Shaq, Iverson, Yao among basketball Hall of Fame candidates

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: Shaquille O'Neal #33 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
AP Photo

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming are among the first-time candidates on the ballot for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and former women's star Sheryl Swoopes are also among the candidates announced Monday for the class of 2016. The finalists will be announced on Feb. 12 during the NBA's All-Star weekend, and those being enshrined will be unveiled April 4 in Houston before the NCAA championship game.

O'Neal and Yao became eligible last week when the Hall amended its eligibility procedures, making players eligible after four full seasons of retirement. It was previously five years, which meant they were six years removed from their playing careers when they were enshrined.

The full list of candidates is available at www.hoophall.com

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