Hall of Fame highlights: Ray Allen praises Celtics teammates, Steve Nash inspires, Don Nelson's new look

Yahoo Sports
Tina Thompson, Steve Nash and Ray Allen were among the basketball greats inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame Friday. (Getty)
Tina Thompson, Steve Nash and Ray Allen were among the basketball greats inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame Friday. (Getty)

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductions took place Friday, highlighted by the enshrinement of NBA greats Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and Grant Hill.

Much of the leadup to Allen’s induction centered around the burned bridges between him and his championship teammates on the 2008 Boston Celtics team who have long let simmer their bitterness over his choice to join LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2012.

Ray Allen shouts out Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett

While Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were not in the building, Allen did not ignore them in his speech.

“In my 12th year, I paired up with a couple of future hall of famers with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett,” Allen said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I’d be on that stage the way I was. For all of this to happen, it took a basketball mind in Danny Ainge to make this possible. So thank you Danny.”

Rajon Rondo’s name was not uttered.

Allen went on to thank people in his basketball life from UConn coach Jim Calhoun, to James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade from his Heat days, but started with some special words for fellow NBA sharpshooter Reggie Miller, who introduced him.


“To be able to break your record,” Allen told Miller of the NBA 3-point record. “I didn’t know this record existed. So thank you for everything you did for me and this game.”

Steve Nash with inspirational words

Steve Nash preceded Allen on stage and closed with some words of inspiration while looking to his four children in the crowd.


“Find something you love to do,” Nash said. “Do it every day. Be obsessed. Balance can come later.

“Use your imagination. Put pen to paper. Declare your intentions. Set small goals. Knock them off, set more goals. Gain momentum. Build confidence. Grow a deep belief. Outwork people. Play the long game. You don’t have to be the chosen one. … You’ll never be more alive than when you give something everything you have.”

He also pointed to Dirk Nowitzki in the crowd to thank him helping push him to the MVP-level player he became.


Jason Kidd’s got jokes for Dirk

Kidd also acknowledged Nowitzki whom he teamed with to win the 2011 NBA championship.


Duke love fest

Grant Hill invited Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as part of his induction team and thanked his college coach for giving him the foundation for his game.


“I came to you with this dream, and you gave me the blueprint,” Hill said of Krzyzewski. “I learned how to lead how to win, how to compete, how to play together as a unit, even how to slap the floor when I’m playing defense.

“Most importantly you taught me how to believe in myself.”

College coaching great Lefty Driesell stole the show with his speech and also sung the praises of  Krzyzewski.


Enough about Duke

Charlie Scott, who helped integrate college basketball in the 1960s at North Carolina, had had enough of the Duke talk.


WNBA great Tina Thompson got emotional when thanking her family.


Don Nelson, Bohemian

But perhaps nobody drew as much attention as former NBA coach Don Nelson, who has opted for a decidedly less formal look since leaving basketball.


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