Joe Dumars is often a man of few words, at least when it comes to talking about his own ability or accomplishments. It's a testament to his character, however, that so many other people are willing to speak about him. Here are some of the words used to describe him from the first wave of articles about his not-yet-officially-announced inclusion to the Class of 2006 of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
"Now he's immortalized," [Rasheed] Wallace said after learning that team president Joe Dumars had been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
He's the greatest," said Lindsey Hunter, who has known Dumars both as a player and as a boss. "I'm thrilled to see him get in."
"That is very well-deserved," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "He's not just a Hall of Fame player, he's a Hall of Fame person. Joe is one of the main reasons I'm here, and I mean Joe as a person. The character that you see on this team is a direct result of him."
"It is long overdue because of what Joe has meant to the game, and I'm not talking about on the court," Chauncey Billups said. "He wasn't just important to Detroit, he was important to the whole league. People with his class don't come around very often."
"I think it is great," said Milwaukee's Charlie Bell, a Flint native who played at Michigan State. "He was a key member of the championships back in the day, and now he's a great GM. They probably wouldn't have won any championships without him."
"He's been big for me and a lot of guys on this team," said guard Chauncey Billups, who wore Dumars' uniform No. 4 when he was in high school. "Everything we do as a team, everything we're about, it starts with him."
"Joe is a one of the classiest guys you'll ever meet," said ex-NBA and Michigan State star Steve Smith, a Detroit native. "He's always striving for greatness, and for him, it really doesn't matter who gets the credit. Just as long as the job gets done."
"What he meant to his game, not just to this city but to the entire league, with his sportsmanship and his class and his character, it doesn't come around often," Billups said. "Just the things that he did outside of this court, I think it's long overdue. He's definitely deserving."
"The character that we have as a team is directly reflected because of him," Saunders said. "The reason he was a Hall of Fame player was because of that character."
If you made it this far, you're probably a fan of Joe D, which means you'll probably appreciate this video from earlier in the year posted at Need 4 Sheed.