SPRINGFIELD, MA - AUGUST 12: Members of the Basketball Hall of Fame pose for a photo during the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Symphony Hall on August 12, 2011 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

2012 NBA Hall Of Fame Induction: Mel Daniels, Chet Walker Enshrined

On Friday the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame class of 2012 will be enshrined.

  • Live
3 Total Updates since September 7, 2012
  • Updates 2
  • Articles 1
  • All Updates 3

Chet Walker NBA Hall Of Fame Speech: Benton Harbor Great Inducted

Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers legend Chet 'The Jet' Walker, a Benton Harbor High School great, was inducted into the Hall of Fame Friday.

Walker's ties to the state of Michigan were on display throughout his speech. He talked about playing for a state championship in high school against fellow NBA Hall of Famer Dave DeBusschere, who played at Austin Catholic.

Two of Walker's presenters, Adrian Dantley and Isiah Thomas, are Detroit Pistons legends. Walker, who was known for his footwork and pump-fake - former teammate Billy Cunningham said of the move, "You know what he's going to do, and you're still going to leave your feet," - joked with Dantley, who was also known for his jab-step and pump-fakes.

"I sat around for years watching him (Dantley) steal all my moves that got me to the Hall of Fame," Walker said as Dantley laughed and nodded on stage.

Walker also produced a made for T.V. movie about Mary Thomas, mother of Isiah, called, A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story.

"She basically eliminated all of the gang activity on the west side of Chicago," Walker said. "They should rename Michigan Avenue after her."

Walker, however, was arguably more important to the game as it is today off the court than on it. Curtis Harris of Yahoo!'s Ball Don't Lie explains:

Under the archaic and repugnant "reserve clause" a team still retained a player's rights for one year after their contract expired. The Bulls refused to negotiate with Walker on a new salary, and then refused to trade or release him. He was held in limbo and his lawsuit to free himself from the Bulls eventually failed. Refusing to play for the Bulls, Walker's career thus came to its inglorious yet principled end.

Walker discussed the fact that NBA players in his era were mostly not well-compensated, and he acknowledged the monumental struggle that he and others had with the league, which eventually resulted in players being granted free agency.

"We went to court, filed a lawsuit and eventually won free agency, which meant that players could now make more money," Walker said in his speech.

Walker was thankful to teammates and others who helped him in his life, but turned to former teammate Billy Cunningham when he had a hard time discussing his own on-court credentials. "Would you say something about me? I can't promote myself," he said to Cunningham, one of his presenters.

Thomas, Dantley, Earl Monroe and Cunningham were Walker's presenters.

For more on the Hall of Fame, check out SB Nation's NBA news hub.

Continue

Mel Daniels NBA Hall Of Fame Speech: Detroit Pershing Great Couldn't Attend But Recorded A Message

Detroit Pershing great and Indiana Pacers legend Mel Daniels was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame Friday, although an illness that resulted in him being hospitalized prevented him from attending the ceremony. Daniels was released from the hospital on Friday, according to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star:

Daniels paid homage both to the ABA as a whole and, in particular, several of his former Indiana Pacers teammates. Daniels was part of some great Pacers teams while they were in the ABA, as he recounted in his pre-recorded speech.

Several other NBA greats discussed Daniels' impact in a video before his induction.

"I grew up a Pacers fan by watching Mel Daniels," Larry Bird said.

Daniels was known for his dominance of the paint, his rebounding and his toughness.

"Mel Daniels will break your fingers shaking your hand. If he walked into this room right now, I wouldn't shake his hand," Julius Erving said. "I think he was the first guy I heard growling on a basketball court."

Curtis Harris of Yahoo!'s Ball Don't Lie wrote about Daniels' Hall credentials this week:

Imagine a player who for 7 seasons averaged 20 points and 16 rebounds. A player who grabbed more rebounds than any other player in that span and scored the 11th most points.

A player whose teams won an average of 50 games a year and captured 3 titles. A player who was Rookie of the Year, a two-time MVP, a four-time All First Team member, and a seven-time All-Star. And throw in an All-Star Game MVP for good measure.

Now "open your eyes" and imagine this was all accomplished by an NBA player.

He'd have been feted and escorted into the Hall of Fame decades ago. Instead, Mel Daniels's ABA accomplishments languished over those decades until now.

Daniels was represented at the ceremony by his wife. He was presented by Hall of Famers Artis Gilmore and Wayne Embry.

For more on the Hall of Fame, check out SB Nation's NBA news hub.

Continue

2012 NBA Hall Of Fame Induction: Time And TV Schedule

On Friday the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame class of 2012 will be enshrined.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Detroit

You must be a member of SB Nation Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Detroit. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Detroit

You must be a member of SB Nation Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.