Longtime Kings center Vlade Divac and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson are among the 2013 nominees for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The list released today by NBA.com also includes former KIngs guard Mitch Richmond, Gary Payton, Bernard King, Oscar Schmidt, Jerry Reinsdorf and Russ Granik, as well as referee Dick Bavetta.
Divac, who was nominated by the International Committee, brings impressive credentials from both the NBA and the international community. As a skinny young center from southern Serbia, he anchored the powerful Yugoslavian national team throughout his boyhood. After the breakup of the Balkans - a development that destroyed the friendship between Divac and Croatian star Drazen Petrovic - Vlade became a fixture on the Serbian squad that upset the United States in the 2004 World Championships captured the silver medal in the 1996 Olympic Games.
Additionally, Divac, who was among the group of high-profile Europeans who initiated the influx of overseas talent into the NBA in 1989 - a group that included the late Petrovic, Sarunas Marciulionis, Zarko Paspalj and Sasha Volkov - has received numerous awards for his humanitarian work with children.
Johnson, who played at Sacramento High and Cal, was a three-time All-Star, playing the bulk of his NBA career for the Phoenix Suns. He average 17.9 points and 9.1 assists per game during his 12-year caeer.
There is plenty of time to discuss the merits of the various candidates, so we'll focus on Vlade for the moment. The finalists will be announced next month during the All-Star Weekend and the names of the inductees revealed in April.
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