finalist three times previously, Ferrandiz won four European Cup championships
and was known for bringing the concept of the fast break to the European game.
Novosel led the Yugoslavian national team to a gold medal at the 1980
Olympics, a silver medal at the 1976 Games and a bronze in 1984. While
coaching on the professional level in Europe, the Zagreb native led Cibona to
three national titles. He is one of only four coaches to win three or more
A total of 15 finalists were eligible for induction and those not selected
included former players Chris Mullin, Adrian Dantley and Richie Guerin;
coaches Eddie Sutton, Harley Redin and Bob Hurley Sr., owner Bill Davidson;
and broadcaster Dick Vitale.