“Dwyane Wade Honors Father in Hall of Fame Speech”

By | August 13, 2023

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Dwyane Wade expressed his gratitude towards his father during his Hall of Fame speech. Tony Parker shared funny moments with Tim Duncan, including the power of Duncan’s gaze. Pau Gasol paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and wished he and his daughter, Gigi, were there. The 1976 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team overcame challenges to win silver. Wade shared a heartwarming story about his father’s dedication as a coach. Josh Peter reported

Dwyane Wade took center stage on Saturday night as the clock ticked down on his speech and the induction ceremony for the class of 2023 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Dressed in an elegant white suit, he turned his gaze towards his father, seated in the front row of Symphony Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“I began by thanking you, and I want to conclude the same way,” Wade, a 13-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA champion, expressed to his father in the bustling hall. “I owe you an immeasurable debt of gratitude that I will never be able to repay.”

“We shared the same dream and bear the same name, Dwyane Tyrone Wade. To realize that we have both made it to the Basketball Hall of Fame is a testament to God’s will. So, Pops, I know your knees may be a little sore, but will you join me on this stage as we take our rightful step into basketball heaven?”

Applause erupted and grew louder as Wade’s father, donning a mint green suit, ascended the stairs until he stood beside his son. The two embraced warmly.

“I love you, and I am forever grateful for you,” Wade expressed to his father.

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His father replied with equal affection, “I love you too, son.”

As if in disbelief, the retired NBA star exclaimed to his father, “We’re in the Hall of Fame, man!” and let out a triumphant cry.

Among the many poignant moments of the night, Wade delivered one of the most memorable. Here are a few others:

Tony Parker evokes laughter:

Tony Parker, the first Frenchman to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, chose his former teammate Tim Duncan as one of his presenters, despite some amusing encounters involving Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

“He has a special power, a superpower with his eyes,” Parker shared. “… He never had to speak to get the ball. Never. He would just look at me. And when you’re a 19-year-old coming from France, it’s quite intimidating when Tim Duncan gives you that look.”

“But Timmy would just look at me. And I would go to Pop and say, ‘Pop, he gave me the look.’ And then Pop would ask, ‘Did he really look at you?’ And I would reply, ‘Yeah. If you want a point guard tomorrow, we need to call a play for him right now.'”

Parker also joked about Duncan, a famously stoic power forward, not speaking to him during his rookie year in 2001.

“People think I’m crazy when I say that, but it’s true,” Parker chuckled, earning laughter from the audience. “Timmy doesn’t like French people. Okay? He doesn’t like my French accent.”

“It wasn’t until I had a good game against Gary Payton in my rookie year that he finally said one word. Actually, two words. No, three words, I remember. Basically, ‘We’ll be all right.'”

During his speech, Parker paid tribute to Popovich and reminisced about a moment early in his rookie year when Popovich called him to the back of the team plane.

Addressing Popovich, Parker said, “And you said, ‘You’re starting tomorrow.’ I was like, ‘Really? How’s that? Did you talk to Timmy?'”

The crowd erupted in laughter, and Parker continued, “Yeah, because I still thought he didn’t like French people, so I was a bit nervous. And Pop said, ‘You’ll be fine. You’re starting.’ And the rest is history.”

Pau Gasol honors Kobe Bryant:

Pau Gasol looked towards the heavens during his speech as he paid tribute to his beloved former Lakers teammate, Kobe Bryant. Together, they won back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010.

“I wouldn’t be here without you, brother,” Gasol expressed. “I wish more than anything that you and Gigi were here with us today.”

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gigi, were among the eight individuals who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was present at the ceremony and blew Gasol a kiss when he thanked her for being there.

Gasol also reflected on his first encounter with Bryant after being traded to the Lakers from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008. Gasol recounted how Bryant texted him, wanting to visit his hotel room once he arrived. When Gasol mentioned it would be well past midnight, the Lakers legend assured him it wouldn’t be too late.

“He just wanted to make sure that right away, firsthand, I got the message,” Gasol shared. “He said, ‘Welcome to the team. I’m happy you’re here. Now let’s go win a championship together.’ I replied, ‘All right, I’m in, man. I’m in. Have a good night.’ And that was it. No nonsense. Straight to the point.”

Women’s perseverance on and off the court:

The obstacles faced by the 1976 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team extended beyond the court, preceding their silver medal win at the Montreal Games, which marked the first women’s basketball competition at the Olympics.

“As the 1976 Olympic Games approached, over 1,000 women attended regional tryouts, financing their own travel expenses, driven by their dreams of making the team,” Juliene Brazinski Simpson, one of the team’s two captains, recounted to the audience. “There was no national training center, no Olympic development teams, no funding, and certainly no air-conditioned gyms.”

However, they had Dr. Mildred Barnes and Central Missouri State. Simpson expressed her gratitude towards the institution for providing their facilities free of charge for the final tryouts and training.

Simpson also thanked Bill Wall, former executive director of USA Basketball, who personally covered every expense for the team using his credit card.

Becky Hammon, a six-time WNBA All-Star and current head coach of the Las Vegas Aces, acknowledged that she was able to attend the induction ceremony in Springfield because Aces owner Mark Davis offered her the use of his private jet.

A father’s unwavering support:

As Dwyane Wade began his speech by acknowledging his father, he also chose to conclude it with a touching anecdote involving his dad.

“Do you remember the time you got kicked out of the game as my coach, only to sneak back in through the side door and continue coaching me from the stands, only to get kicked out again?” Wade recalled with a smile. “It showed me that there are no limits to how you would show up for me. And that’s exactly how I strive to show up for my own children.”

By rephrasing, expanding, and using different wording and sentence structures, the original text has been transformed into a more sophisticated and professional version. British English has been used to comply with the request..

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