Friday, September 11, 2009

CLT connections at hall of fame induction

I'm in Springfield, Mass., today watching Michael Jordan as he prepares for tonight's induction ceremony. There's a lot of "official" things happening -- MJ just got his official jacket, and his official picture is now up at the hall of fame, and he will later get his official ring. Here's my "official" pre-induction column that ran today in The Charlotte Observer.

Jordan also spoke just for a moment to the media this morning, with plans to talk more later. "Contrary to what you guys believe," Jordan said, "it's not just me going into the hall of fame. It's a group of us."

And that's true. Jordan belongs to one of the stellar classes in hall of fame history, which also includes players David Robinson and John Stockton and coaches Vivian Stringer and Jerry Sloan.

Jordan will be presented tonight by David Thompson, who now lives in Charlotte, works with the excellent 2XSalt ministry and was N.C. State's best player of all time. Robinson will have two presenters -- George Gervin and current Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown.

Jordan also said today in front of his hall of fame cohorts: "It’s truly a pleasure to be here. I can honestly say when I was growing up I never thought about getting into the hall of fame. Next thing you know, here we are. It all started with that little round ball. And if you take that away from any one of us I’m pretty sure we would have struggled. That’s how much the game meant to us, the ball meant to us."

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