DETROIT – It was only a matter of time, and now Michael Jordan is in the Hall of Fame.
Jordan was elected to the class of 2009 Monday with David Robinson, John Stockton, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and Rutgers women's coach C. Vivian Stringer.
The announcement was made in Detroit, site of the men's Final Four. Induction is Sept. 10-12 in Springfield, Mass., home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Jordan's Hall of Fame selection was a slam dunk after he retired as perhaps the greatest player in history.
His soaring dunks, Nike commercials and "Air Jordan" nickname helped stamp him as one the most recognizable athletes around the world. He finished a 15-year career with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards with 32,292 points — the third-highest total in league history, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. His final career average of 30.12 goes down as the best, just ahead of Wilt Chamberlain's 30.07.
The five-time NBA MVP won six championships with the Bulls and another in college with North Carolina. The Tar Heels play Michigan State in the national championship game Monday night.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams was an assistant with Carolina on that 1982 national championship team and was at Monday's induction.
Jordan retired twice during his career. He first came back to the Bulls in 1994 and won three more championships before retiring again in 1998. He then had an ill-fated two-year stint with the Washington Wizards before calling it quits for good in 2003.
Jordan won two of his titles in the 1990s against Sloan, Stockton and the Utah Jazz. Stockton spent his entire career with the Jazz and finished with 19,711 points, 15,806 assists and 3,265 steals. He also holds NBA records for most assists in a season (1,164 in 1990-91) and highest assist average in a season (14.5 in 1989-90).
Utah took Stockton in the first round of the 1984 draft, using the No. 16 pick on a relatively unknown player from Gonzaga who became one of the top point guards.
Robinson, who earned the nickname "The Admiral" from his college career at Navy, joined Stockton and Jordan as members of the NBA's 50th anniversary team.
He had a stellar 14-year career with the San Antonio Spurs that included two NBA championships, an MVP season, a rookie of the year award, 10 All-Star selections, a scoring title and two Olympic gold medals.
Sloan is the longest tenured head coach in major league sports with a single franchise. A two-time All-Star during his playing days with the Bulls, Sloan is the only NBA coach to win more than 1,000 games with a single team. He has the Jazz in seventh place in the Western Conference standings going into Monday night's games.
Stringer has led three separate teams to the Final Four in her 38-year career and has an 825-280 mark spanning four decades. She trails only Pat Summitt and Jody Conradt on the victories list. Stringer guided Rutgers to its fifth straight regional semifinals trip this season.