He’s in The Hall of Fame
Last night the 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class was enshrined in Springfield, Massachusetts. Headlining this year’s inductees were Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash, each who represent a moment in time for me.
Grant Hill illustrates the pain of enduring back-to-back national championships from Duke in ’91 and ’92, as I was rooting for UNLV and Michigan during this time. Secondly, Jason Kidd, because his UCLA squad upset the two-time defending national champion Blue Devils, restoring all faith in the world. Finally, Steve Nash because before Andrew Wiggins, he was the standard for Canadian Basketball across the globe.
For me, Ray Allen was different. When Allen was cast as Jesus Shuttlesworth in Spike Lee’s film He Got Game, it was a nod to the Jordan brand movement at the time, a time that we wouldn’t experience again until the recent Nike 30th Anniversary Just Do It Campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. In his role as Shuttlesworth, Allen gave us a behind-the-scenes look at what it meant to be a highly recruited athlete in the late 90’s America.
It wasn’t until 2007 when Allen landed in Boston with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce aka “The Big Three” that I’d consider him a contender again. It was in Boston where Allen had his first real shot at winning, and winning he did! In ’12-’13 when Allen packed his bags and moved to Miami, it could be argued that he was ahead of his time by joining LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade to help them win a national championship. Regardless, Ray Allen was fun to watch, and as the NBA leader in three-pointers made, he undoubtedly demonstrated He Got Game!
Here is the full list of 2018 Inductees:
Charles “Lefty” Driesell
Ora Mae Washington