September 11, 2009
If you were on Twitter last night and happen to follow me, you know I was tweetin' up a 140 storm trying to convince people to turn off that hideous crap the Black Eyed Peas call music and instead watch the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Awards Dinner online at NBA.com.
I hope some of you followed my lead, because longtime New York Post basketball columnist Peter Vecsey gave one of the worst (cough, best) Hall of Fame speeches in history.
Author Jeff Pearlman, who was in attendance, breaks it down:
"... the night was going very well. Speeches were moderately short, the MC — an excellent Ernie Johnson — kept things rolling, Jordan and his gang made their waves. At approximately 8:20 pm, Doug Collins, also inducted as a media member, offered up an absolutely wonderful speech, crying as he asked his wife and children to stand.
And then, Vecsey took the stage.
He seemed to have no notes. No thoughts. No ... nothing. He began not by expressing his appreciation, but by rattling off all the shunned players he believed belonged in the Hall. From there, he just ... babbled. About this. About that. He seemed to be drunk, but I don't think he was. The man just, well, sucked. He used language one doesn't use in a Hall speech. He called out people's names ('Calvin Murphy! Tiny Archibald!'), and you could literally see the man squirming in their seats. I was sitting about 10 feet from David Stern, who — throughout the ceaseless banter — dismissively shook his head while checking his Blackberry. Jordan, the star of the weekend, walked out. Just left, and never returned.
The best part came, oh, 30 minutes in, when Vecsey took a breather between points. As if on cue, the entire room started to applaud — a very clear, very audible get-the-f^%$-off-the-stage command. Suddenly, music piped in from above — yet another get-the-f^%$-off-the-stage command. Oddly, Vecsey really paid it no mind. He kept talking until, I believe, his mic was turned off (either that, or he got the clue)."
Honestly, words don't come close to describing this speech. It was bad. And awkward. And sort of funny. But mostly bad. Vecsey had a weird crack about John Stockton and Madonna, said "punk ass" a few times, and even got in some old-timer baseball talk. It was wild. Again, Michael Jordan walked out!
I've been searching YouTube and NBA.com all morning for some video of it, but, well ... yeah, I'm not holding my breath. You thought LeBron or Nike knew how to confiscate a tape? Please. Stern's got this.