Former NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien, who died in September, Indiana Coach Bob Knight and former Boston Celtic Dave Cowens were among 12 nominees announced Tuesday for the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The other former players nominated are Nate "Tiny" Archibald, Bob Lanier, Johnny Kerr, Calvin Murphy and Nera White. Along with Knight, the coaches nominated were Jack Hartman and Jack Ramsay.O'Brien, Carol Eckman and Larry Fleisher were nominated in the contributors category.

Enshrinement ceremonies will take place May 13, 1991.

Fleisher, who died May 4, is the only first-time candidate. He founded the National Basketball Players Association and led it for 26 years. He also helped establish the NBA's free-agent system.

O'Brien, a Springfield native, was an aide to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and Postmaster General before serving as commissioner of the NBA from 1975 to 1984. He later was president of the Hall of Fame for two years.

Knight has coached teams to victories in the NCAA and NIT tournaments and the Olympics. In 26 years of collegiate coaching, his record is 532-198. Indiana teams won the NCAA crown in 1976, 1981 and 1987 and the NIT title in 1979. Knight led the U.S. squad to the Olympic gold medal in 1984.

Archibald starred in high school at New York City's DeWitt Clinton and in college at Arizona Western and UTEP. He played for five teams during a 13-year NBA career and led the league in scoring and assists during the 1972-73 season.

Cowens played 10 years with Boston, leading the Celtics to NBA titles in 1974 and 1976, and was the league's MVP in 1972-73. The 6-foot-9 center finished his career with 10,444 rebounds and a 17.6 scoring average.

Lanier, who starred at St. Bonaventure, spent 14 years in the NBA. He played for the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks but the eight-time All-Star never played in an NBA final.

Kerr played at Illinois and spent 12 years in the NBA, competing in 917 consecutive games. As a rookie, he led Syracuse to the 1955 NBA crown.

The 5-foot-9 Murphy starred at Niagara University and played 13 years in the NBA, averaging 17.9 points and totaled 4,402 assists.

White, from Nashville, Tenn., was one of the finest women's players in AAU history. In 15 years playing for Nashville Business College, she led the team to 10 AAU championships and was named the outstanding player of the national tournament 10 times.

Hartman coached for 35 years, from 1951 to 1986, and was the winningest coach in Kansas State history, with 295 wins. Ramsay coached for 11 years at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, compiling a record of 234-72. In 21 seasons as an NBA coach, Ramsay totaled 864 wins, second only to Red Auerbach's 938.

Eckman, who died in 1985, organized the first national women's college tournament outside of the AAU, in 1969.