Magic Johnson and the Harlem Globetrotters headline the newest inductees Friday into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Joining them are the late Drazen Petrovic of Croatia and coaches Larry Brown, Lute Olson and Kay Yow.
Magic Johnson helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five NBA titles. He was also a three-time league Most Valuable Player and a 12-time All-Star in his 13-year-career. He made a couple of comebacks after being afflicted with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. His last comeback in 1996 delayed his induction into the Hall of Fame. Magic asked his rival Larry Bird, who played for the Boston Celtics, to introduce him at the induction ceremonies.
The Harlem Globetrotters are the first team elected to the Hall of Fame since the New York Rens (Renaissance) in 1963. Until the late 1930's, they were a serious competitive team. After that the Globetrotters have traveled the world, entertaining millions. They have played more than 20,000 games in 100 countries.
Drazen Petrovic once scored 112 points in a Croatian League game. His success in international league play led to a brief NBA career that was cut short by his tragic death at age 28 in a car accident in Germany in 1993.
Larry Brown is the only coach in NBA history to lead six different teams to the playoffs. He also won the U.S. national collegiate title coaching Kansas in 1988 and is one of only eight coaches to coach in five or more (NCAA) college basketball Final Fours. Lute Olson, who still coaches at the University of Arizona, has guided teams to 23 national tournament appearances. His 39 NCAA tournament wins are third among active coaches. Kay Yow ranks fifth in women's college basketball history with 625 career victories.