'12 Basketball HOF Class Among Most Diverse; Nike's Phil Knight Credits Michael Jordan
The Basketball HOF has "prided itself on its place as a home for diversity," and "never has that commitment been more evident" than during Friday's enshrinement of the '12 HOF class, according to Ron Chimelis of the Springfield REPUBLICAN. The '12 HOF class included Reggie Miller, Jamaal Wilkes, Ralph Sampson and Chet Walker, coaches Don Nelson and Lidia Alexeeva, "racial pioneering player Don Barksdale and the All-American Red Heads." Also inducted "were U.S. Olympic great Katrina McClain, ABA superstar Mel Daniels, referee Hank Nichols and Nike co-founder and marketing innovator Phil Knight." Knight's presenters were Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan and former Georgetown Univ. coach John Thompson II. One of the "largest classes since annual elections began in 1959 covered the expanse of the sport" (MASSLIVE.com, 9/7). Knight during his acceptance speech said, "No conversation about who the greatest player of all time was can be held without including the name Michael Jordan. I was going to repeat that he's the main reason I'm here tonight, but then I realized that wasn't good enough. His magic made him a brand that enriched both of our lives artistically, poetically and financially." Knight added, "More than that, he revolutionized an industry and dominated a culture. He is to the sporting goods industry what Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry, Che Guevara and Mao Zedong were to the world of politics. The sporting industry will never be the same, and his brand today sells more product than when he was at the peak of his game" (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/7).