Former Indiana Pacers superstar Reggie Miller and coaching great Don Nelson were among those inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.
Miller, one of the greatest clutch scorers in NBA history, played his entire 17-season career with the Indiana Pacers and finished it with 25,279 points and 1,505 steals.
He ranks second on the NBA all-time list for three-pointers made, with 2,560, and his 320 playoff three-pointers are the most for any player in the post-season.
The five-time NBA All-Star thanked his team-mates, Pacers executive Donnie Walsh and his basketball star sister Cheryl Miller for helping him hone his skills.
“Obviously basketball is a team game,” he said. “Donnie (Walsh), thank you for taking a gamble on a skinny kid with big ears.
”People wish they could be in a house with the greatest of anything. I lived across the hall from the greatest women’s player,“ Miller added of his sister.
Nelson, who was a finalist for the Hall of Fame for the fifth time, has more than 1,300 NBA victories and is one of only two coaches to be named NBA Coach of the Year three times.
He spent more than 40 years of his life as a player, coach and general manager, winning five titles as a player with the Boston Celtics. The teams he coached made 18 playoff appearances and amassed 75 playoff wins, but Nelson said he had left the game with no regrets.
”Hopefully this will be the last tuxedo that I’ll be wearing,“ Nelson said. ”I am going to Maui. There is life after basketball.“
The class of 2012 also included Ralph Sampson, a three-time collegiate national player of the year, who later became known as one of the Houston Rockets’ Twin Towers -- along with Hakeem Olajuwon -- during the club’s success in the mid 1980s.
Friday’s inductees also included Jamaal Wilkes, two-time Olympic gold medallist Katrina McClain, longtime referee Hank Nichols and former Soviet women’s coach Lidia Alexeeva.
Wilkes was a member of four NBA championship teams, first in 1975 with Golden State and then with the Lakers in 1980, ‘82 and ‘85.