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SBD/August 11, 2014/People and Pop Culture
David Stern Deflects Attention From Himself, Credits NBA During HOF Induction Speech
Published August 11, 2014
FREEDOM OF SPEECH: ESPN N.Y.'s Ohm Youngmisuk wrote Stern during his speech was "promoting the NBA and deflecting attention from himself and his impact on the game of basketball and the league." Stern "kept his induction speech short, and thanked his wife and his family." He also "talked glowingly of the state of the game, its impact globally, and the NBA's initiatives in communities and values all over the world." Meanwhile, fellow '14 HOF inductee ALONZO MOURNING "delivered perhaps the most inspirational speech of the night, talking about all the obstacles he had to overcome" (ESPNNY.com, 8/8). ESPN.com's J.A. Adande wrote Stern's speech was "missing ... David Stern." Adande: "You know, the haughty, defiant Stern. The man who could be so condescending in public and tyrannical in private." Stern "was the headliner of this class, the man given the honor of going last." Adande: "For the most part, he was modest, not biting." Stern let his choices of Russell, Johnson, Bird, Granik and Lanier "serve as the backbone of his speech." They "represented the different elements that came together to make his reign so successful and allowed him to quickly summarize his three decades in office" (ESPN.com, 8/8).
UNIQUE GROUP: NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper wrote the '14 HOF class "framed so much about the league and the game." Mourning "was the toughness," while Lithuanian SARUNAS MARCIULIONIS "was the globalization." BOB LEONARD and MITCH RICHMOND "were the local ties, the grassroots feel of the league even as it grew into a conglomerate." Stern was "pretty much everything, of course." And while "some people get big names" to accompany them on stage at the HOF, "Stern gets Mt. Olympus." Stern said, "You've got to love the game. Everything we do is always about the game. Always about the game" (NBA.com, 8/9).