Famed Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson Jr. passed away this week at 78, and that’s led to many tributes throughout the sports world. One of the most notable tributes Monday came from Turner Sports’ Inside The NBA cast, with Ernie Johnson narrating a solemn tribute to Thompson and then donning a towel over his shoulder and tossing one to each of his analysts, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal:
The Inside guys pay tribute to legendary coach John Thompson. pic.twitter.com/8fJouj8IzS
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 31, 2020
Here’s a transcription of Johnson’s comments there:
“Just when our hearts couldn’t feel any heavier, we learned that John Thompson has died at 78. The man with the trademark towel over the shoulder, the trademark intensity and drive to mold not just basketball powerhouses, but to shape the futures of young men. He did it for nearly 30 years at Georgetown, and his Hoyas cut down the nets in 1984. His influence will be felt for generations. Hall of Famer in every sense.”
That’s a compelling tribute to Thompson, who coached the Georgetown Hoyas from 1972-99 and led them to three Final Four appearances as well as the aforementioned 1984 NCAA championship, and was eventually inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. And it shows some of the impact he had.
[NBA on TNT on Twitter]