Best HOF Quotes From Stockton, Sloan and Robinson
When Michael Jordan was introduced at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, he smoothly walked to the podium and offered a reminder. "Contrary to what you guys believe, it's not just me going into the Hall of Fame, it's a group of us," Jordan said. "I'm glad to a part of this and believe me, I'll remember them as much as they'll remember me."
It was a nice gesture by Jordan to acknowledge the one group of inductees who would have no problem entering the Hall under the shadow of the player regarded as the best to ever do it. John Stockton, Jerry Sloan built their Hall of Fame resumes in the obscurity of Salt Lake City. David Robinson did the same in small market San Antonio. None of those three ever sought the limelight, enjoyed their relative anonymity away from the game, and are great examples of loyalty. Robinson played all 14 years of his career in San Antonio, winning two championships, and Stockton spent all 19 seasons in Utah, playing with Jerry Sloan for 15 of those seasons. And, Sloan is about to enter his 22nd year on the Jazz bench.
They probably enjoyed not having this weekend being all about them, since they shunned individual acclaim and fame. But Jordan's comments on Friday were hilarious, because shortly thereafter, each person (including Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer) held mini-news conferences with the media. Stringer's was the longest and it wasn't even six minutes. Jordan answered questions for 20 minutes.
I'll get to Jordan later, but I decided to give you best quote from each of the three NBA Hall of Famers.
Stockton on his thoughts when he entered the NBA: "I thought teams would figure me out pretty quickly. I thought the Jazz would figure out that they made a mistake. So I saved every cent. Spent the first paycheck, saved every cent. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment that was already furnished. Never bought a television set. Went to discount, thrift stores. Bought cans of chili. Cooked my moms lasagna, stacked it in the fridge. I was pretty sure I was a one-year and out guy. I don't know if that ever changed."
Sloan on his first game against the Baltimore Bullets after joining the Chicago Bulls in the expansion draft: I got into a fight. The Chicago expansion team played Balitmore in an exhibition game. I picked a fight with one of their players and Gus Johnson, who always called me 'Rook,' came up to me, not to punch me, he came up and got in front of me and saved my life. He said 'Look, get behind me and nobody is going to hit you. That's the kind of relationship I had with him. He wanted to make sure I didn't get my butt kicked.
David Robinson on sticking with one team his entire career: I wanted to finish the job. When I came to San Antonio, we didn't have a very good team. The year before I got there, we had won 21 games out of 82 and that's not too good. I hoped we could turn it around and make it into a championship team and there were a lot of pieces to the puzzle that had to come together and that last piece was Tim Duncan and once he got there, we were able to win a few championships.
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Posted by: jweber1 | September 11, 2009 1:34 PM
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