Basketball Hall Of Fame: Don Nelson Leads 2012 Class

The 2012 basketball hall of fame induction ceremony is Friday night with a number of notable names being enshrined.

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Ralph Sampson NBA Hall Of Fame Speech: Enshrinement Is 'Surreal'

Ralph Sampson was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame Friday night. He spent time with both the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings during his NBA career.

Sampson played nine seasons in the NBA, but is also considered to be one of the greatest college basketball players of all-time. During his collegiate career at the University of Virginia, Sampson won three Naismith Awards, two Wooden Awards and helped lead Virginia to a Final Four.

During his induction speech, Sampson talked about what it meant to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame and what the game of basketball means to him in general.

"Words can't describe how I feel about being among the greats who have ever played this game," Sampson said. "We, as older guys, need to help the younger guys highly appreciate this game."

Sampson said he didn't love basketball growing up, instead loving baseball, but he valued basketball. He told a story of reaching the scoring limit during the first quarter of youth games growing up. Sampson says he now values the game as high as he possibly can.

Sampson won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1984 and averaged 15.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game during his career. He played close to a season and a half with the Warriors and played two seasons with the Kings.

For more on the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, make your way over to SB Nation's StoryStream for complete coverage.

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Phil Knight Enters The NBA Hall Of Fame As A Contributor

Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame Friday. Knight, who grew up in Oregon, attended Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Knight entered the Hall of Fame as a contributor thanks to the influence Nike has had on basketball. Knight is the rare Hall of Fame inductee who never worked or played for a NBA or college basketball team. He was introduced by Michael Jordan Friday, the two paired to create the Jordan brand, which has grown into one of the biggest basketball brands in the world.

Knight spent several minutes of his speech chronicling the development and growth of Nike and it's impact on the NBA and basketball.

"I think, to some extent, the game's and Nike's growth have paralleled each other," Knight said. "You can really kind of look at that moment and that player. Michael Jordan has done more to expand the game probably than any one individual. I think we were not just along for the ride, but I think we helped promote that. That was really the start. That 1984 year really was when it kind of was on its way to overdrive."

In addition to his impact on basketball, Knight also had a big impact at Stanford where in 2006 he donated $105 million to the Stanford Graduate School of Business

For more on the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, make your way over to SB Nation's StoryStream for complete coverage.

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Jamaal Wilkes' NBA Hall Of Fame Speech Includes John Wooden Quote

Jamaal Wilkes was inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame on Friday night. He was born in Berkeley and grew up in Ventura, California, and eventually headed to UCLA to play his college basketball under legendary coach John Wooden.

Wilkes then headed to the NBA and played three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, winning a championship in 1975 and being named to the All-Star Team the following year. He then went on to win three titles with the Lakers and Clippers.

Wilkes' induction speech was short and sweet. He thanked his family members first, followed by some kind words about former teammates, coaches and his fellow inductees. He concluded his speech with a great quote from coach Wooden.

"Make each day your masterpiece. You can't do anything about yesterday. It's over. Tomorrow is yet to come, but tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today. So make today a masterpiece."

For more on the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, make your way over to SB Nation's StoryStream for complete coverage.

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Don Nelson Makes NBA Hall Of Fame Speech, Plugs Hawaiian Coffee Shop

Don Nelson was one of six former players, coaches and front-office executives to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame on Friday night. Nelson, 72, spent more than three decades as a head coach in the league, coaching the Bucks, Warriors, Knicks, Mavericks and Warriors again. His tenures with Golden State spanned from 1988 to 1995, and then 2006 through 2010.

Nelson made a lengthy speech during his induction on Friday night and hit on a variety of topics. Aside from the normal praise of former players, assistants, family members and whatnot, two things stood out about the speech.

First, Nelson plugged his coffee and shaved ice shops in Hawaii. The next was a plea to keep a dear friend in your thoughts and prayers.

For more on the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, make your way over to SB Nation's StoryStream for complete coverage.

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2012 NBA Hall Of Fame Induction: Time And TV Schedule

The 2012 basketball hall of fame induction ceremony is Friday night with a number of notable names being enshrined.

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