Philadelphia coaching legend Speedy Morris set to be honored by Naismith Hall of Fame – The Athletic

The irony of the nickname never seems to fade for him. As an athlete, Speedy Morris decidedly wasn’t, which is why his seventh-year basketball coach started slandering him with the nickname to begin with. As an adult, he was never in a big rush either. No longer a hard worker in a profession filled with upwardly mobile people.

The race winners, the people with the trophies and titles, are usually the ones we think of when it comes to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The Speedy Morriss of the world, the ones that are more focused on lifelong accomplishments than brass rings claim, tend to get overlooked. But 10 years ago, the people of Springfield wisely made room for “backers,” the people who leave an indelible mark on the sport, even if it is not a mark that can be measured in wins and losses. in defeats. Unlike the rest of the Hall Selections, which have rules governing eligibility and the Selection Committees that vote on admission, a Hall of Fame contributor is chosen at the discretion of the Direct Election Committee. Dick Vitale is a Hall of Fame contributor. The same goes for Dave Gavitt, Phil Knight and Howard Garfinkel.

And so should Speedy Morris. The people in Philadelphia know this better than anyone, which is why there is a movement, calm but strong, for the Hall to act, and preferably, quickly. To be quick for Speedy, if you will. Morris has Parkinson’s disease, and it has already turned the voice of one of the world’s greatest thread spinners into a whisper. The townspeople just want Morris to be honored as long as he’s healthy enough to appreciate it.

Do not mistake yourself. It is not a matter of charity. Morris is the very definition of a basketball contributor. Frankly, he’s dedicated his whole life to it, with such an original resume that you’d be hard pressed to find a duplicate. He got his first job at 17 and coached his last game at 77.

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