A pair of the premier passers in NBA history headlines the list of eligible candidate for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's class of 2018, which was announced Thursday.
Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, who rank second and third in all-time assists, are among six former NBA players who are first-time candidates. Kidd, who ranks third in NBA history with 107 career triple-doubles, was a 10-time All-Star and won a title with the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks. Nash, one of 12 players to win two MVP awards, was an eight-time All-Star.
The other players eligible for the first time:
Ray Allen, a 10-time All-Star who won titles with 2007-08 Boston Celtics and 2012-13 Miami Heat and ranks 24th all-time in scoring (24,505 career points);
Grant Hill, a seven-time All-Star and co-Rookie of the Year along with Kidd in 1994-95 who overcame serious injuries to play 18 seasons;
Chauncey Billups, a seven-time All-Star who earned the nickname "Mr. Big Shot" and played a key role on theDetroit Pistons' 2003-04 championship team;
Richard "Rip" Hamilton, who co-starred with Billups on the Pistons' last title team and was selected to three All-Star teams.
"I'm humbled and honored to be nominated," Billups told ESPN's The Jump. "... I played really hard my entire career and left it on the floor."
Finalists will be announced during NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. The Hall of Fame's class of 2018 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio.