The NBA Panel covered the 2017 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Press Conference at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. This years class was headlined by Tracy McGrady (2x NBA scoring champion), Rebecca Lobo (WNBA Icon), Bill Self (2x AP college coach of the year), and Muffet McGraw (3x Consensus National College Coach of the year). The rest of the 11 member class included Robert Hughes (winningest boys high school coach), George McGinnis (from the veterans committee), Nick Galis (from the international committee), Zach Clayton (from the Early African American Pioneers Committee), Mannie Jackson, Tom Jernstedt, and Jerry Krause (from the Contributor Committee.
Being granted media credentials allowed the NBA Panel to experience first hand the experience of witnessing history. Sitting through the press conference live on NBA TV showed just how much hard work and dedication is put into making the event successful year after year. Each inductee was given their very own tailor made Hall of Fame jacket made by Haggar Clothing Company. The break off interview session was both exciting, and enlightening. With media access we had direct access to the incoming class, and it was an unforgettable experience. One of the (’17) class members we interviewed was Tracy McGrady. We asked him about his career, and past/current NBA topics. He was full of life and answered all of our questions with enthusiasm and truth. Being able to sit and talk with the incoming class allowed us to create a comfortable speaking environment that he enjoyed. A lot of NBA players are stereotyped as hard to talk to or conceited, but that’s not the case.
The 11 member class were presented into the Hall Fame by a previous inductee of their choice on Friday, September 8th at Springfield Symphony Hall. Tracy McGrady was presented by Isiah Thomas (’00), Rebecca Lobo by Geno Auriemma (’06), Bill Self by Larry Brown (’02), Muffet McGraw by Ann Meyers (’93), Robert Hughes by Sheryl Swoops (’16), George McGinnis by Artist Gilmore (’11), Reggie Miller (’12), Bobby Leonard (’14), and Spencer Haywood (’15). Jerry Krause by Jerry Rensdorf (’16), Zach Clayton by Earl Monroe (’90), Nick Galis Bob McAdoo (’00), Manny Jackson by Jerry Colangelo (’04), Lynette Woodard (’04), and Russ Granik (’13). Tom Jernstedt was presented by John Havlicek (’84), Ann Meyers (’93), and Geno Auriemma (’06).
Being inducted to the Hall Of Fame is an honor some would put above winning championships. This experience won’t be forgotten and we are looking forward to returning to the Hall Of Fame next year to cover the class of (’18) Enshrinement.