You’ll excuse me while I get on my soap box so I can talk the rest of my fellow Laker snobs on this one.
Today the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced their class to be inducted on September 8th, 2012. The headliner of the class is none other than Riverside native and Indiana Pacer All-Time great Reggie Miller. Also among those to be enshrined is Laker legend Jamaal Wilkes.
No real surprise on the Wilkes front. The man was a winner at every level and held his own while playing with some of the greatest to ever hoop.
As great as the news was of Wilkes being inducted into the hoops Hall of Fame the real honor came later in the day when the Lakers announced their plans to retire #52 in honor of Wilkes.
There is no exact date as of yet but the Lakers are already looking at suitable time next season.
No doubt getting elected into the Hall of Fame in any sport is a very prestigious club of the most exclusive membership. But when you consider all of the greats that have worn purple and gold then compare that to how few that have their jersey hanging in Staples, then the concept of exclusive membership takes on a whole new meaning.
Those Boston Celtics are in that same boat as the Lakers when it comes to hoops history and all-time great players. Big difference is the green guys have no standards when it comes to hanging up numbers. At this rate they’ll have to start using letters once Brian Scalabrine’s jersey is hoisted on high after his playing days are over.
Including Wilkes, the Lakers will have a total of 8 jerseys retired. Go ahead and make that number 10 once Kobe and Shaq get sent to hoops heaven. Truly an exclusive club and truly an honor unlike any other in the game.
So congrats to Wilkes for joining the Hall of Fame. That is something to be proud of. But on having his jersey retired by the Lakers…well…there are no words, only the constant glimpses from fans that fill Staples as their eyes drift past the champion banners to admire the few, the proud, the greatest Lakers of all time.