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Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen and two of the best U.S. Olympic teams were selected Monday as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2010.
"This is a great moment. This is something that I never dreamed would happen to me as a player," Pippen said. "This is very special to me as a kid who walked on at the University of Central Arkansas."
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, high school coaching great Bob Hurley, Sr., and WNBA star Cynthia Cooper also were in the class announced at the Final Four. NBA veterans Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson and international star Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira will be honored posthumously.
The 1960 and 1992 U.S. Olympic teams, which both won Olympic gold medals, will be part of the induction ceremony on Aug. 13. Malone and Pippen, both eligible for election for the first time, were part of the original Dream Team in 1992.
"Playing for your country is the ultimate," said Larry Bird, who represented the team at Monday's ceremony. "Our team was pretty special. We had some pretty good players."
Bird also was thrilled by Dennis Johnson's inclusion in the hall of fame.
"It's very special. We've been waiting for this day for a long time," he said. "He's the best player I ever played with."
Johnson, a three-time NBA champion, was the MVP of the 1979 Finals with Seattle before taking over as the point guard on the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics teams of the mid-1980s. He died of a heart attack in 2007 at age 52.
Pippen made seven All-Star teams during his 17-year NBA career and won six championships alongside Michael Jordan, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.
Malone, a two-time NBA MVP, was an All-Star in 14 of his 19 seasons who led the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. The second-leading scorer in NBA history, Malone finished his career in 2004 with 36,928 points. Traveling with his family, Malone did not attend Monday's announcement.
Cooper, who has coached at Prairie View A&M since 2005, won two WNBA MVP awards and led the Houston Comets to the league's first four championships.
Hurley, the father of Duke point guard Bobby Hurley, is the third high school coach elected to the hall. He finished with a 957-106 record and 24 state championships in 38 seasons at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J.
This program aired on April 5, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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