Dennis Johnson was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Boston Celtics on Friday night in Indianapolis. Johnson's wife, Donna Johnson, and brother, Gary Johnson, accepted the honor on his behalf, giving thanks to Charles Barkley for repeatedly saying on television over the past several years that it was "shameful" that Johnson was not yet in the Hall.
A video montage was shown at the start of Johnson's presentation, during which Hall of Famers and former Celtics Larry Bird, John Havlicek and Bill Walton spoke. Bird said Johnson was "the best player I've ever played with" during the montage.
"It's disappointing," Bird told the Boston Herald of the delay in Johnson's entry, "but, still, he's there. I'm so proud of the family. I'm so happy for them. This meant a lot to DJ. We talked about this when he was playing."
Donna cried during a morning press conference at the Hall of Fame as she tried to offer thanks for her husband's long-awaited induction.
The Class of 2010 also included Jerry Buss, Cynthia Cooper, Bob Hurley Sr., Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, the 1960 USA men's Olympic team and the 1992 USA Basketball "Dream Team," along with the posthumous honoring of Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson and Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira.
The former Celtics point guard -- known as DJ -- won two NBA championship with Boston, in 1984 and '86, but was best known for his stellar defense. Johnson was a six-time All-Defensive First Team selection while earning nine consecutive All-Defensive team honors. The five-time NBA All-Star also won a title with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979, when he was named NBA Finals MVP.
A native of Compton, Calif., Johnson was drafted out of Pepperdine University by the SuperSonics in 1976; he later played with the Phoenix Suns (1980-83) before joining the Celtics (1983-90). Johnson accumulated more than 15,000 points and 5,000 assists in his 14-year career.
After retiring in 1990, Johnson spent time as a scout and coach in the NBA and the NBA Development League.
Johnson died in on Feb. 22, 2007 from a heart attack. He was 52.
ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan contributed to this report.