home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 15, 2008

David Aldridge

John Doleva

Dominique Wilkins


DAVID ALDRIDGE: Good morning, everyone. Thank you very much. And welcome to today's special event where we'll learn the names for the 15 finalists for this year's Hall of Fame class.
The class of 2008, it is a great honor for me to be hosting this event today. The Hall of Fame is a wonderful museum, and the Hall of Fame is a real showcase for basketball, the game we all love.
I'm pleased to continue my relationship with the Hall, and I appreciate being included in today's event.
We're here at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. The host city for the NBA's All-Star Weekend 2008. There are many people around the world eager to learn who have been honored as 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: Thank you, David. We appreciate it. I know this is your rookie year doing this, and we really appreciate your commitment in doing this. This is a busy weekend for you.
Welcome to all of you here, and we're very happy to have you here for the finalist announcement. I do want to pass along a special thanks to the NBA, NBA Entertainment, and NBA TV. And he is personally someone that's been with us for a while, Joe Chodosh, who has been our producer. I really appreciate what you do for the Hall of Fame, Joe. You've done a great job for many, many years for us.
I'd also like to thank our very impressive group of Hall of Famers, the game's elite whose attendance is to welcome and support the new potential Hall of Fame honorees. Let me introduce them to you now.
Starting on my right, your left, we have Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo. Welcome, Jerry.
Hall of Famer David Thompson. David, thank you for being here.
Hall of Famer Earl Monroe. Thank you as well.
Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. Nice to see you.
Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. Dominique Wilkins.
Hall of Famer Bill Walton. One of our favorite Hall of Famers. Welcome, Bill.
Hall of Famer Lynnette Woodard. Lynnette, nice to see you here.
A double Hall of Famer, enshrined both as a coach and a player, please welcome Lenny Wilkens. He's one of only three individuals enshrined in both categories.
Anne Meyers-Drysdale. Annie, nice to see you.
Rick Barry, we welcome you.
And arriving at the airport literally moments ago, but being here and I appreciate that commitment. Gail Goodrich. Gail, welcome.
Today we announce a list of 15 finalists who will take the next step towards immortality in basketball. In all we had 114 eligible nominees in 2008 from our four screening committees. And those four screening committees are the North American Committee concentrating on the men's game in the U.S., players, coaches, and contributors to the game; the Women's Committee, focused of course on the women's game in the U.S.; the International Committee which, you would expect, recognizes those who primarily are known for their accomplishments outside the United States; and the Veterans' Committee, who put forth candidates that have been out of the game for at least 35 years, and this is designed to insure that the Hall of Fame has a safety net to recognize those that so greatly impacted this game from generations past.
Now to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must be fully retired for five years. A coach must be either fully retired for five years or have coached a total of 25 years if they are still active. And a contributor, an individual who has made a significant contribution to the game and its growth can be nominated at any time for this significant contribution.
Now a finalist, if there is another hurdle to jump over after today's announcement, a finalist needs to receive 18 of 24 votes from our Honors Committee to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Now, to be part of a group that reaches this finalist stage is a remarkable achievement. The next step, the announcement of those who have been elected to the basketball Hall of Fame will be held April 7th in San Antonio during NCAA's Championship Monday festivities.
There is no greater asset the basketball Hall of Fame has than its Hall of Famers. And those assembled behind me are a great example of what a powerful collection of talent and history we have at Springfield, Massachusetts. The culmination of a basketball career is indeed enshrinement into the basketball Hall of Fame. In 2008 as David said, we have 15 individuals that will take that first step towards the ultimate recognition in the game.
On Friday, September 5th, in Springfield, Mass, the home of the basketball Hall of Fame and the city where the game was invented, a subset of these deserving finalists will join those on stage and become a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. So now let's go back to David and find out who our 15 finalists are for 2008. David.
DAVID ALDRIDGE: John, thank you very much, and here are the nominees. First from the Women's Committee, she propelled Immaculata to the national spotlight when the Mighty Macs appeared on television in 1975. She led Immaculata to three AIAW national championships, six consecutive AIAW Final Four appearances, and won 91% of her games in seven seasons. For her accomplishments she was enshrined into the women's basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, selected a finalist as a coach, Cathy Rush.
Now the finalists from the International Committee. Nicknamed "El Rey," the king in his native homeland of Sao Paolo, Brazil. He played in three Olympic games and won the bronze medal in 1964. In addition he'd win medals at the World Championships, the Pan-American Games, also winning five South American Championships and 11 Paulista League titles in Brazil. He's widely considered the greatest player in South American history, and was the recipient of the Order of Merit from FIBA in 2002. Selected as a finalist as a player, Maciel Ubiratan Pereira.
A basketball coaching legend in Brazil who spent 1933 to 1973 coaching basketball in his country. He compiled an overall record of 306 wins, and 25 losses; 92% winning percentage. He led the Brazil National Team to the bronze medal in the 1960 Olympics, and made five appearances. Medaled five times and won two titles in the World Championships. In addition he led Brazil to medals in the Pan-American games and won five South American Championships. Selected a finalist as a coach, Togo Renan Soares. Better known as "Kanela".
Now the finalists from the Veterans' Committee: He was a six-time NBA All-Star, scoring nearly 15,000 points, grabbing more than 4,000 rebounds and handing out more than 4,000 assists in his career with the New York Knicks, St. Louis Hawks and Atlanta Hawks. As a player-coach he would compile more than 300 wins and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1968. Named the finalist as a player, Richard Guerin.
This native of Chicago has dedicated more than 60 years of his life to the game of basketball. He was selected three-time NBA All-Star. Won the NBA Championship with the Syracuse Nationals, and appeared in 844 consecutive games as a player. In 1967 NBA Coach of the Year is the only coach in league history to lead an expansion team to the playoffs. He's served in roles as business manager and color commentator for the Chicago Bulls since 1975. Selected a finalist as a contributor, Johnny "Red" Kerr.
Now, the finalists from the North American Committee: The 1996 recipient of the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. Again, his lifetime passion for basketball in Gary, Indiana. Before landing at North Carolina State as player and Duke University as a coach in 1959. He would lead the Blue Devils to three NCAA Final Fours and four ACC championships, and was second in victories behind John Wooden in the 1960's. Following his coaching career, he would become conference commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference, and was instrumental in the adoption of the shot clock and the three-point line in college basketball. Named a finalist as a contributor, Vic Bubas.
This Washington, D.C. native was a six-time NBA All-Star and one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. Scoring more than 23,000 points. While averaging more than 30 points per game four straight seasons, and averaged 20 points per game in all but four of his 15 NBA seasons. He played for Hall of Famer Morgan Wooten at DeMatha Catholic High School, which happens to be my high school, was a collegiate All-American at Notre Dame, and won a gold medal as a member of the 1976 Olympic team. Named a finalist as a player, Adrian Dantley.
He was born in Detroit and has since created two basketball dynasties in his hometown. The team he has owned since 1974, Detroit Pistons, has won three NBA titles, and his Detroit Shock has won two WNBA championships. Hall of Famers Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Chuck Daly, and Larry Brown have all been part of his success. He's served as the chairman of the NBA's Board of Governors, and has been an innovative business leader in the sports industry for more than 30 years. Named a finalist as a contributor, Bill Davidson.
This New York Knick legend scored nearly 25,000 career points, and grabbed more than 11,000 rebounds in his 17-year NBA career. He would be named to 11 All-Star Games, the NBA's 50th Anniversary Team, and won NBA Rookie of the Year honors during his professional career. At Georgetown University he was a consensus All American three times and won the 1984 NCAA championship, and was named Most Outstanding Player in the 1984 NCAA Tournament. He remains the Knicks' all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocked shots, steals and made field goals. Named a finalist as a player, Patrick Ewing.
One of basketball's toughest defenders, he would earn nine consecutive NBA All-Defensive Team honors during his 14-year professional career. He was part of three NBA championship teams, and won Most Valuable Player honors in the 1979 NBA Finals, while also being named to five NBA All-Star Games. He would score more than 15,000 points, and give out 5,000 assists before retiring in 1990. Named a finalist as a player, Dennis Johnson.
A high school All-Americas from the Bronx. He was a five-time NBA All-Star, and collegiate stand-out at St. John's University, where he was named Big East Player of the Year an unprecedented three times. He won two Olympic gold medals, including one as a member of the 1992 Dream Team. In his 16 NBA seasons with Golden State and Indiana, produced more than 17,000 points, 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 1995. Selected a finalist as a player, Chris Mullin.
Named one of the NBA's Ten Best Coaches of All Time in 1996, he is a three-time NBA Coach of the Year, and currently ranks second on the all-time win's list in NBA history. He is one of only two coaches to win 250 games with three different teams. He's served his country as head coach in the 1994 US Team that won the gold medal at the U.S. championships. Selected a finalist as a coach, Don Nelson.
This Nigerian native led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA Championships, and the University of Houston to three consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances in his basketball career. He was a five-time member of the NBA's All-Defensive First Team, a six-time All-NBA First Team selection, and Most Valuable Player of the 1994 NBA Finals. He's scored nearly 27,000 points. He grabbed almost 14,000 rebounds and holds the NBA's record for blocked shots with 3,830. Selected a finalist as a player, Hakeem Olajuwon.
The only coach to win NBA Coach of the Year honors with three different teams. He's experienced success at all levels of the game. He's won five NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, and is currently third on the all-time wins list behind Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson. He's compiled more than 1,200 victories, guided teams to the NBA Finals nine times and was named to the NBA's Ten Best Coaches of All Time in 1996. Selected a finalist as a coach, Pat Riley.
He is synonymous with college basketball and credited with growing its immense popularity since he became the lead color announcer for ESPN in 1979. This New Jersey native began his basketball career by coaching at the high school, collegiate and professional level for taking his contagious enthusiasm and optimism to a national television audience. He's been entertaining viewers ever since. In addition to delivering such unique phrases as "awesome, baby," he's written six books on basketball, and works tirelessly to raise awareness for funding for the Jimmy V Foundation. Selected a finalist as a contributor, Dick Vitale.
Congratulations to all of our finalists. As John mentioned, being named a finalist to the Hall of Fame is by itself a real honor. And these Hall of Famers behind me know what an honor it is. Dominique, where are you, Dominique? Since you're one of the newest members of the Hall of Fame, could you tell us a few words about what it means.
DOMINIQUE WILKINS: How'd I know you were going to pick me.
DAVID ALDRIDGE: You're the best choice.
Well, first of all, for me, it's just a pleasure and honor to be up here with what I consider royalty in our sport. Because a lot of times you grow up wanting to be like a lot of these guys and a few of these young ladies. By the way, most of them are older than me, by the way. (Laughing).
It is truly a small fraternity in a big world. You're talking about less than 200 actual players who have been enshrined as a Hall of Famer. That's pretty amazing. And to be mentioned in the same breath as these guys for me is just a major honor.
Me and Bill talk all the time, and he's never short for words, you guys know that. But to be around guys like this who really still can give you knowledge of the game, it's what we come to the All-Star Game for. All of these guys will tell you, for us to come and be together is something that you can't buy. There's a lot of people in this world that wish they had the type of opportunity to be with people who they idolize, they can get advice from, and more importantly be a part of the elite of the elite. And that's what the Hall of Fame is all about. Thank you. [ Applause ].
DAVID ALDRIDGE: Thanks, Dominique, for your remarks. And thank you to all of the Hall of Famers who joined us here today. Everyone will be available to the media following this event. Remember, the class of 2008 will be introduced on Monday April 7th in the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio. The 2008 enshrinement will take place September 5th in Springfield, Massachusetts, at the Basketball Hall of Fame. I hope to see everyone there.
Thank you all for coming today. Thanks to our host NBA Entertainment and thanks to our audience on NBA TV. There will be a photo session, photo opportunity with all of the finalists immediately following. Thanks again.
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297