The 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony included some of the funniest moments. However, it is the inspiration that was taken from each member and from his or her stories I found insurmountable. In years past, those who were enshrined made jokes read off the teleprompter at their pace moreover made their stardom in the NBA take the place of who they are as a person.
This year, the 13 people who were enshrined shared who they are as a person first. Moreover reflected on some of the people who weren’t always as well known as others in their lives, but who made a difference.
I learned more concerning players I watched and covered in their careers and those who made me feel it was that was a beautiful thing to take away.
No matter the human being, the people who are there for us when we need them. And, frequently, no one outside a small circle knows who they are, or what they did, they are the Most Valuable Person.
Here is the class of 2018.
Ray Allen, Player
Maurice Cheeks, Player
Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Coach
Grant Hill, Player
Jason Kidd, Player
Steve Nash, Player
Tina Thompson, Player
Dino Radja, Player
Charlie Scott, Player
Ora Mae Washington, Player
Rod Thorn, Contributor
Rick Welts, Contributor
Katie Smith, Player
Here are some very poignant takeaways from several members inducted.
Allen played for the Miami Heat for two seasons. With the Heat, Allen accepted a reserved role, emphasizing spot-up and clutch shooting, which allowed him to capture another championship in 2013. His last-ditch three-pointer to tie Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals with 5.2 seconds remaining is regarded as one of the most memorable plays in NBA history.
“I don’t believe in talent,” Ray Allen said. “I am here because I worked hard my whole life. Without that work. No one in this room would know who I am except my family.”
During his NBA career, Allen acted during some offseasons. He is best known for his role as basketball prodigy Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game (1998). Allen’s performance as Shuttlesworth was greatly praised by critics, and the name was borrowed as Allen’s basketball nickname.
Allen failed to mention Shuttlesworth in his speech.
Hill also is widely known for his role in a desperation play in an NCAA tournament regional final against Kentucky in 1992, which is considered by many to be one of the greatest college basketball games of all time.
“My wife reminded me of the five Bs here tonight,” Grant Hill stated. “Be brief brother be brief.”
With Duke down 103–102 in overtime and 2.1 seconds remaining after Kentucky’s Sean Woods hit a floater, an unguarded Hill heaved the inbounds pass 75 feet across the court into the hands of Christian Laettner, who dribbled once and spun before pulling up to make the game-winning jumper from just outside the free-throw line as time expired.
Kidd’s ability to pass and rebound made him a regular triple-double threat and he retired ranked third all-time in the NBA for regular season triple-doubles with a career total of 107 and third in playoff triple-doubles with a career total of 11.
“Dirk I carried you, I know,” Jason Kidd said to ex-teammate Dirk Nowitzki. “ Don’t tweet out anymore; you carried Steve and me.”
He ranks second on the NBA all-time lists in career assists, and steals and ninth on the 3-point field goals made category.
Smith is the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball, having notched over 7000 points in both her ABL and WNBA career.
“I started organized basketball when I was in the 5th grade. The Logan Bobcats. All boys of course,” Katie Smith said. “Just like many girls including Rebecca Lobo. I was always shirts when we were shirts and skins.
In 2005, she became the first American female basketball player to score 5,000 total points in a professional career.