I was very touched when Stern mentioned that "one of the highlights last several years for me was being in Boston, when Bill Russell came home," Stern continued to say, "and the statue of Bill Russell was unveiled there, it was wonderful."
I can absolutely concur with Commissioner Stern. As a member of the Boston Press Corp, I was privlidged enough to have been invited to the Russell Statue dedication ceremony. It ranks as THE BEST day of my professional life, working in Boston sports media. My remarks, memories and complete gushing over the ceremony, Bill Russell and Commissioner Stern is in the media player above. I'd love if you listened and left your opinions in the comments section below.
Back to David Stern's speech...
The legendary commish didn't stop vocalizing his love for Boston with Cousy and Russell either.
Stern talks a lot about Magic Johnson and his fight for HIV/AID awareness. David says, "It's bad enough that everyone thought that he [Magic Johnson] was going to die," he continues, "I'm almost moved to tears every time I am in his presence and I love to give him a hug, just to check that he's still there." Stern also gives Donald Sterling a few jabs as he highlighted Magic's tireless work on behalf of HIV/AIDS and giving back to the poor communities.
Next up: Larry Bird.
Before paying "Larry Legend" the tribute befitting his contributions to the Association, Stern also accuses Bird of being a bit grouchy in his rookie season; no shocks there. Stern says that Larry Bird loves basketball. He said, "He [Bird] tells you that if you are a great player, there's a place for you in our league," he continues to say, "Together with Magic... Larry and Magic, They're forever interwoven," Stern adds, "they even did one of our first music videos together." Stern finishes up his remarks on Bird by saying, "He's here to represent greatness. He's [Larry Bird] here to represent competition. I thought when I became commissioner it was the natural thing you did; you went to LA. You went to Boston. Then you went back to LA again. That's what June was!"
Lastly, To the delight of Mike "The Scotsman" Munger, David Stern threw a few elbows at Joey Crawford throughout the speech as well. I'm sure that'll delight NBA and Boston Celtics fans everywhere.
Mr. Stern, best of luck in retirement. Your contributions to the NBA are so many even the King James Bible is not large enough for your credits.