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Two Lakers Legends among Finalists for 2024 Basketball's Hall of Fame

The Lakers could be adding more names to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2024

By James Brown

Jerry West and Michael Cooper
Jerry West and Michael Cooper
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Two of Los Angeles Lakers legends, Michael Cooper and Jerry West could become part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as they have been named among 14 finalists for the 2024 class. Cooper is a finalist as a player for the second time, and Jerry West, who is already a Hall of Famer as a player, is being named a finalist for the first time as an executive.

Cooper was one of the defensive anchors of the Showtime Lakers. He played 12 NBA seasons — all with the Lakers — and was named to eight All-Defense Teams, five first-team selections, and three second-team selections. He finished in the top five in Defensive Player of the Year voting five times, winning the award for the 1986-87 season. He did this despite coming off the bench for 80 of the 82 regular season games.

West, meanwhile, forged a career as one of the game’s all-time great executives after his Hall of Fame playing career. He made the transition to executive for the 1979-80 season as a scout, where he helped to begin the Showtime dynasty.

He was named the general manager of the Lakers in 1982 and proceeded to win six NBA championships in L.A. over the next 20 seasons. He helped bring all five Showtime titles to L.A. and laid the foundation for the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal dynasty, but he was only with the team for the first of their three titles.

All 2024 Hall of Fame Finalists

North American Committee Finalists

Chauncey Billups (Player)

Vince Carter (Player)

Michael Cooper (Player)

Walter Davis (Player)

Bo Ryan (Coach)

Charles Smith (Coach)

Women’s Committee Finalists

Seimone Augustus (Player)

Marian Washington (Coach)

Veteran Committee Finalists

Dick Barnett (Player)

Harley Redin (Coach)

International Committee Finalists

Michele Timms (Player)

Contributor Committee Finalists

Doug Collins (Coach/Broadcaster)

Herb Simon (Owner)

Jerry West (Executive)

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