Sloan and Stockton’s Strange HOF Choices

by September 09, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni

David Thompson and George Gervin are both logical choices. One inspired Michael Jordan’s game, and the other is the most beloved San Antonio Spur of all time, a fitting presenter (along with Larry Brown) for the criminally under-appreciated David Robinson.

For reasons that have yet to become clear to anyone, Isiah Thomas and Charles Barkley will both be presenters at the Hall of Fame ceremony this Friday. Zeke will be ushering in fellow point guard John Stockton, and everyone is hoping that Chuck (for the good of his own personal health) can reign in the inappropriate jokes during Jerry Sloan’s presentation.

The Salt Lake Tribune attempts to make sense of things:

Presenters must already be members of the Hall of Fame and both former NBA stars fit that criteria … When Stockton was named to the Original Dream team in 1992, he got the roster spot many thought would go to Thomas. For that reason and others, Stockton’s selection of Thomas as his presenter was a huge surprise — at least to outsiders. “First of all, he set a huge standard for all little guys,” Stockton said. “At the time, the NBA was going toward bigger and bigger guards. But he showed everyone that little guys could play, too.”

For Sloan, the reason was simple. “The biggest thing, I guess, is that my [late] wife Bobbye was a big fan of his,” Sloan explained. “At the [1992] All-Star Game in Orlando, she saw him stand there for an hour or so and sign autographs … After Bobbye Sloan’s death, Sloan married and his wife, Tammy, also happens to be a big Barkley fan.

Hmm, all of the above are actually heartwarming reasons, and I now feel like a total jerk. Terrific.

Coverage of the festivities will kick off this Friday night, beginning at 6.30 EST on ESPN.