Reports: Malone, Pippen in Hall
A year after John Stockton and Michael Jordan were enshrined, the second-leading scorer in NBA history and the second-leading scorer in Chicago Bulls franchise history have been elected, according to a report in The Star-Ledger of Newark.
"Karl Malone deserves it," said Utah Jazz coach and 2009 inductee Jerry Sloan, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. "He worked every day as hard as any player you can have work, and when the games started he laid it out there on the line."
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss is also Hall of Fame bound, multiple sources within the organization told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi.
Joining them will be the late former Boston Celtics guard Dennis Johnson, sources confirmed to ESPNBoston.com, and ex-WNBA star Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, according KRIV-TV in Houston.
Longtime high school coach Bob Hurley Sr., will also be inducted Aug. 13 into the Hall in Springfield, Mass., according to The Star-Ledger.
An official announcement is expected Monday morning in Indianapolis, where the Final Four is being held. The six were among 19 finalists announced in February.
A 19-year veteran, Malone finished his career after one season in 2003-04 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Malone, a 14-time All-Star who won two league MVPs, led the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and '98 against the Bulls of Jordan and Pippen.
Pippen finished with seven All-Star selections and eight appearances on the All-Defensive team. He also ranks second for the Bulls in all-time assists and steals. After 11 seasons with the Bulls, Pippen played a season with the Houston Rockets and four with the Portland Trail Blazers before retiring after one last season in Chicago.
Buss has owned the Lakers since 1979. Los Angeles has won nine NBA titles during that time.
Helping spur the WNBA's early success as her Houston Comets won the league's first four championships, Cooper-Dyke was a two-time MVP. She won an Olympic gold medal in 1988.
Cooper-Dyke has coached Prairie View A&M in Texas since 2005.
Hurley will be the third high school coach elected into the Naismith Hall.
He had 984 victories and 24 state titles at the diminutive St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J., over 38 years.
Hurley is the father of former NBA veteran and Duke guard Bobby Hurley, who helped lead the Blue Devils to back-to-back national titles as a point guard in 1991 and '92.
Johnson, who Larry Bird called the best teammate he ever had, won three NBA titles -- with the Celtics in 1984 and '86 and the Sonics in '79. He finished with five All-Star nods and a 1979 NBA Finals MVP award.
Johnson died of a heart attack in February 2007 at the age of 52. He played 14 seasons in the NBA, the final seven with Boston. He was considered a defensive specialist and one of the top guards of his era.
"It really doesn't come as a surprise to me," said former Celtics general manager Jan Volk. "The surprise is that it took so long. Anyone who ever played with or against Dennis Johnson knew that no one competed harder. And the bigger the game, the better he played."
Information from ESPNBoston.com contributor Peter May was used in this report.