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NBA History: Pioneers Embry, McHale, Zollner inducted into Hall

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That’s because on Oct. 1, 1999, then-Cavaliers GM Wayne Embry, former Celtics power forward Kevin McHale and Pistons founder Fred Zollner were all among those inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Embry was GM of the Cavs during the cherished era of Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, John “Hot Rod” Williams and coach Lenny Wilkens.

Meanwhile, McHale teamed with Larry Bird and Robert Parish up front for the Celtics, forming what many have called the greatest frontcourt in NBA history.

Finally, Zollner was known affectionately as “Mr. Pro Basketball.” How’s that for a nickname? It fit as Zollner was Pistons basketball, founding the team with his sister Janet in 1939. Zollnar was also owner of a company that made pistons for cars and the team was actually called the “Zollner Pistons” for a while, playing home games at first in Fort Wayne, Ind. And it was at Zollner’s house that the old BAA and NBL agreed to merge and form the NBA.

Embry, McHale, Zollner.

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