Apr 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Former Indiana Pacers center Mel Daniels speaks during a ceremony to celebrate his induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
While Mel Daniels's acceptance into the Hall of Fame may be long overdue, the story leading up to the induction ceremony was full of unfortunate circumstances when Daniels was admitted to the hospital following an infection. It's good news that he was able to finally find a place in the Hall, but the great news that he is recovering nicely at home. While he would've loved to be at the ceremony to deliver his speech in person, a video message he prepared showed nothing but the greatest level of professionalism for the honor he's waited so long to receive.
Compared to other speeches, Mel's was short and sweet, to the point and concise. Following a great montage of Daniels's accomplishments including making the ABA Indiana Pacers the greatest franchise in the storied league's history, Daniels was quick to share his love for the Pacers, the joy he felt joining the Hall of Fame alongside his good friend Reggie Miller, extending his thanks to Donnie Walsh and the Simons for allowing him the opportunity to remain an integral part of the Indiana Pacers franchise well beyond his playing days, thanks to his wife CeCe.
Daniels not only showcased the Pacers on the highest pedestal, but was quick to make great strides for the ABA and the hope for the Hall to continue to move forward with their plans to represent the ABA accordingly, with ample praise for the talent, the shooting, the and the highlights of the ABA. Daniels hopes the time is drawing near for not only other ABA stars, but also the greatest coach in the ABA, Slick Leonard. If Daniels's wishes hold true, Slick, along with teammates Roger Brown and George McGinnis, will soon find their own enshrinement, as Daniels hopes he and Reggie can hold the door open for the future of the Indiana Pacers in the Hall of Fame.
It was short, it was to the point, it was perfect. Mel Daniels finally reached the Hall of Fame, and couldn't have found a better set of words to accept the honor. Congratulations, Mel Daniels.