NBA All-Star report: Michael Cooper a finalist again for Hall of Fame

Lakers forward Michael Cooper attempts a layup against Spurs guard Johnny Moore during Game 4 of their playoff series in 1983
Lakers forward Michael Cooper attempts a layup against Spurs guard Johnny Moore during Game 4 of their playoff series in 1983.
(David Breslauer / Associated Press)

Manu Ginobili, a four-time NBA champion who spent his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs, headlines this year’s group of finalists, which includes Lakers legend Michael Cooper, for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ginobili and Cooper were two of 11 finalists announced at a news conference Friday as part of All-Star weekend events.

Former All-Star players Tim Hardaway and Marques Johnson will also be voted on for possible induction along with NBA coach George Karl and WNBA stars Swin Cash and Lindsay Whalen.


West Virginia coach Bob Huggins also is up for induction along with Old Dominion and WNBA coach Marianne Staley, longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans and Texas high school coach Leta Andrews.

The finalists will be voted on by a panel to determine this year’s class of inductees.

The 44-year-old Ginobili retired from the league following the 2017-18 season. Along with fellow Hall of Fame forward Tim Duncan and guard Tony Parker, the Argentine forward was a key member of the Spurs teams that won titles in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2014.

LeBron James’ impact on Akron, Ohio, stretches across the city, including St. Vincent-St. Mary High, where he inspires future basketball stars.

June 19, 2022

He also helped Argentina win an Olympic gold medal in 2004.

The Hall of Fame also announced New York Knicks Hall of Famer Walt Frazier, writer Mechelle Voepel and NBC executive Dick Ebersol are the 2022 Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.

The Hall of Fame’s class of 2022 will be announced at the men’s Final Four on April 2 in New Orleans. The enshrinement is scheduled for Sept. 10 in Springfield, Mass.

Rising Stars game

Team Barry's Cade Cunningham stands with honorary coach Rick Barry after being named MVP of the Rising Stars event.
Team Barry’s Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons stands with honorary coach Rick Barry after being named MVP of the Rising Stars event.
(Ron Schwane / Associated Press)

The No. 1 overall pick came out on top again.

Detroit rookie Cade Cunningham, being counted on to bring the Pistons back to relevancy, was named most valuable player of the NBA’s All-Star Rising Stars while leading Team Barry to a 25-20 win over Team Isiah.


Cunningham, who scored 13 points with six assists and five rebounds in the night’s first game, had only five points in the finale but made several big plays down the stretch, including a clutch three-pointer.

Cunningham also made a nifty pass inside to set up Orlando’s Franz Wagner, whose free throw sealed Team Barry’s victory.

Don’t tell Cunningham these games didn’t mean anything. He came into the Rising Stars with one goal.

“To win,” he said. “I felt like we had the team to do it, so we had to come out and prove ourselves and the get the [title]. So glad we did it.”

When he was handed the MVP trophy at midcourt, Cunningham was playfully booed by the Cleveland crowd, which was pulling for Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley to win the honor. Mobley, a former USC standout, was instrumental in Team Barry’s victory, scoring 18 points — 12 on dunks — in the two games.

One of the All-Star weekend’s staple events, the format for Rising Stars, matching the league’s top rookies against second-year players, was changed this year to a mini-tournament with three games between four teams.

The semifinals were played to a target score of 50, and the final to 25 — a nod to the NBA’s 75th anniversary. The teams were coached by former All-Stars Rick Barry, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy and Gary Payton.


In the first matchup, Memphis guard Desmond Bane made two free throws to secure a 50-49 win for Team Isiah over Team Worthy.

The second game also went down to the wire with Houston’s Jae’Sean Tate dropping an acrobatic layup to push Team Barry past Team Payton 50-48.

Celebrity game

Peloton workout influencer Alex Toussaint scored 18 points to lead Team Walton to a convincing 65-51 victory over Team ‘Nique and earn the most valuable player award.

In only his second season, the former Chino Hills High star will be having another marquee moment on Sunday in the NBA All-Star game. Get used to it.

Feb. 18, 2022