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2018 Basketball Hall of Fame live blog

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Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Steve Nash (NBA Canada Illustration)

Tonight, 13 individuals will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 2018 Hall of Fame class is headlined by Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Grant Hill and Canada's very own Steve Nash - four players who combined for 35 All-Star appearances, three championships and nine All-NBA First Team selections in their NBA careers.

Joining them are the likes of NBA legend Maurice Cheeks, WNBA legend Tina Thompson and EuroLeague legend Dino Radja.

The red carpet show begins at 6:00 PM Eastern Time. The enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for an hour later, at 7:00 PM on NBA TV Canada.

Stick and stay with NBA.com as we bring you all the highlights from one of the greatest nights in sports.

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MORE: Meet the 2018 Hall of Fame class | How to watch the ceremony | Is this the greatest Hall of Fame class ever?

The Class

That's a wrap!

Here's the 2018 Hall of Fame Class in all its glory:

Congratulations to the 13 inductees!

The Ceremony

Ray Allen

Last but not least: Ray Allen, the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made. Allen won two championships and was named an All-Star 10 times in his NBA career.

It didn't take Allen long to shoutout his hero, Michael Jordan, in his Hall of Fame speech.

"There is one person that's not here that I have to mention their name, that's Michael Jordan," Allen said. "As a 14-year-old kid, I was sitting in my bedroom and I seen him come down the lane, he turned around, he jumped in the air, he hit someone's body, he threw the ball off the backboard and it went it. It seemed like he wasn't even looking at the hoop, and I said I have to be able to do that. That has to be me someday. Wherever Mike is, I want to tell you, I wanted to be like Mike growing up."

It's that work ethic that turned Allen into a Hall of Famer.

Allen also paid his respect to Reggie Miller, saying he is the "best shooter I've ever seen in my life" and that he had "a profound effect" on his early years in the NBA.

Check out Allen's entire speech here:

Steve Nash

The man who needs no introduction ... but we'll give him one anyway: Steve Nash is one of 13 players in NBA history to win multiple MVP awards - and he did it in back-to-back seasons. He was an eight-time All-Star and a three-time member of the All-NBA First Team.

The Canadian is widely considered to be one of the top 10 point guards of all-time.

"I was never supposed to be here," Nash said. "It's an incredible feeling to walk up those stairs."

Nash thanked a lot of people in his speech, from the fans around the world to the people who helped fuel his passion for the game of basketball.

"I grew up playing soccer and hockey, and this was a new game for me, but it was about the same time Michael Jordan burst on the scene and I had never seen anything like it, and I fell in love with it right away," he said. "We played on the 8th grade team, we were overconfident and cocky, and we formed a bond that was unbelievable - we played before school, lunch time, after school - and that love and passion is the thread of everything that I've accomplished."

It's hard to believe now, but Nash only received one scholarship offer coming out of high school. He spent four seasons at Santa Clara University, averaging 14.9 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Nash looks back on the years with fond memories.

"I had one scholarship offer to Santa Clara University," Nash said. "I admit, I had never heard of it, but I jumped at the chance and it was an incredible time of my life. Those teammates I played with at Santa Clara, many of them are here today and they are still very close friends of mine."

Nash represented his country before he came to the NBA, playing for Team Canada at the age of 16. Nash said Ken Shields, the former head coach of the Canada's national team, is a "formative figure" in his basketball career.

"My first chance to play for my country, Canada, I played for Ken Shields. He brought me out to practice with the national team when I was 16, out of high school, nobody thought I passed the eye test. He saw something in me, he mentored me, he taught us discipline, his teams were uncompromising and well-drilled."

Nash wasn't done talking about his national team experience, either.

"The greatest experience of my career was playing in the Olympic games for Canada, and my coach was Jay Triano. Jay was a hero to me, recruited me in high school and taught me to love the game. He always said shooting is like breathing, you gotta do it every day to live."

Always known for his passing, Nash credits Don Nelson, who coached him when he was on the Dallas Mavericks, for making him a more complete player in the NBA. Nash retired as one of the greatest shooters the league has ever seen.

"He made me really think differently about the game," Nash said about Nelson. "Most importantly for me personally, though, Nelly taught me to be aggressive to score. I was very shy. I always wanted to pass, set up my teammates. Nelly demanded I score. That changed everything for me. That's a big reason I'm standing here today, so thank you, Nelly."

As for his Phoenix days, Nash had a lot to say about Mike D'Antoni, Alvin Gentry and Amar'e Stoudemire.

"Mike was the coach for my greatest years as a basketball player. He was - he is a brilliant coach, but for me, 100 years ago, he was a brilliant basketball coach. He told us not to care about what anyone else thought, run it down their throats, put pressure on them the entire game and make them pay. And I'll never forget that attitude, that spirit and those lessons. Thanks for those great years, Mike."

"Alvin Gentry, you coached the hell out of an aging team. I think we were picked 13th in the West. We got a couple of games from the NBA Finals. That was one of the funnest years I had in my career, so thank you, Alvin."

"In Phoenix I got to play with Amar'e Stoudemire. I didn't really watch a lot of film when I play, I certainly don't like to look back now, but whenever something comes across my timeline or I see a pick-and-roll with Amar'e, it makes me smile. This guy was the ultimate target for a point guard. He made the game a lot of fun. Thank you, Amar'e."

Nash finished his speech with a special message for the next generation:

Check out Nash's entire speech here:

MORE: 13 stats that define Nash's career | Inside Nash's Hall of Fame offensive impact | Details behind Nash's greatest PG rivalries

Tina Thompson

Not only is Tina Thompson the first pick in WNBA Draft history. She's a four-time champion and a nine-time All-Star. Thompson was recognized as one of the 20 greatest and most influential players in league history in 2016.

In her speech, Thompson said that she was a "product of a village" and that she could never have "gotten here alone."

Check out Thompson's entire speech here:

Jason Kidd

The only player in NBA history to record more assists and steals than Jason Kidd in their career? John Stockton. In addition to two Olympic gold medals, Kidd is a 10-time All-Star and a five-time member of the All-NBA First Team.

That's first-ballot Hall of Fame material.

Kidd started his speech by thanking Hall of Famer Gary Payton, who was a mentor to him growing up in Oakland, California.

"I can honestly say that I wouldn't be here in front of you all without Gary giving me the confidence to play like I have through the years," he said. "Thanks for bringing this full circle, being with me from when it started and now being here today."

Kidd then had a message for his former Dallas Mavericks teammate Dirk Nowitzki:

Check out Kidd's entire speech here:

Ora Mae Washington

Ora Mae Washington led the Philadelphia Tribunes to 11 straight Women's Colored Basketball World Championships as a player and coach between 1932-42. She passed away on Dec. 21, 1971 at the age of 73.

Dino Radja

Dino Radja was recognized as one of the 50 greatest EuroLeague contributors of all-time in 2008. The Croatian also played four seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, with averages of 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

"My gut feeling was Celtic from the first day," Radja said. "You know what they say, once a Celtic always a Celtic."

Check out Radja's entire speech here:

Charlie Scott

In 1966, Charlie Scott became the first black scholarship athlete at the University of North Carolina. It's something he spoke with NBA.com's David Aldridge about on the red carpet before the ceremory.

"It was a time where we, as black people, had to take responsibility for things that we wanted to accomplish," he said. "I was given an opportunity to do something and I felt like it was my responsibility to do it to the best of my ability to set a standard that would be good enough and high enough that people would understand that we are just as bright as all other individuals."

Smith is the 10th Tar Heel to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. To no surprise, he took a few digs at the Dukies in the building during his speech.

Check out Scott's entire speech here:

Charles Driesell

Charles Driesell was the first coach to win at least 100 games at four different Division 1 schools. He said being inducted into the Hall of Fame is "probably the happiest day of my life."

Like Grant Hill, Driesell had Mike Krzyzewski on stage with him during his speech. Unlike Hill, Driesell fired off some jokes at Coach K's expense.

There's also this...

Check out Driesell's entire speech here:

Rick Welts

Currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Golden State Warriors, Rick Welts is credited with creating the NBA All-Star Weekend and helping launch the WNBA.

The first openly gay executive in major sports, Welts says the support of Steve Nash, who was on the Phoenix Suns when Welts served as the franchise's President and Chief Executive Officer, when he came out in 2011 was huge.

Bill Russell said Welts' speech was "one of the most heart felt moving speeches I have ever heard."

Check out Welts' entire speech here:

Katie Smith

Katie Smith is a WNBA champion, a Finals MVP, a seven-time All-Star and a member of the WNBA's All-Decade Team. There aren't many players currently in the Hall of Fame who can match her resume.

It's crazy to think that basketball wasn't even always on the cards for Smith.

"Being an Olympian was a dream, but I never thought basketball would be my career," she said." The timing was perfect: I finished my four years at Ohio State and two professional leagues are there - the ABL and WNBA. And dad, I am sorry that dentistry was put on hold and then buried. Maybe a less stressful job, but..."

Check out Smith's entire speech here:

Maurice Cheeks

If you're wondering why Maurice Cheeks is a Hall of Famer, NBA.com's Gilbert McGregor broke down his impressive career in the NBA.

Cheeks shared a great story about how he made it to the NBA in his induction speech:

"William Dise, who is out here tonight, a teammate of mine at DuSable High School, who was one of the best and recruited by all the best schools," Cheeks said. "William could have gone anywhere, but he told coach that he would only come to West Texas State only if he took me, a shy skinny kid who was not heavily recruited for basketball scholarships. So I want to thank William. It was his urging that led to my basketball career."

Cheeks wasn't even highly recruited coming into the NBA, as he was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 36th overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. He went on to become an NBA champion, a four-time All-Star and a four-time member of the NBA's All-Defensive First Team.

Later in his speech, Cheeks got emotional when talking about his mother.

"My very first coach, Mamma Cheeks," he said. "Every night when the street lights came on, the whole block could hear you call out our names, one by one ... This was one of the many ways you were protecting us. You are amazing and I'm grateful for who you are."

Check out Cheek's entire speech here:

Rod Thorn

Rod Thorn has spent time as a player, coach and executive over the last 50 years. He was a member of the All-Rookie First Team as a player in 1964 and the NBA's Executive of the Year in 2002.

Thorn is the person responsible for drafting Michael Jordan with the No. 3 pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. He says he still gets "50-or-so letters every year" from fans asking for his and Jordan's signature.

Check out Thorn's entire speech here:

Grant Hill

First up: Grant Hill, the man who was LeBron James before there was a LeBron James.

Hill acknowledged Patrick Ewing, Mike Krzyzewski, Isiah Thomas and Alonzo Mourning in his speech for inspiring him throughout his NBA career.

Having won back-to-back championships at Duke with Krzyzewski as his coach, Hill is widely considered to be one of the greatest college basketball players of all-time.

"I came to you with this dream and you gave me the blueprint," Hill said. "I learned how to lead, how to win, how to compete, how to play together as a unit, even how to slap the floor when I'm playing defense. And, of course, how to be a champion. But most importantly, you taught me to believe in myself. You gave me permission to be great, that it was okay to be great."

Fun fact? Hill is the first Duke player ever to be selected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Check out Hill's entire speech here:

Red Carpet

The red carpet has begun!

Canada's best is in the building.

Here's a familiar face for you:

Ray Allen's work ethic was no joke. NBA.com's David Aldridge asked him about where his incredible practice habits came from.

"Just obsession," Allen said. "I've always had the fear of letting people down. Most of my life, I've been let down in some form of fashion, you know, just when you expect something from people. I told myself from a young age that I was going to go out there and force through no matter what, not let myself down, not let my teammates down, not let my family down."

Grant Hill talked to NBA TV's Kristen Ledlow about what it was like receiving the Hall of Fame call:

Reggie Miller is one of many Hall of Famers who will be in attendance tonight.

As the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks team that won the championship in 2011, Rick Carlisle knows Jason Kidd better than most.

"We're so happy for Jason Kidd," Carlisle told NBA TV's Kristen Ledlow. "For me, the definition of greatness in this league is adapting to a great game like NBA basketball and then also forcing the game to adapt to you. Jason did that, and he's one of the greatest competitors that I've ever seen."

In speaking with NBA.com's David Aldridge, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr credited Nash and Mike D'Antoni for influencing the way the game is played today.

"Mike D'Antoni and Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, they set the bar pretty high," Kerr said. "They had more success than the old [Don Nelson] teams did in many ways. I think the way Nash played in particular, with all the 3-point shooting around him, changed the way the point guard position is played today."

Kerr is right - a number of NBA point guards, from Chris Paul to Trae Young, have modeled their game after Nash.

Nash's pick-and-roll partner in Phoenix, Amar'e Stoudemire, was the first guest to arrive at tonight's festivities.

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