Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing (really Patrick? shorts? did you forget to pick up your dry-cleaning?) and Pat Riley were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last night, along with their classmate Dick Vitale. Dickie V was, as usual, the star of the show. His passionate speech reminded everyone of why he was put there.
“I’ve been stealing money talking about a game, getting paid,” he said. “That’s why it breaks my heart when I see some athletes, chips on their shoulder. Are you serious? Flying charter planes? I don’t want to hear about 80 games a year. What other job do you get four months vacation. Are you serious? Making millions if you can’t play.”
Hmmm...I can think of at least a dozen ballers who belong on that list. I can't wait for Dickie V's "120 Point Plan for Improving the NBA". The class of giants also included Adrian Dantley, Detroit Pistons and Shock owner Bill Davidson and former Immaculata University coach Cathy Rush. And for those who were wondering (and I was), Ms. Rush's accomplishments are actually quite impressive.
Rush, a pioneer in women’s sports, had been nominated five other times. That’s just 10 fewer than the number of games she lost in her coaching career. She was 149-15 in her seven years at Immaculate, leading her team to three consecutive national championships between 1972-74, despite playing with no gym, and one set of uniforms. She could only take eight players to the first championship tournament, and had to fly standby.
Jesus. It's a good thing women are good at laundry or that one set of uniforms would have been a problem.