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February 16, 2007

John Doleva

Chris Mullin

Dick Stockton


DICK STOCKTON: Somebody said to me a few moments ago, it was actually Bill Walton, you're not going to get nervous being up in front of a microphone, I said, no, but I'm going to be nervous thinking about this incredible array of talent. You're going to hear who they are.
Thank you very much, and welcome to today's special event, where we will learn the names of the 15 finalists for this year's Hall of Fame class, the Class of 2007. A special welcome to all of our friends watching on NBA TV.
It's a great honor to me to be hosting this event today. The Hall of Fame is a wonderful museum. And the new Hall of Fame is a real showplace for basketball, the game that we all love. I'm very proud with my relationship with the Hall and still grateful for the prestigious award they graciously presented me in 2001.
We here at the Palms Hotel here in Las Vegas, Nevada, the host city for the 2007 NBA All-Star weekend. There are many people around the world eager to learn who have been honored as the finalists today, the critical next step to being named to the Hall of Fame.
To get things started and to update us on the Hall of Fame, please welcome the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, Mr. John Doleva.
JOHN DOLEVA: Thanks to all, welcome. I want to thank the NBA for their hospitality and their support in producing this event and many others we have throughout the year. The NBA is a partner that cares deeply about the history of the game and about the NBA Hall of Fame, and we very much appreciate the NBA.
I would also like to thank the game's elite, the Hall of Famers, and support the new potential Hall of Fame Nominees. I will introduce them by name. Starting on your left, my right, we welcome Hall of Famer, Gail Goodrich. Hall of Famer, David Thompson. Hall of Famer, Moses Malone. Hall of Famer, Jerry Colangelo. Hall of Famer, Rick Barry. Mannie Jackson, who represents the Harlem Globetrotters, he's the CEO, they're one of the five teams enshrined so far in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Hall of Famer, Clyde Drexler. Hall of Famer, Earl Monroe. A very wonderful addition to last year's class, Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. And the man who I forget to introduce last year, Bill Walton.
Today we announce a list of 15 finalists who take the next step towards immortality in basketball. In all we had 108 nominees in 2007 from our four screening committees. The North American Committee, concentrating on the men's name in the U.S.; players, coaches and contributors to the game. The Women's Committee, focused on the women's game in the U.S. The International Committee, which as you would expect recognizes those who are primarily known for their accomplishments outside of the U.S. And the Veteran's Committee, who put forth candidates that have been out of the game for 35 years, to insure the Hall of Fame has a safety net to recognize those who so greatly impacted this game from generations past.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame a player must be retired fully for five seasons. A coach must either be fully retired for five years or have coached a total of 25 years or more, if still active. And the contributor, an individual who has made a significant contribution to the game and its growth, can be nominated at any time for their significant contribution.
To be part of this group that reaches this finalist stage is a remarkable achievement. The next step, the announcement of those who have been elected to the Hall of Fame class of 2007 will be made on April 2nd in Atlanta during the NCAA Championship Monday festivities.
There is no greater asset the Hall of Fame has than the Hall of Famers. Those behind me are a powerful collection of the talent and history we have in Springfield.
And our pride in the history of the game and those Hall of Famers assembled in Springfield has given this Hall of Fame an opportunity to showcase our Hall of Famers around the country.
To do this I'm pleased to announce the advent of a travelling Hall of Fame roadshow called the Hoop Hall Experience, or HHX, that will travel to over 30 cities in the next 18 months and bring the history and excitement of the game to fans in all corners of our country.
We are pleased to announce our partners in this effort, Tim Nowell, the CEO from A3 Media, and many of his investment partners, for creating this exciting exhibit that will bring the Hall of Fame to you.
In 2006 the basketball Hall of Fame celebrated its one million dollar gift from Mannie, seated behind me. He has established an award called the Mannie Jackson Basketball Human Spirit Award. This award will annually recognize an individual that has achieved a high level of influence, primarily because of this great game, basketball; and has chosen to better the game and society as a whole, promoting diversity, excellence, leadership, and world citizenship amongst other criteria.
We are currently accepting nominations for this award with finalists being announced at the Final Four and the winner of the Mannie Jackson Basketball Human Spirit Award announced at our enshrinement ceremonies in the fall.
We have 15 names today that will take the first step towards the ultimate recognition in basketball. On Friday, September 7th in Springfield a subset of these deserving finalists will join those on stage and being a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
I'd like to call back a good friend of the Hall of Fame, and as he said, a 2001 award winner of the Curt Gowdy Award, Mr. Dick Stockton.
DICK STOCKTON: Thank you very much, John. Now it's time to learn the names of the 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame class of 2007.
This Mississippi native won 439 games at Ole Miss before moving on to professional basketball in Houston. He led the Comets to 211 wins in four straight NBA championships. He has amassed a spotless 38-0 record in international competition, including leading the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. A three time coach of the year award winner in both the WNBA and Southeastern Conference, he was selected as a finalist as a coach by the Women's Committee, Van Chancellor.
He led both the Wayland Baptist University men and women's team and in his 18 years as women's coach compiled a 431-66 record, a mark that included 6 AAU National Championships, two undefeated seasons and a 76 game unbeaten streak. He was also a National Team Coach, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and a recipient of the Naismith Award for Outstanding Contribution to Women's Basketball, selected a finalist as coach by the women's committee, Harley Redin.
This coach from Spain is considered one of the greats in European history, and has compiled an overall record of 437 wins against only 90 losses while leading Real Madrid to a record 12 Spanish League Titles. He's known for bringing the fast break to Europe, and, along with Cesare Rubini, founded the World Association of Basketball Coaches, selected a finalist as a coach by the International Committee, Pedro Ferrandiz.
He is one of only four coaches to win three or more Olympic medals, leading the Yugoslavian team to a gold in 1980, a silver in 1976, and a bronze in 1984 while compiling an overall record of 99-11 in international play. He won 494 games with his club team, Cibona, and was named the European Coach of the Year in 1985, selected a finalist by International Committee, Mirko Novosel.
A six time All-Star, he amassed over 14,000 points, 4,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists in his pro career with the Knicks, St. Louis, and Atlanta Hawks. An All-American at Iona, he was a player/coach for both St. Louis and Atlanta, 327 wins and was named the NBA coach of the year in 1968. Selected a finalist as a player by the Veteran's Committee, Richard Guerin.
He was born in Detroit and has since created two basketball dynasties in his hometown as the team he has owned since 1974 has captured three NBA titles, and his Detroit Shock has claimed two WNBA Championships. Hall of Famers, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Larry Brown have all been part of his success. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of NBA Governors and has been an innovative business leader in sports industry for over 30 years. Named as a finalist, as a contributor from the North American Committee, Bill Davidson.
His dedication to the boys at St. Anthony is legendary. He has created a national basketball power in Jersey City. He has compiled over 875 wins in his 33 years at the helm, claiming 24 New Jersey Parochial state titles and two USA Today National Championships. All but one of the players he has coached has gone on to college, with over 100 earning scholarships and five becoming NBA first round picks. Twice named National Coach of the Year and selected a finalist as a coach from the North American Committee, Bob Hurley.
Born in North Dakota where he starred in college basketball before a successful pro career that has earned him an NBA title with the New York Knicks, this finalist has gone on to earn his nomination as a coach. He has led two teams to a total of nine NBA Championships, six in Chicago and three with the Lakers, tying him with the late Red Auerbach for the most ever. He was the fastest coach to reach 800 wins and the Bulls posted an NBA best regular season record of 72-10. Before his NBA coaching career he won a CBA title and was named Coach of the Year with Albany in 1984. Selected as a finalist from the North American Committee, Phil Jackson.
A high school All-American from the Bronx, five time NBA All-Star and collegiate standout at St. John's, where he was named the Big East Player of the Year an unprecedented three times. He won two Olympic gold medals, one as a member of the 1992 Dream Team. And his 6 NBA seasons with Golden State and Indiana, produced 3,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists. He was an NBA first round pick in 1992 and still holds the all time scoring record at St. John's where he was named the Wooden Award Winner and a Sporting News All-American in 1985. Selected as a finalist as a player from the North American Committee, Chris Mullin.
He officiated 2,112 NBA games, a record at the time of his retirement, and he was selected to referee 8 NBA All-Star games. He worked at least one NBA finals series for 22 executive seasons, including the 1961 finals when he and Earl Strom officiated all seven games. The only time in NBA history the same official worked an entire final series. He served as the NBA Head of Officials and was widely respected by his officiating peers, coaches, and the players. Selected as a finalist as a referee from the North American Committee, the late Mendy Rudolph.
He was a four-time National College Coach of the Year and is one of only three coaches to lead four schools to the NCAA tournament. He has been to the Final Four three times, once with Arkansas and twice with Oklahoma State, and led his teams to 26 total NCAA Tournament appearances in 36 seasons as a head coach. He retired with 798 career victories and produced twenty 20-win campaigns, three 30-win seasons, and only one losing season in his entire career. Selected as a finalist as a coach from the North American Committee, Eddie Sutton.
He is synonymous with college basketball and is credited to growing its immense popularity with ESPN in 1969. He began his basketball career by coaching at the high school, college, and professional level before taking his contagious enthusiasm and optimism to a national television audience, and he has been entertaining viewers ever since. In addition to delivering such unique phrases as "Awesome Baby", he has wrote 6 books on basketball, and works for raising funding for the Jimmy V Foundation.
Selected as a contributor from the North American Committee, Dick Vitale.
Their selection as a Finalist creates an opportunity for only the sixth team in the history of the Hall of Fame to be elected. They're inspiring 1966 NCAA Championship also created opportunities for many, opening doors, and changing the mindset of millions throughout the nation. Their 28-1 season was capped by their team with an all African-American starting five, topping an all white Kentucky squad on the national stage to claim the NCAA title.
Coached by Hall of Famer Don Haskins, this true team of African-American and white players reunited 30 years later in 2006 to visit the White House. They were honored at the Final 4 and watched their story unfold on the big screen in Glory Road. Selected by the North American Committee, the 1966 Miners of Texas Western.
He is only the third coach to lead two schools to an NCAA title game and led both Kansas and North Carolina to a total of five final fours. He won a championship at North Carolina, and has become the fastest coach ever to reach 500 wins. Six time National Coach of the Year, he has made 17 executive NCAA Tournament appearances, winning threes a game in each one. Selected a finalist as a coach by the North American Committee, Roy Williams.
This Washington, D.C. native was a six time NBA All-Star and one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, amassing over 23,000 points while averaging over 30 points per game, four straight years, and averaging 20 points per game in all but four of his 15 NBA seasons. He played for Hall of Famer Morgan Wootten at Dematha High School, and won a gold medal as a member of the 1976 Olympic team. Named a finalist as a player from the North American Committee, Adrian Dantley.
Congratulations to all the finalists. As John mentioned, being named as a finalist to the Hall of Fame is truly an honor in itself.
We have a gentleman in the front row who is a member of the finalists just named today, and I'd like to ask him to say a few words right now. Ladies and gentlemen, give a round of applause to a truly great player, Chris Mullin.
CHRIS MULLIN: As you said, it's an unbelievable honor to become a finalist. I'd like to thank the Hall of Fame. And just be considered with these gentlemen here and all the men and women who have been named before me is just an overwhelming feeling. And I look forward to the process and, again, once again, just to become a finalist is great. To be considered in the Hall of Fame is my pleasure, and I'd like to thank the panelists and the Hall of Fame, itself. Thank you.
DICK STOCKTON: Thank you, Chris, for your remarks, thank you all for joining us here today. Everyone will be available to the media following this event. Remember, the Class of 2007 will be introduced Monday April 2nd at the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta.

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