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Emotional Rodman caps Hall of Fame ceremony
Mullin’s journey began in New York.
A five-time All-Star with one of the game’s best jump shots, he earned individual enshrinement after he was inducted last year with the 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team and also won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics.
The left-hander followed a decorated amateur career by scoring more than 17,000 points in the NBA. The New York city product recalled his hometown in his speech, saying “Looking out, I realize I’m a long way from Flatbush Ave., but Brooklyn’s definitely in the house tonight.”
He stayed home to play in college at St. John’s and was presented for enshrinement by his coach, Lou Carnesecca.
“I chose the best coach in the best city, and I played in the world’s most famous arena,” Mullin said.
VanDerveer called her enshrinement an “exciting homecoming for my mother, Rita,” because her parents met at Springfield College. She ignored her father’s pleas to focus on her algebra homework instead of basketball, learning from whatever coaches she could and going on to win a gold medal coaching the 1996 U.S. women’s Olympic team.
“Thank you, Hall of Fame, for honoring my life’s work,” she said. “I’m forever grateful.”
The induction of Rodman and Winter, the architect of the triangle offense, brought back Scottie Pippen and other players and coaches from the Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s. Winter, an assistant to Jackson on nine NBA championship teams, has been slowed after a stroke and struggles with his speaking _ his son, Chris, gave a lengthy speech on his behalf _ but felt well enough to make the trip for the weekend and what many considered overdue enshrinement.
“We’re really excited for him. I know he is to. He’s very happy about it,” Jackson said before the ceremony. “He’s been jumping the gun all night and all day yesterday, so I think it’s a good time for him to do it, even though I wish he could express himself and say what he really has on his mind.”
Sabonis, a dominant player in Europe long before he finally came from his native Lithuania to the NBA at 31, was presented by Bill Walton, who had described the versatile center as a “7-foot-3 Larry Bird.” Later came the enshrinement of Gilmore, an ABA champion who went on to make six All-Star teams in the NBA, where he is still the league’s career leader with a .599 field-goal percentage.
“Millions of people have laced up their sneakers since Dr. Naismith invented the game several miles from here in 1891 and every one of them would love to be in my shoes today,” Gilmore said.
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By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
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