The two symbols of the Nets most successful eras — Jason Kidd and Rod Thorn — were officially enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night, part of one of the Hall’s great classes.
For Kidd, it was a time to thank many of those who he worked with in New Jersey, Kidd offered his first gratitude to Thorn, the GM who traded for him. “Congrats to you for giving me the opportunity to play on the biggest stage,” said Kidd in his acceptance speech.
Number 5 also singled out a number of people in ownership back then, including Artie Rabin, who he said was “like a dad to me.” He also pointed to the efforts of former Nets trainer Timmy Walsh, who he suggested used glue and smelly socks to keep him on the court, and former spokesman and confidant Gary Sussman as well as Leo Ehrline, who’s still with the Nets as Chief Experience Officer.
And after calling out his teammates —and coach Bryon Scott— from that era, from Kenyon Martin to Vince Carter, Kidd added, “You all made me look good. We had a great run. It was a great time to be a Net.”
Here’s his full speech...
For Thorn, the night was about three players, he told the crowd, Julius Erving who he coached as a Net in the ABA, Michael Jordan who he chose in the 1984 Draft and Kidd, who he traded for in 2001.
“I had seen Jason play for the national team in Puerto Rico the previous summer and thought if I could ever get him on a team of mine, I would,” said Thorn. “In 2001, we traded for him and won 52 games, one of the biggest turnarounds in league history and he led us to two finals. Very few players make others better and Jason Kidd did.”
Thorn also thanked Kidd for his friendship and said he was honored to have enshrined with him.
Thorn also mentioned the Katz-Chambers ownership team that hired him and he, too, thanked Ehrline for “friendship and support.”
Among the Nets representatives on hand were GM Sean Marks, who like Kidd is a Cal product; assistant GM Trajan Langon, Rabin, Sussman, Ehrline and Mr. and Mrs. Whammy.
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