Zelda Spoelstra Inducted in 1990

Contributor Inducted in 1990
Zelda Spoelstra Zelda Spoelstra, Inducted into the NYC Hall of Fame in 1990
Photo credit: (NBA)
A longtime NBA league office executive Zelda Spoelstra. She was known as the ‘Angel of the NBA’ and advised every commissioner, including  Adam Silver, since the founding of the league.  She began her NBA career in 1951 as an assistant to the NBA’s first commissioner, Maurice Podoloff, and remained a pioneering force in the league for nearly 70 years.  She worked tirelessly to help secure pensions, arrange for medical assistance, and develop retirement programs for generations of NBA players.  Giants of our game, like George Mikan and Wilt Chamberlain, looked up to Zelda and she cultivated friendships with players of every era.  Countless colleagues in the league office found in Zelda a trusted mentor and trailblazer whose wisdom, kindness, and grace enriched their lives and careers. Zelda was nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which previously honored her in 2004 with the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her extraordinary efforts on behalf of NBA alumni.  She was an NBA legend who will forever be part of the league’s history.