Number 42 has been worn in the NBA by a few Hall of Famers including Nate Thurmond, Connie Hawkins and James Worthy (who is certainly "worthy" of this honor - sorry, couldn't resist that one!) There have also been quite a few recent and future HOFers to wear this number. But my pick is Nate Thurmond (even though I suspect the popular pick would be James Worthy).
Nate Thurmond, who according to NBA.com was a "genial giant of a man", wore number 42 throughout his NBA career after being taken with the third pick of the 1963 NBA draft by the San Francisco Warriors out of Bowling Green.
A certain Hall of Famer named Wilt Chamberlain was playing center for the Warriors upon Thurmond's arrival to the franchise. This let Thurmond "apprentice" under one of the greatest centers to ever play the game.
Thurmond's strength above all others was his rebounding. He would pull down more than 1,000 boards in eight separate seasons. His career total was 14,464, with an average of 15 rebounds per game (5th all-time as of this post). He even pulled down 18 boards in one quarter to set an NBA record and best both Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.
Thurmond would spend most of his career as a Warrior with brief stints in both Chicago and Cleveland. His jersey number 42 has been retired by both the Warriors and the Cavaliers. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985.
Did you know...................that Thurmond was the first player to ever record a quadruple-double?