SPRINGFIELD -- On Thursday afternoon, 13 new inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame walked across the Jerry Colangelo “court of dreams” and on stage to receive their Nasmith Orange Hall of Fame jackets.
Among the new inductees, three have ties to the Boston Celtics. The most notable, and recent, is Ray Allen who played with the team from 2007-12, winning a title along the way.
The other two members of the class who spent time in Boston are Charlie Scott and Dino Radja. Scott won a title with the Celtics in the 1975-76 season and averaged more than 20 points per game (20.7) for his career. Radja is a EuroLeague legend and played in Boston from 1993-97. In that span he averaged 16.7 and 8.4 rebounds per game for the Celtics.
Scott recalls his time in Boston very fondly, with one moment standing out above all others.
“Winning the championship was the greatest time, that’s what you play basketball for. Really my time in Boston was the greatest time because of the guys that I played with,” he said.
“Dave Cowens is one of my favorite people, John Havlicek and JoJo (White) are my best friends, Paul Silas is a friend of mine. The friendships that I made they are definitely ones I truly admire and enjoy. Boston has been an absolute treat for me all the time,” he said.
Like Scott, Radja has nothing but positive memories for Boston.
“It was a great time, I played with Chief (Robert Parish), come on now. I had a great time,” he said.
“My favorite moment of my Celtics time was my first game when coach told me to enter the game. There was a stoppage and things started going through my head like you are about to enter the court where Havlicek stole the ball, I heard that sentence a million times,” he said.
“You are about to enter the court where Havlicek stole the ball, where Bill Russell won nine straight titles, where Larry (Bird) and Kevin (McHale) played. You look at those banners and you are kind of overwhelmed until the moment you come in.”
Allen had the best account for what the day means for himself, Radja, Scott and all the other inductees.
“I don’t think that people quite have an understanding of the moment of the situation. Us that have played in this game and been here before we get it, we understand, and that’s why the gravity of the situation for us is so much greater,” said Allen of the induction process.
“Being inducted into this class of such historical players, legends, you never can get ready for it. You just take your place and hope that you’ve been a great example for young people and for people for years to come.”
Joining Allen, Radja and Scott at Friday night’s induction ceremony will be Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Maurice Cheeks; women’s stars Tina Thompson, Katie Smith and Ora Mae Washington; coach Lefty Driesell; and longtime executives Rod Thorn and Rick Welts.