Feb. 12, 2010
Bernard King is one step closer to finding a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The former Tennessee All-American and four-time NBA All-Star is one of several basketball legends announced Friday as finalists for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2010.
King was a consensus All-American at Tennessee in 1977, in addition to being named to various All-America teams in 1976 and 1975.
Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl has long been an advocate for King's inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
"Bernard King honored the game," Pearl said this fall. "He honored the game in high school by being an all-city and all-state player. He honored the game the minute he walked onto the court at Tennessee, scoring 40-something against my former team, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and leading the league in scoring every year he was here."
King, a native of Brooklyn, NY, scored 1,962 points in his Tennessee and was drafted seventh overall in the 1977 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets.
A prolific scorer in both college and the NBA, King averaged 22.5 points per game over a 15-season NBA with the Nets, Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks. He was named first-team All-NBA and was a member of the NBA's All-Rookie team in 1978.
Other players announced as finalists Friday were Dennis Johnson, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and Jamaal Wilkes.
The Class of 2010 will be announced on April 5 in Indianapolis prior to the NCAA's Men's Championship game.
A Finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2010 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass., on Aug. 13. Tickets to the 2010 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5550.