He is obviously much more of a candidate from the college ranks, but Jerry Tarkanian did have the cameo as coach of the Spurs at the start of 1992-93. It lasted all of 20 games before being fired by Red McCombs amid a conflict over the roster and Tarkanian’s struggles in transitioning to the pro rules. So there is an NBA connection, however brief and forgettable.
Tarkanian is, at the very least, deserving of serious discussion for the Hall of Fame by any classification. He has returned to the ballot for the Class of 2013 after being removed due to a lack of support, which is noteworthy enough, except that the new chance also comes as the 82-year-old Tark struggles with his health. That has created a renewed emotional push from his many backers.
Election obviously won’t be easy, as underlined by previous failed attempts. A maximum of 10 of the 31 nominees in the North American Committee, the panel that judges most with NBA and NCAA backgrounds, will be announced as finalists at All-Star weekend next month in Houston, before another group of anonymous voters chooses the inductees. Those winners will be revealed at the Final Four in April in Atlanta.
Tarkanian has one national title, four trips to the Final Four and a .790 winning percentage in Division I to his credit. He also has the long, much-publicized history of meeting the NCAA at high noon through the years. Given the NCAA’s track record, that doesn’t necessarily make him wrong, and Tark was vindicated when the governing body paid him a $2.5 million settlement in 1998, but some Hall voters come from the college sector. They possibly even come from the NCAA itself. And even if the judges don’t come from the national body, there could be disapproval of the way Tarkanian ran his programs at Long Beach State, UNLV and Fresno State.
Setting a toe inside the NBA is nothing more than a blip by now. Tarkanian had gone to San Antonio after 19 seasons in Las Vegas and the winningest coach in Division I by percentage (.836), only to start 9-11. The Spurs were hampered by injuries — Terry Cummings, Willie Anderson — but Tarkanian chipped away at whatever patience McCombs may have had by publicly criticizing management for failing to deliver an upgrade from Vinny Del Negro at point guard.
John Lucas, another bold hire, took over in San Antonio. Tarkanian became coach at Fresno State, his alma mater, in 1995, and led the Bulldogs to six consecutive 20-win seasons before retiring in 2002. The program was later put on probation for violations committed while Tarkanian was coach.
The updated rankings, following last week’s release of the nominees for the Class of 2013 in Springfield, Mass., includes one stretch and one asterisk pick, but the premise is the same as the standings from last April in the wake of the election for the Class of 2012: The order of most deserving among candidates on the ballot with NBA or ABA ties.
The fine print is important. This list does not weigh cases from the amateur and women’s game or most from the International, Early African-American Pioneers and Veterans categories. It’s NBA and ABA. And, it’s people under consideration by voters, not anyone deserving of induction. Gregg Popovich and David Stern, among others, have made it clear they do not yet want to be nominated, just as Jerry Sloan held out for years before finally agreeing in 2009 to undergo the discomfort of friends and peers saying nice things about him.
There is obviously a new No. 1 that creates a domino effect, now that Gary Payton is under consideration, and also alterations lower on the list after the inclusion of other new and renewed nominees or simply a change of thinking. Plus, Mark Jackson is off the Hall ballot after failing to get a single vote from nine panelists in three consecutive years. (Jackson was always a long shot for enshrinement – consistently good, never great – but No. 3 on the career assist list has to at least get someone away from 0 for 27.)
The outcome of the first round of voting for the North American committee, which handles most nominees with an NBA background, will be announced at All-Star weekend, with the survivors then advancing to a final layer of balloting before inductees are revealed at the Final Four. Candidates via the ABA committee face a single ballot before a maximum of one winner is named at All-Star.
1. Payton, North American committee: The Glove was selected first-team All-Defense by coaches nine consecutive times in the 1990s and 2000s, All-NBA twice and Defensive Player of the Year once as chosen by the media, and part of two Olympic golds and one NBA championship. The anonymous Hall voters have been hard lately on first-ballot nominees – Dennis Rodman went from not making finalist in 2010 all the way to being elected in ’11 and Reggie Miller had the same bounce back from 2011 to ’12 – but giving Payton the same rookie hazing would generate the largest outcry yet.
2. Bernard King, North American: He averaged 22.5 points despite two serious knee injuries, finished better than 20 a game in 11 different seasons and was also a scoring star at Tennessee, an important consideration in a process where college achievements count. King was first-team All-NBA only twice and second-team once, but he played at the same time Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and Dominique Wilkins were working forwards. (more…)
Nine-time All-Star Gary Payton, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and former league executive Russ Granik are among the new Hall of Fame nominees with NBA ties, NBA.com has learned.
Thirty-one candidates are moving forward via selection from the North American committee, the section that handles the majority of the nominees from the NBA. The next step after that is judging by a nine-member panel. Seven votes are needed to advance to the finalist stage, an outcome that will be announced at All-Star weekend in Houston in February. Then, a separate group of 24 voters makes the ultimate ruling. Support from 18 of the 24 is required for induction, with the results revealed at the Final Four in Atlanta in April.
Gary Payton was a nine-time All-Star in a 17-year career. — Noren Trotman/NBAE/Getty Images
The Women’s committee has a similar process and timing. The only difference is that the initial panel is seven voters and five approvals are necessary. Election into the Hall requires the same 18 of 24 as the North American field.
Five other categories have direct-election with one layer of balloting and a limit of one inductee per committee: ABA, Early African-American Pioneers, Veterans, International and Contributor. Six votes are required among seven ballots sent to people with a background in each area, with winners announced at All-Star weekend.
The International committee has nominated Vlade Divac and Sarunas Marciulionis, who both had long careers in the NBA, and Oscar Schmidt, best known in North America for scoring 46 points to lead Brazil past a United States team (with David Robinson, Danny Manning and several other future NBA players) to win the gold medal at the 1987 Pan-American Games in Indianapolis.
The ABA list includes Zelmo Beatty, Ron Boone, Roger Brown, Mack Calvin, Louie Dampier, Bob (Slick) Leonard and GeorgeMcGinnis. A year after the induction of Mel Daniels, the Pacers have a good chance to be represented again.
Payton, a trash-talking, menacing two-way player who was named first-team All-Defense by coaches nine years in a row with the SuperSonics, is clearly the strongest candidate among the nominees with an NBA connection. Payton was nicknamed “The Glove” for his tight defense and averaged at least 20 points a game seven times. He also logged at least eight assists a game in five of those seven.
Mark Jackson was removed from the ballot after not receiving a single vote in three years, despite being third on the career assist list.
Reinsdorf and Granik are candidates through the Contributor category that also includes, among 21 candidates, Al Attles, Marty Blake, Harry Glickman (first time), Del Harris (first time), Red Klotz (former Baltimore Bullets point guard best known for running the Washington Generals), Jerry Krause, Johnny Most, Gene Shue and Donnie Walsh.
The entire list of nominees is scheduled to be released today.
Bob Pettit wasn’t sure what to call this date: Dec. 12, 2012. Take the short version – 12/12/12 – and it looks like a triple-double. Or a triple-dozen anyway. But for the NBA’s legendary power forward and Naismith Hall of Famer, it mostly is known as his 80th birthday.
Born in Baton Rouge, La., on this day in 1932, the lanky, 6-foot-9 big man became the prototype at his position, a precursor to fellows such as Karl Malone, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley and eventually Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love. A three-time All-America pick at LSU, Pettit was the No. 2 pick in the 1954 Draft behind Frank Selvy. He went to the lowly Milwaukee Hawks, was named Rookie of the Year in 1954-55, then moved with the club to St. Louis. He helped the Hawks reach the playoffs in nine of the next 10 seasons, in 1958 winning the only championship the Boston Celtics didn’t from 1957-1966.
After making the all-NBA first team in each of his first 10 seasons, Pettit “slipped” to second-team status in 1965 – and that was that. He made good on his plan to retire, stepping into a banking career at age 32 and never looking back. He was inducted into basketball’s Hall in 1971, then named one of the NBA’s Top 50 players in 1996. Over the weekend, Pettit – whose wife Carol died in 2010 — gathered a few days early with his three children, 10 grandchildren and friends to celebrate another big round number. He spoke Tuesday with NBA.com about a life well-lived:
NBA.com: You went home to Baton Rouge when you retired in 1965 and moved to New Orleans in 1970. How much attention have you paid through the years to the city’s two NBA franchises, the Jazz and the Hornets?
Bob Pettit: When I first moved to New Orleans, the Jazz was here. When they left, I actually didn’t give it any thought. The franchises moved around, even when I was playing. They’d pick up and leave a city and go to another one. I left Milwaukee and went to St. Louis [with the Hawks] after my rookie year.
NBA.com: Were you surprised when New Orleans got the NBA again?
BP: I’m not surprised at much of anything, let me start with that. I was delighted that they were coming here. And I think New Orleans has supported the team pretty well. The fans have taken to it, they’re interested. It’s been a big addition to New Orleans. [New owner Tom] Benson has purchased the team and he’s committed to keeping it here, so I think that’s worked out extremely well. They have the nucleus, a very young nucleus – their No. 1 draft pick [Anthony Davis] has not been able to play much, but the papers said he’s supposed to come back this week. So they’ve got a bright future.
NBA.com: So what do you think of their proposed new nickname, “Pelicans?’
BP: There was a minor league baseball team here for years and years, the Pelicans. This was going back to probably the ’50s, but a lot of major league baseball players played here. And they had spring training here. It was the New Orleans Pelicans. So that is a name that is familiar to people here.
NBA.com:After leaving LSU, you were the No. 2 pick in a draft class that included a high number of NBA “lifers,” men who spent their entire careers in or around the league as coaches, front-office executives or broadcasters after their playing days ended. Guys such as Richie Guerin, Slick Leonard, Larry Costello, Al Bianchi, Red Kerr and Gene Shue. But when you left at age 32, you were done. How come?
Bob Pettit (right) averaged 16.2 rebounds a game, third in NBA history behind only Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell (left) – Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images.
BP: I never was interested in doing that. I had something else I wanted to do. I had a job waiting for me when I retired [at American Bank], something that was exciting. I did the television game of the week in the SEC for a couple or three years, games on Saturday as a color analyst. And I just said, “I don’t want to do that anymore.” I’d had enough.
I think the unusual part is, I’ve enjoyed my life after basketball as much as I enjoyed playing. I don’t know how many former professional athletes can make a statement like that. I’m very fortunate.
NBA.com: Well, maybe that’s because it’s hard to replace that lifestyle, that paycheck, that attention.
BP: It is for a lot of players. Fortunately in my case, it wasn’t hard to replace. I was in banking, I stayed in banking for 20 years-plus. Then I went into partnership with two or three other guys and formed an investment consulting business, and I did that for 20 years, and I loved that. I worked in the offseason my last three years in the NBA. I told [Hawks owner] Ben Kerner two years in advance. I said, “Ben, make your plans. I ‘m leaving in two years. I’m retiring and going to work in the banking business in Baton Rouge.”
NBA.com: Didn’t you face a big drop in pay?
BP: Oh sure. A drop, why certainly. But I figured in the long run, it would be to my benefit, that a couple of extra years working might have been worth a lot more at the end than staying and playing basketball. And I could feel that my skills were starting to deteriorate. I’d told the owner before that that I was leaving, but it just so happened I had two or three injuries – I broke four bones in my back. My last year, I hurt my left knee pretty badly. So I had started to get injured some. But I just felt it was time to get out. I didn’t want to hang around. I was happy with my skills when they were at their peak and I thought I was playing very well, and I didn’t want to play at less than that.
NBA.com: Yet you averaged 22.5 points and 12.4 rebounds your final season. You were your team’s leading scorer and the Hawks went 45-35. That’s “deteriorating?”
BP: [Laughs] If I’m making $20 million, I might have a different attitude.
NBA.com: You were quoted in a 1967 issue of Sports Illustrated, two years after you left the NBA, about the shock some retiring players face when they have to get “a real job.” Now, many don’t have to do that.
BP: No, and I think they miss a lot. I don’t know that, at age 34, if you retire and you have all this money in the bank, how happy you are over the next 40 years. I was very happy – I was building something. And I was involved. Would I have rather made $20 million than $20,000? Certainly. But I’m not the least bit unhappy that the salaries were not as much as they are today. I went on and loved what I was doing. It was exciting and interesting, and that’s why I say the rest of my life was as exciting as my life in basketball.
NBA.com: What was your top salary with the Hawks?
BP: About $60,000. I started at $11,000 my first year.
NBA.com: It wasn’t as if you and other players had much leverage.
BP: Actually I was very interested in AAU basketball. The Phillips [66ers] and the other teams in the AAU league. The salaries weren’t quite what they were in the NBA, but they offered you a career. If you looked at a company like Phillips 66, the chairman of the board and the president were all former basketball players. They offered you a great opportunity, and I came every close to doing that and not playing in the NBA.
You look at Clyde Lovellette, he went to the Phillips Oil Company and played there before he played for the Minneapolis Lakers. Bob Kurland [a 6-foot-10 two-time Olympian and Naismith Hall of Famer] was a great player – he played at Phillips. There were the Peoria Caterpillars, there were teams in Cleveland, in Houston, in Denver. It offered you a very substantial career, which we were all interested in because we all had to work.
NBA.com: You played 11 years and played in 11 NBA All-Star Games. What was the key to that?
BP: I don’t have any idea. I was fortunate no life-threatening injuries. I had broken arms and a broken nose, busted teeth and all that. But I played as hard as I could play every night.
NBA.com: In fact, Bill Russell said you were the reason the term “second effort” got introduced to the NBA.
BP: I played hard. That’s the one thing I look back on, I played as hard as I could play every single night. I had bad nights but it was never from lack of effort.
NBA.com: If not for that famous Boston-St. Louis trade in 1956, you could have played with Russell on the Hawks. Do you ever think “What if …?”
BP: No, I never do. But I will say this: I think he’s the greatest player who ever walked on the court. There are a lot of guys you could say that about, but in my mind, I would start my team with Bill. In his prime, he was the best I’ve ever seen. He had a great desire to win and to destroy you. And his defense and his rebounding – his defense was incredible. They say [with 11 championship rings] he’s the great winner of all time. Why don’t they just say he’s the greatest player of all time? That’s what the game is about.
NBA.com: Ever think you just had the bad luck to be born in the same era?
BP: No, it was great. It was challenging. I loved playing against him. They had an incredible team and you’d better be at the top of your game to be able to play them.
NBA.com: You played on some terrific St. Louis teams, winning the NBA title in 1958 and reaching The Finals three other times between 1957 and 1961. Do you feel as if you or your teams weren’t given their due?
BP: I don’t feel overlooked at all. It doesn’t bother me if I read about my name or I don’t. I had 11 great years, a wonderful part of my life, and I’m very happy with the way things have turned out. I have no negative feelings at all about the money or the publicity or the television going on today. I think it’s a great evolution that’s happened in all sports.
I don’t think about it.
NBA.com: OK, then how about some of the players you played with or against?
BP: I don’t read much about Elgin Baylor. Elgin Baylor was an incredible basketball player. Anytime, anywhere. Does that make me sad? No. You’re asking me. I don’t read much about [Bob] Cousy. I guess that’s a natural thing, because we’re a part of the history of the NBA. But the emphasis has to be on the players of today and the teams today. Most of your readers weren’t even born when we played. You read about Wilt [Chamberlain] and his 100 points. I played against Wilt when he averaged 50 points – we’d sit in the locker room and say, ‘OK, we’re gonna let Wilt have his 50. Then we’re going to try to stop [Paul] Arizin or [Tom] Gola.’ The guy was going to score 50 whatever you did.
NBA.com: You put up amazing numbers too. You never ranked lower than seventh in scoring, you were the first player to reach 20,000 points, and you still rank seventh in scoring average and third in rebounding average. In fact, according to what’s known now as “player efficiency rating,” you rank eighth in NBA history (25.3). Any thoughts on the ways basketball is using numbers now, the advanced stats movement?
BP: I’m technologically insufficient. I can’t turn my computer on hardly. I know in my case, the thing I’m proudest of was my rebounding. I was fortunate to average a little over 26 points a game, but what I’m proudest of is that I averaged 16 rebounds a game for 11 years.
NBA.com: Behind only Chamberlain and Russell.
BP: They were in a league by themselves. But I’m proudest of that. That’s just a lot of hard work, to rebound, and a lot of second effort. I thought I did a good job of rebounding – offensively as well. I’ll bet I scored five or six points a game off the offensive boards. And I’m pleased that I went with a last-place team that let me play every minute of every game, no matter how bad I was or how much it was a learning experience. I learned in one year what a lot of these players who would go to the Celtics or the Minneapolis Lakers and sit the bench would need two or three. Fortunately I was able to fairly well keep up and continue to improve. I went to the worst team and it worked out well.
The Hall of Fame has discussed inviting Mel Daniels to the 2013 enshrinement ceremony for an overdue public salute after illness forced the former Pacers star to miss his induction as part of the Class of 2012.
Officials at the Springfield, Mass., basketball museum have considered the classy move in light of Daniels being kept from his planned celebration in September by a urinary tract infection. His wife accepted the award on his behalf, and another former Indiana great, Reggie Miller, also spoke of Daniels during his own enshrinement speech, noting their close friendship by referring to Daniels as “Uncle Mel.”
“It was kind of a mixed bag,” Daniels said of watching the ceremony on television. “I understood the situation. There was nothing I could do. I felt I disappointed a lot of people by not being there. But I felt really good about going in.”
Daniels would not be enshrined again. More likely, he would be included in the 2013 program for a belated introduction and round of applause in recognition of his ABA days, an area of the history of the game Hall officials have tried to spotlight the last two years.
Daniels said he would “most certainly” go if invited, but preferred all the attention next year go the that group of inductees.
“I think it should be someone else’s turn,” he said. “It’s a nice thought (to possibly be invited back). I appreciate the gesture. But I think I had my moment.”
Except that he didn’t really, and now the Hall may do something about it.
Sometimes a replica jersey and a flat-screen HDTV tuned to League Pass doesn’t quite scratch the itch – or fill up the available space on the mantel or wall – of a heavily NBA-themed “man cave.”
Here is a chance to dial up the street cred with some serious, museum-quality NBA history.
Basketball Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson, David Thompson and Sam Jones all have major mementoes of their marvelous careers on the block at SCP Auctions for an online offering that begins Nov. 14. Among the highlights from the Robertson, Thompson and Jones collection:
All items are from the players’ personal collections and are accompanied by signed letters of authenticity. Bidding (with minimum prices reflecting the exclusivity) opens to registered bidders on Nov. 14 and concludes Dec. 1. The auction will be conducted at SCPAuctions.com and also feature items from famed boxing trainer Angelo Dundee’s estate and MLB Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. The NBA players’ collectibles can be previewed here.
HANG TIME WEST – There is a point in “The Other Dream Team,” the excellent documentary chronicling the importance of basketball in Lithuania and the meaning of the 1992 Olympics in particular for the newly independent nation, that focuses on Sarunas Marciulionis breaking from the grip of the Soviet Union to join the NBA in 1989.
Donnie Nelson, a Marciulionis confidant who is now general manager of the Mavericks, recalls Marciulionis talking about putting himself in danger by associating so closely with a Westerner, an American at that, and therefore obviously connected to money. And Nelson was there the night before the choice between signing with the Hawks, whose then-owner, Ted Turner, had a cozy relationship with the Soviets, and the Warriors, whose relationship with no one in the Soviet or Lithuanian systems would have made picking Golden State a rebel move.
Marciulionis consulted with Gary Kasparov and lawyers for the chess champion that night before, getting input from Kasparov. As Nelson recalled in the film: “Sarunas knew the odds. He was doing something that could cost him his career. Gary said right there to his face. He said, ‘Sarunas, tomorrow you’re going to be one of the richest men in our country, free to pursue your professional dream. Or you’re going to be in Siberia.’ ”
Welcome to Line 1 on the Marciulionis Hall of Fame bid.
Simply: Has any player ever risked more to play in the NBA? Marciulionis chose the Warriors knowing the Soviets could void the contract – or, gulp, worse – and that years before they had threatened retribution against Sarunas and his family for something as minor as not wanting to read a prepared party-line speech to a group of youngsters. (more…)
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Hall of Fame voters are big on patience. That much is apparent regarding the few details known about the secret panels that rule on enshrinement, a notion increasingly clear with the Class of 2012 that included Reggie Miller being inducted after not even making it to the finalist stage the year before, the same circuitous route Dennis Rodman took in 2011, and Don Nelson, Jamaal Wilkes and Ralph Sampson making it after lengthy waits.
This bodes well for the many in line. Hall chairman Jerry Colangelo has made reversing past oversights a priority, the ABA and the Early African-American Pioneers committees have been added to guarantee election for at least two candidates away from the game for decades, and the group that was celebrated Friday night was all about the waiting.
The continued relevance of the trend heading toward the Class of 2013 is the expectation that Gary Payton will be the only virtual first-ballot lock among players with strong NBA ties. That’s a lot of opportunity to fill out a field. Although there is no set number of inductees required annually, voters in the North American Committee could easily see the lack of superstars among new nominees as the latest chance to address the past.
I did a Most Deserving Candidates list in April, after the Class of 2012 was announced. The rankings will change early in the regular season, after the 2013 nominations are announced, with Payton likely the new No. 1 and other tweaks expected after further consideration, but the short version for now:
1. Bernard King, North American Committee.
2. Jerry Krause, Contributor.
3. Mark Jackson, North American.
4. Tim Hardaway, North American.
5. Bobby Jones, ABA.
6. Mitch Richmond, North American.
7. Maurice Cheeks, North American.
8. George McGinnis, ABA.
9. Rick Pitino, North American.
10. Slick Leonard, ABA.
Also considered: Vlade Divac (International), Bill Fitch (North American), Dick Motta (North American), Ron Boone (ABA), Rudy Tomjanovich (North American).
Again, those are the candidates with NBA connections, and an ABA nominee is definitely going in through a direct election, without the same layered screening process as others in the general North American field. It is also possible that nominees from the college game will have a strong presence and cost NBAers support.
But based on the last two years, based on the push by Colangelo, and certainly based on Friday night at Symphony Hall, patience has an important place in the voting. The early indication, with no surge of several automatics appearing to be on the way, is that will be true again in 2013.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – This day, this moment, belongs to Reggie Miller.
This is his night in the Hall of Fame spotlight. But in addition to family, friends and former teammates, coaches and fans who will all share in his special moment.
That group includes his colleagues at TNT, who shared some of their own thoughts about Miller …
“Reggie will go down as one of the greatest shooters of all time. But you can’t mention Reggie’s name and not think of the legendary comeback against the Knicks.”
“Reggie is a friend of mine and I’m very happy for him. It’s an awesome accomplishment and it’s going to be a wonderful night for him and his sister.”
“I loved watching Reggie play because for 48 minutes he gave you everything he had, and he possessed all those qualities that encompass being a superstar in this league: worth ethic, court sense, will to win, loyalty, charisma, killer instinct, ability to perform in the clutch … the list goes on and on. Like all the greats, Reggie wanted the ball in his hands with the game hanging in the balance and time and again he would deliver. His night in Springfield is richly deserved, and we’re all richer for having watched such a talent for all those years in the Pacers uniform.”
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Two days of ceremonies at the Basketball Hall of Fame began Thursday night with the major awards short of enshrinement, with Grant Hill reinforcing that character matters, with Pat Williams flashing his signature humor, with Bill Schonely and Sam Smith telling a story a different way, and with former superstars dotting the crowd of several hundred people as part of the annual Reunion Dinner of previous inductees.
Hill, the Clippers forward, accepted the Mannie Jackson-Basketball’s Human Spirit Award in the professional division for community contributions and overcoming adversity. Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun was the recipient from the amateur ranks, and Richard Lapchick, president and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport as well as founder and director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics In Sport, in the “Grassroots” category.
Williams, the Magic’s senior vice president, received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor from the Hall short of enshrinement. He talked through a career as general manager with four teams as few could, noting how while with the 76ers he told young Charles Barkley to get in shape, only to have Barkley respond, “Mr. Williams, round is a shape.” Or how a balanced meal to Barkley was a Big Mac in each hand.
Schonely, the former Trail Blazers play-by-play man and current community ambassador for the team, and Smith, the long-time Chicago Tribune writer and now at Bulls.com, stood at the podium and talked about themselves as winners of the Curt Gowdy Media Award for broadcast and print, respectively.
Wayne Embry, winner of the Chairman’s Cup, was unable to attend.
The audience at the Hall of Fame included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Bill Walton, Moses Malone, many others previously inducted, and most of the Class of 2012 that will be enshrined Friday night about a mile away.