Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming Lead Hall Of Fame 2016 Nominees

Allen Iverson, Shaq headline the nominees for Hall of Fame Class 2016 Photo by thesource.com

Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming lead the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 nominees. The three highest profile nominees become eligible due to the Hall’s decision to cut the waiting period of consideration from five years to four years, after retirement.

Next year’s enshrinement will be a star-studded one with other notable NBA players vying for the votes. Also nominated are Tim Hardaway, Chris Webber, Kevin Johnson Mark Price, Sidney Moncrief, Maurice Cheeks, A.C Green, Terry Cummings, Mark Aguirre, Reggie Theus, Jack Sikma, Paul Westphal, Swen Nater, Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports’ Balls Don’t Lie reported.

O’Neal is the biggest name among the players nominated, literally and figuratively. During his prime, he played without regards for his opponents, backboards included, throwing his weight every time he touches the ball.

His basketball exploits made him a four-time NBA champion, one-time Most Valuable Player, three-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time gold medalist, 1994 FIBA World Championship and 1996 Summer Olympics, two-time NBA scoring champion, Rookie of the Year, the youngest player to be selected as one of the  50 greatest NBA players of all time during the league’s 50th anniversary in 1997.

Iverson’s eligibility came after the Hall did not count the 10 professional games he played during his stint in Turkey in 2010. Known as “ The Answer”, Iverson played with reckless abandon playing bigger that his height.

He was a one-time most valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, eleven-time All-Stars, two-time All-Star Game MVP, four-time NBA Scoring champion and three-time NBA steals leader. His on and off court persona made fans and players divisive throughout his NBA career.

Yao Ming’s road to Hall of Fame gets a shortcut as the former Houston Rockets was nominated through the International Committee which required only one round of balloting. This means he will not be competing directly with most of the candidates from NBA.

As reported by Scott Howard-Cooper of nba.com, choosing the International path rather than the tougher North American Committee is a compromise that enables Yao to be both appreciated for his work as a basketball player while keeping the connection to China.

Toni Kukoc and Vlade Divac join Yao Ming among the nominees in the International Committee while Sheryl Swoops and Rebecca Lobo are nominated from the Women’s committee.

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