Wilkins receives news about 2006 Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame induction. Other inductees in the class include former NBA players Charles Barkley and Joe Dumars, University of Connecticut women’s head coach Geno Auriemma, ex- Big East commisioner Dave Gavitt, and Italian head basketball coach Sandra Gamba.
I am proud to be a member of this outstanding group of individuals, many of whom I played against and had some classic battles. Since my retirement from basketball, I have waited for this call and am honored to be recognized as one of the greatest to have ever played the game. I’m truly humbled by this experience, and I am appreciative of the many coaches and teammates who have been instrumental throughout my career.
Wilkins speaks about the good and bad playing for Panathinaikos of Athens after several All-Star season in the NBA:
I had reached my frustration point. I said, ‘I’m tired of being treated like crap, I’m not going to be treated like that anymore. I haven’t had any problems with the fans. One game, I was a little under the weather and they were cheering for me to come in at the end just so I wouldn’t leave without any points. That, to me, was the greatest thing — I’d never experienced anything like that before.
Wilkins talks about signing a three year contract with the Boston Celtics after playing the previous season with the Los Angeles Clippers:
It feels great. Just the tradition alone there gets you ready to play. I always loved playing in the Boston Garden and now I’ll be playing there all the time.
Wilkins discusses being traded from the Atlanta Hawks to the Los Angeles Clippers for small forward Danny Manning:
I’ve always wanted to be in L.A. When you’re on a winning team you want to stay and do well, but I’m finally coming to a team that respects me and my ability. The Clippers have talent but you need leadership, someone to step forward. I will do that for the Clippers.
After being named to his seventh All-Star game, Wilkins tears his Achilles’ tendon in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers:
I’ll be back. When I heard it pop, I knew what it was. First thing on my mind was my season was over and I started thinking about next year. I knew it was pretty bad.