Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Johnny "Red"

Great summary of the ceremony - "There was a stirring video homage with footage of Johnny both as a player and a color commentator. They gave him a collage of pictures and mementos for display in his home. A bust (representing his broadcasting days) was unveiled, and it will be prominently displayed in the United Center as long as that building still stands. Last, but certainly not least, Johnny was presented with the 2009 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. And there were some veryspecial guests, including Kerr's lifelong friend and NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, Jerry Colangelo (who convinced Johnny to coach in Phoenix many years ago), Kerr's old broadcasting buddy Jim Durham, NBA commissioner David Stern (who made his cadaverous appearance via video), the great Scottie Pippen, and the even greater Michael Jordan (who, in honor of their past together, clapped some rosin powder in Johnny's face). I didn't think it would be possible to top Jordan's speech, but then they aired a video tribute from Barack Obama, otherwise known as the freaking President of the United States! Kerr earned his reputation as the NBA's original iron man for playing in 844 consecutive regular season games, but the fact that he wasn't weeping like a child after all that is proof positive that he has a heart forged of pure steel. I know Iwas crying. (But in a manly way. While crushing rocks with my bare hands.) Even MJ was misty-eyed throughout. It was everything Johnny deserved. The only part of the event that hurt was seeing Johnny - who had always been so vigorous – appear physically diminished. In case you didn't know, Kerr was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and his declining health has been something of an open secret around Chicago (to long-time Bulls fans, anyway). In fact, his condition is the reason that the organization moved up the ceremony, which was originally scheduled for April. Johnny's son, Matt Kerr, had to read a statement that Johnny had prepared. And when Johnny finally did speak, it was obviously with great effort. I can only hope that Johnny's health will improve, at least enough for him to enjoy this long-overdue honor for many years to come."

"For a moment at the United Center, time stood still. Or, rather, it went back to another era."

Some video of the tribute.

We cannot give up this much - "Most Stoudemire suitors believe the Bulls have the chance to offer the best package, which could include the expiring contract of Drew Gooden, rapidly emerging forward Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah and possibly a draft pick. Bulls GM John Paxson recently had his assistant, director of player personnel Gar Forman, return to Chicago from the college scouting trail to pore over trade possibilities with him. The Bulls are clearly determined to land Stoudemire."

Ridiculous pass from AI.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment