Watch: Yao Ming opens Hall of Fame speech with Iverson 'practice' joke

Saturday September 10th, 2016

Former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night and he wasted no time cracking a joke on his fellow inductee Allen Iverson.

Yao was the first speaker of the night but said that Iverson should have gone before him because Yao thought he “needed more practice.”

Watch the opening to Yao’s speech below.

In 2002, Iverson met with the media and went on an epic speech about practice. He uttered the word "practice" 22 times and in the days before YouTube still managed to go viral.

Yao Ming’s many injuries robbed him of NBA prime

Yao also called Mutombo an “old” man in his speech and gave former teammate Cuttino Mobley a shout-out.


​Yao 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.

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