Hall Pleas Go Unheard For Haywood

A tweet from Samuel L Jackson caught my eye on Friday night. 

I began this post on Friday night when I saw Jackson’s tweet. For various reasons, I didn’t finish it. After this weekend of news on Spencer Haywood, I’m glad I didn’t. 

***

The name Spencer Haywood had not been heard by me in a long time. In need of a history refresher I began perusing his Twitter page.  I noticed a series of tweets to various people with the same wording and corresponding link:

Was this really Spencer Haywood? No “verified” Twitter check mark always makes me skeptical but, digging deeper into his timeline makes it look as though it is him.

A September 2011 tweet, possibly his first, gives some insight:

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But, that link? Why was he tweeting the same link over and over again? And to today’s players? Here’s an excerpt from that link from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Several generations of players owe thanks to Haywood for his courage to take on the NBA and pave the way for them to become multimillionaires earlier than they would have been entitled.

But that courage has come with a price. Curt Flood, who had fought baseball for the right to play where he wanted to, told Haywood his life would be hell for doing what he did. Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, heard the case and told Haywood afterward that he would be ostracized.

They may have been right. 

***

Fast forward to Saturday. The Basketball Hall Of Fame announcements were  “leaking” out. Official announcements will be made on Monday, April 8th. But word had leaked that Haywood had finally made the hall of fame. Congratulations were in order:

But as quickly as the joy of finally being elected to the Hall of Fame came, it faded to disbelief and anger. For reasons still unclear, Haywood was told he was a Hall of Famer, only to find later that he wasn’t. Confusion reigns.  

“I don’t know why there was confusion,” Haywood said Saturday from Atlanta, where he is attending the Final Four. “Someone from the NBA told me I was in, then I found out Friday night that I wasn’t in.

“This is so embarrassing. My stomach has been so bad I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. This isn’t a punch in the stomach. It’s below the stomach.” –Las Vegas Review-Journal

***

Hall of Fame so close he could taste it. But it wasn’t meant to be. Twitter reaction: 

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So what now? What now for an NBA champion, Olympic gold medalist, 4-time All Star and 2-time NBA 1st-teamer, not to mention an ABA Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player? How can he recover from this heart-wrenching episode? What more for the man who helped change the NBA landscape, similar to Curt Flood and Major League Baseball?

He’ll continue to wait. Wait for that call that he hopes one day may come. Perhaps next year, social media can used as a campaign for Haywood’s election. Not necessarily by Haywood himself. But by the many fans and media who feels he belongs in the hall for what he did on and off the court. 

But until then…he’s still a winner.

***

CadChica Sports

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