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February 18, 2011

Jerry Colangelo

John Doleva

Jamaal Wilkes


THE MODERATOR: Thank you all very much and welcome to today's special event where we will learn the names of the finalists for this year's Hall of Fame class, the class of 2011. A special welcome to our friends watching around the world on NBA TV. It's a great honor for me to be hosting this event here today.
The Hall of Fame is a wonderful museum up in Springfield, Massachusetts, a real showcase for the game of basketball, the game we all love. I'm pleased to continue my relationship with the Hall and I appreciate being included in this historic event.
We are here at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, California, the host city for NBA All-Star 2011. There are many people around the world eager to learn who have been honored as finalists here today, the critical next step to be 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, Rick from NBA TV for hosting our event here today and we appreciate your continued involvement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Special thanks to our friends from NBA Entertainment for production of today's event.
I would like to introduce the great collection of Hall of Famers today, a Who's Who in the history of basketball, a couple generations up here and I hope everybody enjoys this, because this is what the Hall of Fame is all about.
First of all, Jerry Colangelo, also the chairman of the basketball's Hall of Fame Board of Governors, thank you for your service to the basketball Hall of Fame. We have a number of local favorites with deep roots in Los Angeles basketball, Southern California basketball, and we are happy to have those folks. We welcome Hall of Famers Anne Meyers-Drysdale, thank you for coming and James Worthy, Elgin Baylor, and Bill Walton. Always nice to have you; and Bill is wonderful, he attends almost every event that we have and we sincerely appreciate that.
We have Dominique Wilkins, Clyde Drexler, and George Gervin, thank you all for attending. And we are also pleased to welcome a recent inductee, in fact, just a couple of years ago, he was part of this conversation that we are having here today, and that is David Robinson.
And always saving the best for last, we welcome Hall of Famer and coaching legend, Dr. Jack Ramsay; Dr. Jack, nice to have you here. He has a birthday next week, I won't say how old but that's happy birthday early, Monday.
And the pride of the Syracuse Nationals and Dolph always said, he said, "I was hired as the first coach of the Philadelphia 76ers." And I said, "That's great."
And he said, "I was the first coach fired by the Philadelphia 76ers." He takes great pride in that and I'm sure that pushed him over the edge to be a Hall of Famer.
Thank you to our Hall of Famers for your attendance, we really appreciate it. I would like to recognize, in addition to Jerry, who is on our Board of Governors, and some trustees and Board of Governors who are here with us today. We have Jim Taubenfeld; very active trustee Jim Tooley from USA Basketball, the executive director; and Sherman Brown, a new trustee, who has jumped in with both feet in supporting the basketball Hall of Fame, and his company is 3 Media in Orlando.
Let's have a round of applause for the Hall of Famers. (Applause).
And the way my career was going, Dolph and I are going to go on the road with a comedy show. We just decided that five minutes ago. I'll be driving (laughter).
We have lost two Hall of Famers who obviously had an impact on a worldwide basis on the game that we love and we want to remember those two folks at this time. First, one of only three individuals to be enshrined as both a player and a coach, we remember the legendary coach, John Wooden, who also had a stand-out playing career at Purdue and in the pre-NBA days he played professional basketball while at the same time teaching and coaching high school basketball, setting himself up for his great coaching success, so we remember John Wooden.
Passing just recently we remember and honor the father of modern Italian basketball, an outstanding coach and player, Hall of Famer Cesare Rubini.
We are here today to announce those that have been elevated to the level of finalist and have taken the next critical step in achieving the ultimate honor in basketball, induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Those who are ultimately elected to the Hall of Fame as the class of 2011 will be introduced at the NCAA Final Four on championship Monday, April 4.
Enshrinement will take place in Springfield Massachusetts on August 11, 12 and 13, and we hope to see all of you at the Hall of Fame and take part in our celebration and festivities.
For the first time last year our enshrinement week of activities were represented by Nike as will our 2011 and 2012 celebration. We appreciate the involvement and support of Nike and thank the president of Nike, Charlie Denson for the support, and Charlie just recently joined the Board of Governors, our senior leadership team at the Basketball Hall of Fame.
As we announce our finalists in 2011, the Hall of Fame has made some significant changes to our election process that our Board feels strongly will properly distinguish under-recognized constituency groups in the game, especially in the game before the awareness and personal contexts of those who played in those eras has vanished.
Essentially, the Hall of Fame wishes to make sure it is properly examining important parts of the game before history is lost forever. I mentioned Jerry Colangelo is our Board Chairman, and he has been a vocal and passionate leader regarding inclusiveness and fairness within our process, and to those who were considered for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Today you will hear the names of 12 individuals who have been selected as finalists, ten from the North American Committee which recognizes the men's game primarily in the U.S., pro, college, high school, across the board and also two from the women's committee, recognizing deserving candidates from the women's game in the U.S., both pro and collegiate.
Now these 12 finalists you hear today will proceed through the normal next step process, a presentation to the Hall's honor's committee, a committee made up of 24 knowledgeable, passionate and very qualified individuals in and around the game today. The honor's committee will vote on each of those 12 finalist candidates with the requirement that for election to the Hall of Fame, a candidate must receive at least 18 of 24 votes with no minimum or no maximum number of individuals that can be elected.
For the North American and Women's Committee, both focused primarily on the modern game in the U.S., the process remains unchanged from prior years. In four other areas of consideration, our board has approved significant changes that ensures the Basketball Hall of Fame is appropriately deliberating candidates from unique parts of the game, insuring that those under consideration in those four groups have a very specialized, informed and studied group as their selection committee.
The four groups, two of which are newly established that will have this specialized committee structure and format are the following: Number 1, early African-American pioneers, concentrating on consideration of African-Americans in the game prior to the mid 1950s, a point where the game was progressing towards integration.
Number 2, the veteran's committee, recognizing those candidates out of the game for 35-plus years, and that acts as a safety net to ensure that worthy candidates from the past are not forgotten.
Number 3, the ABA game, consideration of those whose careers were primarily concentrated in the ten-year reign of the ABA.
And the fourth of those four special committees, the international committee, focusing on players, coaches and contributors whose involvement in the game has been the global game outside of the U.S..
What is unique about each of those four committees is that each will be allowed to directly elect one individual or team into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In essence, these four committees act as both the screening committee and the honors committee for those four categories. During a meeting or a series of meetings, each committee will directly elect a member of the Hall of Fame class annually representing that constituency to the game.
Hence today, you will not see a finalist from the four committees because their work will begin inner nest on March 1. The announcement of each new class member will be unveiled, as I said earlier at the Final Four on April 3, all announced together.
The review of the election process has been a priority for board Jerry Colangelo. Let me now call upon Jerry to understand his thoughts and vision for this effort and its impact on the Hall of Fame's ability to recognize deserving candidates as we go forward with these four groups. Jerry?
JERRY COLANGELO: Good morning. John, I think actually covered the nuts and bolts of what we are doing in the way of a change in our process, and it all began with the fact that so many deserving people have been lost in the shuffle, and the -- I would often say, we need to give them another bite of the apple.
Some of these people who have been gone for some time, you hear a complaint about not enough players in the Hall of Fame; this process is going to open the door to recognize some people who would otherwise have much difficulty ever getting into the Hall of Fame.
Now, a number of ABA players who came into the NBA later in their career are already in the Hall of Fame. But there are some people who are absolutely deserving the consideration that now have a chance.
And so, on a personal note, I feel extremely happy that we have opened up this process, and another key word here is transparency. There's so often things said, well, how are the people selected. I can tell you in, sitting in a committee and watching the process, the North American screening committee process, and the deliberations, the pros, the cons, so much emphasis on winning championships and contributions to the game on different levels. And bear in mind that the Hall of Fame represents all of basketball. It's not just the pro game. It's the college game. It's junior college; it's high school; it's women; it's international; it's all of that.
And so, to truly get the job done appropriately, by adding the committees that we did, and the opportunity to directly vote in some people, people will now be recognized now that otherwise would not have.
It's a good day for all of us. It's we think a very positive announcement and we will be talking more about the transparency issue relative to who votes, whose the makeup of that committee at some other point.
So with that, I'll turn it back to Rick.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Jerry. Thank you, John. And now it's time to learn the names of the 12 finalists for the Hall of Fame class of 2011, from the North American and women's committees.
First from the women's committee, she was the first American basketball player to participate in five Olympic Games, winning gold in four of them and bronze in the fifth. In college, she was a two-time Kodak All America selection while leading Georgia twice to the Final Four. For her efforts she's been elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, national high school sports Hall of Fame, Georgia sports Hall of Fame and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Nominated as a player from the women's committee, Teresa Edwards.
Her collegiate coaching career began in 1978 and continues today at Stanford University. She guided the Cardinals to two national championships and won nearly 800 games in her tenure, at the International level she has won gold in 1996, and has been named a three-time national Coach of the Year and guided teams to eight Final Fours. Nominated as a coach from the women's committee, Tara Vanderveer.
And now the finalists from the North American Committee. He has contributed 50 consecutive years of service to the Golden State Warriors as a player, player coach, coach, general manager, vice president and consultant. He became the winningest coach in Warriors' history and led the Warriors to the 1975 NBA championship. He currently serves as vice president and assistant general manager of the Warriors, a position he's held since 1987. From the North American Committee, Al Attles.
He's been involved in the NBA either at the playing level or the coaching level since 1978. As a player he was named to four NBA All-Star teams and was a member of one NBA championship and set the steals and assists records for Philadelphia. This Chicago native would then go on to coaching careers with the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers. Nominated as a player from the North American Committee, Maurice Cheeks.
Entering this college basketball season he has won more than 900 games at Division II Philadelphia University where he has coached since 1966. He continues to be active at Philly University even today. He has guided the school to 25 NCAA Division II appearances, has won 20 or more games in 30 years and has one NCAA National Championship. As a coach from the North American Committee, Herb Magee.
His career has taken him to all levels of the game, starting at university juror college level in 19 sift four. He has collected more than 1,000 victories while at the junior college, high school, collegiate and NBA levels. He guided the Washington Bullets to the 1978 NBA championship and won Coach of the Year in the NBA in 1971 with the Bulls. He led Weaver State to two Big Sky regular season championships and won a state high school championship at Grace High School. Nominated as a coach from the North American Committee, Dick Motta.
A high school All-American from New York City, he was a five-time NBA All-Star and college stand out at St. John's where he was named BIG EAST Player of the Year three times. He won two Olympic Gold Medals and one as a member of the original Dream Team in 1992. In his 16 NBA seasons with Golden State and Indiana produced 17,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists. He was an NBA first-team pick in 1992, and still holds the all-time scoring record at St. John's where he was named the Wooden Award winner and Sporting News All America in 1985. From the North American Committee, Chris Mullin.
His career in basketball has centered around the rules of the game, a long-time NCAA basketball official who had referred six national championships and ten fine fours. He was also fortunate to officiate two Olympic Games and one European championship. After his officiating career he would become the national coordinator of officials for the NCAA. Nominated as a referee from the North American Committee, Hank Nichols.
Known for his rebounding and defensive skills, he would win five NBA Championships, three with Chicago and two with Detroit. He was named the NBA's defensive Player of the Year two times. He was named to a total of seven all-defensive first teams while being selected to two NBA All Star games. His rebounding statistics were staggering and still rank among the best in NBA history and he was also one of the game's great characters. From the North American Committee, Dennis Rodman.
Known as one of the top collegiate players of all time, he would be recognized as the three-time national Player of the Year and consensus All-American of the year, and he was a Wooden and Naismith award winner while leading Virginia to the NIT championship and one Final Four appearance. In the NBA he was named to three NBA All-Star games, collected Rookie of the Year honors and was named MVP of the NBA All-Star Game in 1985. Nominated as a player from the North American Committee, Ralph Sampson.
This California native played under Hall of Famer John Wooden at UCLA. Prior to his successful NBA career with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, at UCLA he would win two national championships and receive All-American honors in 1974. His career was highlighted by four NBA championships, being named to three NBA All-Star teams and he received Rookie of the Year honors in 1975. As a player from the North American Committee, Jamaal Wilkes.
His coaching career began in 1947 and continued at the NBA level until 2006. He was part of nine NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Lakers, and is known for the building the foundation of the triangle post offense which helped form dynasties with the Bulls and Lakers. He was the younger coach in history to receive Coach of the Year honors. Nominated as a coach from the North American Committee, Tex Winter.
Congratulations to all of the finalists. Thank you all for being here for this great announcement. It's a wonderful honor as John and Jerry mentioned, just to be named a finalist is a terrific honor and good luck to all of the finalists in making the Hall of Fame.
And now, we are fortunate to have Jamaal Wilkes in the first row, and Jamaal, would you like to come up here and say a few words? Ladies and gentlemen, Jamaal Wilkes.
JAMAAL WILKES: Thank you so much. I would like to say that I am truly humbled and privileged and honored to be a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and to even be up here with these esteemed members of the Hall of Fame and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists this year. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to Jamaal and all of the finalists here today and thank you to all of the Hall of Famers who are gracing us with their presence right now, seen around the world on NBA TV and NBA.com. Big round of applause for the Hall of Famers up here.
The class of 2011 will be introduced on Monday April 4 at the NCAA Final Four in Houston. Enshrinement 2011 will take place August 12 in Springfield, Massachusetts at the Basketball Hall of Fame. We hope to see everybody there. Thank you everybody for coming out here today, and thank you to our hosts at NBA Entertainment and thanks to our audience on NBA TV.

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