As the Hall of Famers were announced today, Twitter seemed to come into a whirlpool of reminiscent videos, GIF’s, and pictures. Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal are both getting into the Hall of Fame and many fans are saying, “It’s about time!”
The NBA announced the rest of the class to go with them:
- Yao Ming, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NBA draft and spent his entire career with the Houston Rockets before it as cut short by injuries in 2010.
- Jerry Reinsdorf, long-time owner of the Chicago Bulls, whose team dominated the NBA by winning six championships in the 1990s.
- Sheryl Swoopes, three-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, four-time WNBA champion and three-time WNBA MVP.
- Tom Izzo, head coach at Michigan State, where he has led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA title and seven trips to the Final Four.
There are four posthumous inductees:
- Zelmo Beatty, who spent most of his career in the ABA, averaging 17.1 points and 10.9 rebounds.
- Darell Garretson, former referee.
- John McLendon, former coach who won three NAIA championships.
- Cumberland Posey, a star in the early 1900s, who is also in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Iverson, best known for his handles, quickness, and acrobatic plays amongst the trees in the lane was always looked at in a different light due to his style. He wasn’t going to conform to a dress code, and he was never going to change into something that wasn’t his usual self. He went on to average 26.7 points, 6.2 assists, and 2.2 steals in his career while winning a league MVP, Rookie of the Year, and four scoring titles.
Shaq was just as big of a character himself, and everyone – well except fans of rival teams – loved watching him dominate in the paint. He’s done so much more than just play basketball. He was an actor, rapper, dancer, WWE wrestler, comedian, and just about anything else you could think of. Averages of 23.7 points, and 10.9 rebounds per game in his career while gathering four rings, three Finals MVP’s, one league MVP, and a Rookie of the Year also helps a lot in his Hall of Fame resume.
Let’s not forget the other big names that will be enshrined. Yao Ming broke all sorts of barriers for the NBA and China connection. Ever since Yao Ming came into the league, there seemed to be a tremendous influx of fans. Not only did was he one of the biggest players to come through the league, but he was one of the biggest “ambassadors” too.
Jerry Reinsdorf was fortunate to have the team with Michael Jordan that went on to win six championships.
Sheryl Swoopes was one of the revolutionary players to go through the WNBA. Four-time champ, three-time MVP, and three-time gold medalist is one hell of a resume, and if she didn’t get into the Hall, it would be devastating.
Last but not least, Tom Izzo gets his big day too. Even though Michigan State didn’t live up to the expectations this season, there have been countless times where they shattered expectations. Izzo has had many of his teams play beyond the expected potential and he’s always found a way for his team to be relevant.