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The 5 most memorable Basketball Hall of Fame speeches

Jim Rogash / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Thirteen individuals will achieve basketball immortality Friday when they are inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. The list is highlighted by Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Maurice Cheeks, includes female inductees such as Tina Thompson and Katie Smith, and executives like Rick Welts.

The night is sure to be a special one for all those involved, but it will be tough for any of them to match these five memorable induction speeches:

5. Peter Vecsey

The bombastic Vecsey was one of the NBA's top reporters for decades, and in 2009, he was honored with the Curt Gowdy Media Award. During a 30-minute pre-induction dinner speech, Vecsey told crude tales until his microphone was eventually cut off. Then-NBA commissioner David Stern apparently spent much of the speech staring at his phone, while Michael Jordan left the room.

To this day, no video of the event can be found online.

4. Shaquille O'Neal

The most dominant player of his era used his trademark humor throughout his 2016 induction speech, saving his best line for former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant.

"Kobe Bryant, a guy who would push me and help me win three titles," O'Neal said. "But who also helped me get pushed off the team and traded to Miami."

3. Dennis Rodman

Rodman was cut from his high school basketball team and spent time after graduation working as a janitor. His ensuing journey to the Hall of Fame was a central reason Rodman was so emotional during his 2011 speech, as he broke down several times.

"You know, I could have been anywhere in the world," he said. "I could have been dead. I could have been a drug dealer. I could have been homeless - I was homeless."

2. Allen Iverson

Iverson's 2016 induction speech was much like his career as a player: raw and authentic. The man who redefined NBA style in the late '90s and early 2000s thanked dozens of people during his 31-minute speech, including rappers Biggie, Tupac, Redman, and Jadakiss.

Using a "Chappelle's Show" skit as a reference, Iverson described the first time he played against Jordan, saying, "I literally seen his aura."

1. Michael Jordan

This 2009 speech goes down in history for two reasons: it provided the visual for the ubiquitous "Crying Jordan" meme, and it gave a more personal glimpse into MJ's notoriously competitive personality. Jordan awkwardly apologized to his children for the "heavy burden" they bear for having him as a father, and also called out former Bulls GM Jerry Krause.

"He said, 'organizations win championships.'" Jordan cited Krause as saying. "I said, 'I didn't see organizations playing with the flu in Utah, I didn't see them playing with a bad ankle.'"

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