Over the weekend, the next batch of basketball legends were inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame
and during the ceremony, all I could think about was how weird it was to see all these players from my youth now at the stage of their life/career where they're entering basketball immortality. It went from "this guy is a surefire HOFer" while they were playing to the actual induction in what feels like a blink of an eye. A true "you're getting old as shit" moment for me and I'm sure other olds out there that grew up during that era of NBA basketball.
I've always been a sucker for the HOF ceremony, but especially in recent years. Paul Pierce in 2021 and Kevin Garnett in 2020 obviously played a huge role in that, and this year's class was no different. While I enjoyed all the speeches/moments, nothing really came close to what we got once it was Dwyane Wade's turn.
I'd go so far to say it was one of the greatest sports speeches I've ever heard.
Now 26 minutes is a long time, but I do suggest watching the whole thing if you didn't catch it over the weekend. Even someone like myself, a person who roots for a rival of Wade's and had to deal with the Heatles effectively sending the Celts Big 3 into retirement can enjoy this speech, that tells you something. This part right here? Waterworks city
What an awesome moment and the perfect way to cap off a hell of a speech from an incredible player. While the internet has spent the summer debating Paul Pierce vs DWade and James Harden vs DWade (for some reason), I do think as time has gone by people have sort of forgotten how dominant Wade was. The guy was a monster
and now he'll be remembered in the HOF for the rest of time.
As I've gotten older I've learned to be an actual adult and get over how I felt watching these guys play during their era considering the battles they had with my favorite team and instead have learned to appreciate the greatness I was watching. At times you can get lost in the moment due to your fandom and not really understand or appreciate what you're seeing at the time. Wade sort of touched on that in his speech when it came to Dirk. Did I ever think we'd live in a world where those two guys were doing viral internet trends together?
Hell no. But it just goes to show time heals all wounds
I imagine this feeling will continue moving forward as more and more players from my generation are finally inducted into the HOF. It's an odd feeling when you go from sports hate to appreciation, and the same will be true of the 2024 class with guys like Vince Carter now eligible. It might also be a time we finally see guys like Chauncey Billups, Shawn Marion, and Amar'e Stoudamire get in, which again feels so weird. I could have sworn we were just watching all these guys play not too long ago, but it just goes to show how quickly time flies.