Bob Cousy (pictured), Bob Pettit, Abe Saperstein.
Any countdown of the top 10 induction classes in the 51-year history of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that can start with the 1971 group is a tribute to all those groups that didn't make our cut. Pettit was a pioneer for all big men who prefer to face the basket and step out for 18-footers. Saperstein was the consummate marketer, turning the Harlem Globetrotters into a hoops and entertainment sensation. Come to think of it, that describes Cousy and his ball-handling success.
Text: Steve Aschburner/SI.com
Photo: Hy Peskin/SI