Dennis Johnson among H.O.F. finalists

Former Boston Celtics guard Dennis Johnson is among the list of finalists who will be considered for enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, the NBA announced Friday.

The Class of 2010 will be announced on April 5 before the NCAA’s men’s championship game in Indianapolis. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2010 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield on August 13.

Here's more details from the NBA:

DALLAS, Texas and SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – February 12, 2010 – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today named an elite list of players, coaches and teams as finalists who will be considered for election to the Hall in 2010. Gaining the honor of being named a Hall of Fame finalist is one of the true highlights of a career in the sport of basketball. This year’s list includes two-time NBA MVP and 14-time NBA All-Star Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz and Scottie Pippen, a six-time NBA champion as a member of the Chicago Bulls, both first time nominees. They will be considered along with previous finalists, such as legendary high school coach Bob Hurley of St. Anthony’s in Jersey City, N.J. and Cynthia Cooper, who helped the Houston Comets win four WNBA titles.

Also headlining the list for 2010 are three legendary teams, including the 1960 United States Men’s Olympic Team, the 1992 United States Men’s Olympic “Dream Team” and the All-American Red Heads, a finalist selected by the Women’s Committee. The announcement was made today in Dallas, Texas in conjunction with the 2010 NBA All-Star festivities.

The complete list of finalists includes: From the North American Screening Committee: players Dennis Johnson, Bernard King, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Bob Hurley, Don Nelson and Tex Winter; contributor Jerry Buss and the two USA Olympic teams. From the Women’s Screening Committee: Cynthia Cooper, Harley Redin and the All-American Red Heads team. From the International Screening Committee: coach Vladimir Kondrashin and Brazilian Legend Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira while Richard Guerin and Gus Johnson represent the nominees from the Veteran’s Screening Committee.

Don Nelson, his No. 19 already hanging in the rafters in Boston, is among the other finalists with Celtics ties.

Here's the blurbs included on Johnson and Nelson:

DENNIS JOHNSON – Player, was one of basketball’s toughest defenders, earning nine consecutive NBA All-Defensive team honors during his 14-year professional career. He was a major part of three NBA championship teams and won MVP honors at the 1979 NBA Finals as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. He played with Seattle from 1976-80 and was traded to the Phoenix Suns where he played from 1980-83. He finished his NBA career with the Boston Celtics (1983-90) where he won NBA championship rings in 1984 and 1986. Known as “D.J.” to teammates and fans, he was named to five NBA All-Star teams while scoring more than 15,000 points and compiling 5,000 assists before retiring in 1990. (Born Sept. 18, 1954; Died February 22, 2007).

DON NELSON - Coach, a native of Muskegon, Michigan, began his career as an NBA player for the Chicago Zephyrs (1962-1963) and went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers (1963-65) and the Boston Celtics (1965-1975). He then went on to coach in the NBA, leading the Milwaukee Bucks (1976-1987) to seven consecutive division titles (1979-1986) when he recorded seven straight 50-plus win seasons. He currently coaches the Golden State Warriors. Nelson also coached the New York Knicks (1995-1996) and the Dallas Mavericks (1997-2005). Nelson is one of only two coaches in NBA history to record 250 victories with three different teams. He is a three-time NBA Coach of the Year winner, and currently ranks second in NBA Coaching history for wins. He was named as one of the NBA’s Ten Best Coaches of All-Time when the league celebrated the NBA at 50. Nelson has over 40 years of NBA experience as a player, coach and general manager. His No. 19 jersey was retired by the Boston Celtics.