Nets Season Ticket Members Treated to Jason Kidd, Rod Thorn Hall of Fame Enshrinement
Complimentary trip included hotel stay and VIP reception with NBA greats
The night that basketball players spend their entire lives working for and dreaming of also became a memorable experience for a contingent of Nets season ticket members who visited Springfield, Mass. for the 2018 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony.
"Remarkable. I'm still unconscious," said Bruce Reznick, also known as Mr. Whammy. "I'm walking in a dream. It was just simply marvelous. The personnel were wonderful, the hotel they picked is the best they could ever come up with. I've never met such courteous, accommodating people in my life. We had the most wonderful time. To embrace some of the old players, get autographs of the old players. It was a dream come true."
"That was a beautiful event," said Herb Brown. "I thought it was great. Everything. It was my first one, so it was really surprising, but I really enjoyed it."
The event was a celebration of the Nets' greatest NBA era with the induction of point guard Jason Kidd and team president Rod Thorn. The Nets group received tickets to the enshrinement ceremony, the pre-event VIP Reception at the Hall of Fame, hotel stay, breakfast the following morning and commemorative basketballs, all courtesy of the Nets.
"Things like this really hit you in the heart for your love of the game beyond the Nets part of it makes it really special," said Jay Jollie. "The way it was put together. The hotel. The VIP reception. We met Jason. We met Grant Hill. We met Jason Collins. Everybody was there and it was so nice in a relaxed environment like that. It wasn't like you were pushing somebody. Everybody was just happy and celebrating together. I just loved it."
"So accessible," said Sally Scimeca. "Everybody that we met, there wasn't one person that refused to talk to you, to even sign a couple autographs, which we didn't ask, but take pictures with you. It was just amazing how everybody was so accessible and so friendly and so happy."
Kidd and Thorn were part of a 13-person class that included three of Kidd's peers — Grant Hill, Steve Nash, and Ray Allen. Kidd's 19-year career included his six-plus season stint with the Nets during which he led the team to two NBA Finals and four division titles while earning two All-NBA First Team honors.
He retired following the 2013 season and ranks second all-time in NBA history in assists and steals, as well as third in triple-doubles.
"Jason Kidd was amazing," said Robert Liff. "His passes, his fast breaks, his leadership on the team, his clutch plays. Jason was amazing. Amazing individual. All-around great basketball player. He took us to a whole other level."
After retiring as a player, Thorn took the first step in extending what has become a more than 50-year career in pro basketball as an assistant coach for the 1974 ABA champion New York Nets. He returned to the franchise in 2000 and a year later Thorn's trade for Kidd was the centerpiece of the dramatic rebuild of the summer of 2001. It paid off with the consecutive Eastern Conference championships.
"Rod always has great stories," said Jill Bloch. "A few years ago we sat at a table for a function and he just sat and told us stories the whole night. We just sat there forever and listened to him."
Previously inducted Hall of Famers such as Nets legend Julius Erving and more joined this year's inductees at the VIP reception at the Hall of Fame. From there, Nets season ticket members bussed over to the induction ceremony and walked the same red carpet as the Hall of Famers on their way in.
At the induction ceremony, they heard from the full class that also included Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Lefty Driessel and Charlie Scott, among others.
"It was great," said Jeff Essenfeld. "The cocktail party was fun and the players finally came out and we got to mingle with them and see them. The ceremony was great. A very impressive and memorable event."
"It doesn't matter how many accolades they receive, this was sort of like the creme de la creme for all of them," said Neldra Zeigler. "You could see the gratitude, and even humility. I listened to every word everybody said, so I loved it."