I realize that I neglected our two Hall of Fame Inductees who have passed away. It wasn’t meant as a slight. The basketball articles and insight into their games are a little beyond me. I saw DJ in his last four or five seasons as a Celtic when I was very young. I remember trusting him to make the right play and hit big shots. Gus I never saw.
Their careers achievements are no secret:
Dennis Johnson – 3 NBA Championships, 1 Finals MVP, 9 All-Defense Teams, 5 All-Star Games, 2 All-NBA Teams
Gus Johnson – 1 ABA Championship, 5 All-NBA Teams, 5 All-Star Teams, 2 All-Defense Teams
But their induction is about more than sport at this point. It is about recognition and honoring the accomplishments not just of these individuals but of their families, who supported them and miss them. Watching Donna Johnson (Dennis’s wife) break down at the mic in the induction ceremony this morning was touching. We forget that these people are more than numbers on a stat sheet or figures making plays on a flashing screen. They mattered in a much more significant setting to family, friends, and teammates who loved them.
I’m sure a lot of fans are unhappy that these players were not inducted in their lifetimes, but there’s a higher meaning to being inducted posthumously. The honor is shared, a sign of respect not just to the inductee but to all the people he impacted.