The 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame Class will be headlined by former All-Star center Shaquille O’Neal and guard extraordinaire Allen “The Answer” Iverson, per ESPN.
Joining Shaq and AI in the Hall this year are the following: Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and former WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes. Longtime referee Darrell Garretson, former coach John McLendon and players Zelmo Beaty and Cumberland Posey will be inducted posthumously.
And both Iverson and O’Neal are more than worthy of enshrinement in Springfield, Massachusetts. Iverson was the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of Georgetown and was an 11-time All-Star, winning four scoring titles and an MVP trophy across time with the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies. Iverson also played in Turkey for a year.
Shaquille O’Neal is also in the same league as Iverson, having won four NBA championships while playing with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. He is among the Top 10 scorers in NBA history and was easily the most dominant center of his time.
Throw in Izzo’s four trips to the Final Four, Ming being the first Chinese player in the NBA, Reinsdorf’s success with the Bulls and Swoopes helping put the WNBA on the map, and this year’s class is stacked to the core.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports