Paul Pierce, Bill Russell will be inducted into Hall of Fame as part of 2021 class

Russell, who was inducted as a player in 1975, will be inducted as a coach.

Paul Pierce is joining teammates Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in the Hall of Fame. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Paul Pierce will join former teammates Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in Springfield as the final member of the “Big Three” to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The former Celtics star Pierce was named as part of the 2021 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction class on Sunday. In addition to Pierce, Celtics icon Bill Russell will get inducted as a coach.

Pierce, the No. 10 overall pick out of Kansas in 1998, spent 15 years with the Celtics and is No. 2 on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 24,021 points. After shining as an individual on many mediocre teams early in his career, Pierce helped guide the Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008 alongside Allen and Garnett.

He’s 16th all-time in scoring, appeared in 10 All-Star Games, and also played for the Nets, Wizards, and Clippers before signing a one-day contract with the Celtics in 2017 and retiring from the game.

Allen was inducted in 2018, and Garnett was part of the 2020 class that was enshrined Saturday.

Russell was named the Celtics head coach in 1966, making him a player-coach for his final three seasons as a player and the first Black coach in North American professional sports. Russell won two tiles as a player-coach for the Celtics. He stepped down from the head coach role when he retired as a player in 1969. Russell also coached the Seattle Supersonics from 1973-77 and the Sacramento Kings for the 1987-88 season.

Russell was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1975, but didn’t accept his Hall of Fame ring until 2019.

Former NBA stars Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, and Ben Wallace were the other players named to the induction class. Former NBA coach Rick Adelman and Villanova coach Jay Wright were the other coaches named to the induction class.


Ex-players Yolanda Griffin and Lauren Jackson were selected for their contributions to the WNBA and ex-Bulls star Toni Kukoc was selected as part of the international committee.

There isn’t currently a set date for the 2021 ceremony.

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