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Pippen and Malone feted

INDIANAPOLIS, April 5 – Former National Basketball Association stars Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone highlight the 2010 class for the American basketball hall of fame.

Malone and Pippen were both members of the original "Dream Team," the 1992 US Olympic squad that easily won a gold medal in Barcelona. That entire team, along with the 1960 US men’s Olympic team, were also selected for enshrinement.

Former NBA players Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson were also selected along with current Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Brazilian legend Maciel Ubiratan Pereira.

The official enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for August 13.

Pippen and Malone are double winners Monday having also played on the 1992 US Olympic team.

"I’ll be able to take one trip and kill both," Pippen said.

This was the first year both Pippen and Malone were eligible for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 1960 and 1992 American Olympic teams both won Olympic gold medals.

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Pippen, best known as Michael Jordan’s sidekick, was a seven-time NBA all-star and a member of six championship teams with the Chicago Bulls.

After leaving the Bulls, Pippen played for Houston in 1998-99 and Portland from 1999-2003.

Malone was a two-time NBA MVP and in addition to the 1992 team, he also played on the 1996 team that won gold in Atlanta.

His long-time sidekick and Utah Jazz teammate, John Stockton, was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.

In 1996, Malone was named one of the league’s 50 greatest players.

The 1960 team won eight games by an average of 42.4 points in the Rome Olympics. The Dream Team, the first Olympic team made up primarily of NBA players swept all eight games in Barcelona.

"Playing for your country is the ultimate," said Larry Bird, who represented the team at Monday’s ceremony. "Our team was pretty special. We had some pretty good players."

Dennis Johnson, a three-time NBA champion, was the MVP of the 1979 Finals with Seattle. He died of a heart attack in 2007 at age 52.

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