Several big-time NBA players finally got their flowers over the weekend.
The honor started with Ahmad Rashad introducing a video featuring Pat Riley and former teammates Chris Bosh and LeBron James speaking on his talent over a montage of his most impressive plays. The award was presented to him by Allen Iverson, who Wade specifically chose because he’s such an integral part of basketball culture but is oft forgotten.
The Miami Heat legend took to the stage to give a heartfelt speech that lasted almost 30 minutes. It included him looking back on his nearly two decades in the league and, most pointedly, thanking his parents for their sacrifices to ensure his greatness.
“I started this off thanking you, and I want to end it the same way. I owe you a debt of gratitude that I’ll never be able to repay,” Wade told his father. “When I would cry and say, ‘I can’t,’ you made me go harder. You pushed me to the limits I didn’t know were inside of me [and] the hard work I put in was because I didn’t want to let you down.”
He continued to laud him for raising him into the man he is today and asked him to stand so the crowd could see him. Toward the end of the speech, his father joined him on stage, and as the two embraced, Wade said, “This one right here is for my father. I love you, and I am thankful for you; we in the Hall of Fame, dawg.”
“I wouldn’t be here without you, brother,” Gasol said as he looked to the heavens. “I wish more than anything that you and [Gianna] were here today with us. I miss you and love you. Thank you.”
See how social media’s reacting to the Hall of Fame speeches below.
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