Terrell Owens made the decision to not attend the NFL Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony Saturday James Daniels Color Rush Jersey
, and the Hall of Fame's board of trustees reportedly wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Hall wants a guarantee from inductees in advance of the enshrinement ceremony that they will attend:"PFT has re-confirmed via a third source what was reported earlier in the day. The subject of an advance commitment to attend the enshrinement ceremony came up on Friday during both the annual Ray Nitschke luncheon (attended exclusively by members of the Hall of Fame) and the meeting of the Hall of Fame's board of trustees. The Hall of Fame staff has been asked to develop a rule, and the Hall of Fame's lawyers currently are in the early stages of crafting language."Rather than attending the ceremony in Canton, Ohio, Owens held an off-site event at the聽University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to commemorate the honor of being elected to the Hall of Fame. During his speech, he called into question the process of electing candidates."It's about the mere fact that the sports writers are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame," he said, per聽Chris Thompson of聽Deadspin. "These writers disregarded the system, criteria, and by-laws by which guys are inducted Josh Allen Color Rush Jersey
, and ultimately the true meaning of the Hall of Fame, and what it represents."Owens was a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro selection in his career, and he is currently eighth in NFL history in receptions (1,078), second in receiving yards (15,934) and third in receiving touchdowns (153).But Hall of Fame voters didn't induct him until his third year of eligibility, presumably because Owens earned a reputation for having a personality that was聽divisive聽at times, alongside some聽on-聽and聽off-field antics聽that rubbed certain people the wrong way.聽So Owens instead held his own commemoration. And聽Florio聽suspects that financial considerations are the primary factor at play in the Hall's聽pushback聽against future inductees doing the same.He wrote: "There's surely a financial motivation at work here. The weekend brings thousands of people鈥攁nd hundreds of thousands of dollars鈥攖o Canton. Friday night's Gold Jacket dinner, for example, featured tickets that cost $145 each Rashaan Gaulden Color Rush Jersey
, and at least 4,000 people attended the event at the Canton Civic Center."Induction in the Hall of Fame is a great honor for any player. But the ongoing Owens' debate has raised interesting questions about whether inductees should have control over how they celebrate the distinction, or whether the聽Hall should be anything more than simply a place that documents history and highlights the sport's greatest players.聽Owens ultimately had a difference of opinion with the politics of the Hall of Fame. It would seem the聽board of trustees hopes to avoid this sort of public conflict in the future. Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri hasn’t forgotten the first time he met Nick Nurse.
It was 1995 and Ujiri, now president of the Toronto Raptors, was playing for the Derby Storm of the British Basketball League. Nurse was coach of the rival Birmingham Bullets. Not yet 30, Nurse had already been on the bench for six years, quickly establishing himself as a coach on the rise.
”His teams were tough,” Ujiri said Thursday as the Raptors officially introduced Nurse as their coach. ”There was always something about the Birmingham team that was different from the whole league. People talked about them that way.”
More than two decades on from that initial introduction, Ujiri is hoping Nurse has what it takes to turn Toronto into the talk of the NBA.
The ninth head coach in Raptors history, Nurse replaces his former boss Christian Yelich Jersey
, Dwane Casey – under whom he spent the past five seasons as a Toronto assistant. Casey was fired after the Raptors were swept out of the second round of this year’s playoffs by Cleveland, their third straight playoff defeat at the hands of LeBron James and the Cavs.
Ujiri called Nurse ”everything you want in a candidate” and said his new coach, the first he has hired as an NBA executive, is someone who ”thinks the game differently.”
”He was outstanding,” Ujiri said. ”He really came out on top. Trying new stuff, being innovative, is who Nick is. You can tell he’s a tactician who really thinks the game.”
Nurse called it ”a long month” of waiting for a decision following Casey’s dismissal but said he understood why Ujiri needed to take his time.
”Even though I’ve been across the gym from him for five years, there’s a lot of detail to go through,” Nurse said.
Nurse also gave credit to Casey, who was hired as Detroit’s head coach this week.
”We shared a lot of winning together Authentic M.J. Stewart Jersey
,” Nurse said. ”He’s a competitive guy, a great professional. I learned a lot from him. You can’t take away the five years we shared.”
Toronto went 59-23 this season, the best record in the Eastern Conference and second-best in the NBA behind Houston. Nurse was in charge of the offense, led by All-Star guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. He also engineered a successful overhaul of the game plan before last season as Toronto put increased emphasis on ball movement and 3-point shooting.
For the coming season, Nurse said he wants to inject more defensive creativity ”so we can try to be ready for more things in the playoffs.”
Rex Kalamian, a Raptors assistant alongside Nurse last season, is expected to join the Los Angeles Clippers, leaving Nurse multiple spots to fill on his staff. Nurse said Thursday he has a good idea of what he’s looking for.
”I think it’s really important that we get an experienced staff,” he said. ”Guys that have been head coaches at some level is important to me. It’s good to know what it’s like to be the decision maker.”
There’s also the possibility of new players, with Ujiri acknowledging Toronto has ”work to do” with its roster.
Nurse graduated from Northern Iowa and got his first head coaching position at Grand View College when he was only 23. He spent more than a decade in Europe and was an assistant coach for Britain at the 2012 London Olympics. A past G League coach of the year Cheap Calvin Ridley Jersey
, he’s the only coach to lead two teams to an NBA G League Championship, winning with Iowa in 2011 and Rio Grande in 2013.
Nurse’s career has seen its share of stops and opponents, but he still recalls facing Ujiri while with Birmingham.
”I remember,” Nurse said, smiling. ”He played really hard.”