Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Yao Ming headline Hall of Fame class
Shaquille O'Neal, Tom Izzo, Jerrry Reinsdorf, Sheryl Swoops, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson have been elected to the Naismith Basketball of Fame class of 2016.
O'Neal was elected to 14 NBA All-Star teams in his career. He won the Rookie of the Year award with the Orlando Magic after being selected with the No. 1 pick in the 1992 draft. He went on to win four NBA champions and took home the Finals MVP honors on three occasions. He was the NBA’s MVP in 2000. He ranks seventh all-time in scoring, sixth all-time for shots made, 14th in rebounds and eighth in blocks in the NBA. He was selected to 14 All-NBA teams, including eight First Team selections, during his career.
Iverson also lived up to expectations after being drafted with the No. 1 pick of the 1996 draft by winning the Rookie of the Year award. He was named the 2001 NBA MVP and finished his career with the seventh highest scoring average and ranked 12th all-time in steals and 23rd in points.
Ming played with the Houston Rockets from 2002 to ’11 before injuries derailed his career. The 2002 No. 1 overall pick made eight All-Star teams before retiring. At 7'6", he was the tallest player when he was in the league. He is second in the Rockets’ all-time blocks list and sixth for total points and total rebounds.
Despite this year’s first-round exit in the NCAA tournament, Izzo has made seven Final Four appearances and won 524 games with the Michigan State Spartans. He won the 2000 NCAA title as the Spartans defeated Florida.
Swoops led Texas Tech to the 1993 NCAA championship with 47-points in the title game. She was the first player signed by the WNBA and won three MVP trophies from 2000 to 2005. The three-time WNBA champion was also a member of six WNBA All-Star teams.
Reinsdorf won six NBA titles as the owner of the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s.
Former NBA referee Darrell Garretson, coach John McLendon and players Zelmo Beaty and Cumberland Posey will be added to the Hall of Fame posthumously.
Kevin Johnson, John McLendon, Eddie Sutton, Bo Ryan, Robert Hughes, Muffet McGraw, Darrell Garretson, Lefty Driesell, Leita Andrews and the 1954–58 Wayland Baptist University team were other notable finalists for the class.